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Ageing networks: consume, prolong or replace January 10, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in distribution, power quality, reliability.
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By Arjen G Jongepier, KEMA Consulting

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The components of electricity networks are ageing. It is expected that within a horizon of 15 years, the performance will deteriorate significantly, while the costs for operating the networks will increase enormously. The main problem is that a significant part of the population of the assets is installed in the same period, resulting in a highly concentrated number of failures in a short time. The currently applied replacement strategy has to be revisited, in order to accommodate the effects of ageing assets: higher maintenance costs, high failure rates, and a steep increase of capital expenditure (CAPEX).

Methods like long-term simulation, multi-criteria decision-making under uncertainty, critical asset identification, condition assessment, and advanced statistics for the extrapolation of condition assessments of representative samples of assets should be applied. By using these methodologies in a smart and integrated way, costs and performance can be kept at an acceptable level