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Fragility Curves for Assessing the Resilience of Electricity Networks Constructed from an Extensive Fault Database

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah Dunn, Professor Sean Wilkinson, David Alderson, Professor Hayley Fowler



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license,. Robust infrastructure networks are vital to ensure community resilience; their failure leads to severe societal disruption and they have important postdisaster functions. However, as these networks consist of interconnected, but geographically-distributed, components, system resilience is difficult to assess. In this paper the authors propose the use of an extension to the catastrophe (CAT) risk modeling approach, which is primarily used to perform risk assessments of independent assets, to be adopted for these interdependent systems. To help to achieve this, fragility curves, a crucial element of CAT models, are developed for overhead electrical lines using an empirical approach to ascribe likely failures due to wind storm hazard. To generate empirical fragility curves for electrical overhead lines, a dataset of over 12,000 electrical failures is coupled to a European reanalysis (ERA) wind storm model, ERA-Interim. The authors consider how the spatial resolution of the electrical fault data affects these curves, generating a fragility curve with low resolution fault data with a R2 value of 0.9271 and improving this to a R2 value of 0.9889 using higher spatial resolution data. Recommendations for deriving similar fragility curves for other infrastructure systems and/or hazards using the same methodological approach are also made. The authors argue that the developed fragility curves are applicable to other regions with similar electrical infrastructure and wind speeds, although some additional calibration may be required.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dunn S, Wilkinson S, Alderson D, Fowler H, Galasso C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Natural Hazards Review

Year: 2018

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 01/02/2018

Online publication date: 29/09/2017

Acceptance date: 31/05/2017

Date deposited: 17/10/2017

ISSN (print): 1527-6988

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000267


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Funder referenceFunder name
NE/N012992/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
WM140025Royal Society