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Modelling failure probabilities of ageing power network assets using operating data and on-site measurements (FULLY FUNDED)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Konstantinos Kopsidas
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

The restructuring of the electricity sector to address current and future challenges forces utilities to operate their power networks with increasing flexibility and efficiency. Identifying critical network assets and maintaining those in good conditions (extending their lives) by implementing smarter maintenance programs is of paramount importance to achieve this optimised network operation.

The purpose of this project is to (a) develop methods for combining several existing health indices (from on-field measurements of equipment) into an overall asset ageing index (i.e. for cable, transformer, overhead lines)and (b) convert these indices into realistic and practical probabilities of failures of each asset and (c) model these probabilities to evaluate the associated risks of asset failures. The proposed methods will consider both the impact of environmental and operating conditions on the assets’ ageing as well as the impact of preventive maintenance practices/implementation for equipment life extension.

Year 1: Taught courses and preparatory study

Year 2: Development of the modelling for linking the thermal and voltage stresses with ageing and probability of failure. Modelling will then be implemented into a network wide performance evaluation in order to quantify the risk of failure and compare it to the worth of maintenance.

Year 3: Optimisation of the algorithm so as to be utilised on both transmission and distribution networks. Case studies on standard (radial and meshed) networks.

Year 4: Implementation of the methodology on actual networks provided from utilities (possibly NG or ENW). The algorithm will be improved with the inclusion of on-field measurements (e.g., Partial Discharge, transformer oil contamination measurements, conductor corona, infrared/thermal imaging).

Keywords: Asset management, network planning and operation, overhead line design, cable design, transformer design, material properties, time varying line rating.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by EPSRC, the University of Manchester and our Industry partners. Funding is available to UK candidates. EU candidates are also eligible if they have been studying or working continuously in the UK for three or more years (prior to the start date of the programme). The successful candidates will have their fees paid in full and will receive an enhanced maintenance stipend.

See here for information on how to apply and entry requirements: http://www.power-networks-cdt.manchester.ac.uk/study/projects-apply/

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