System dynamics assessment of mitigation strategies for power distribution poles subjected to hurricanes

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This paper presents a system dynamics-based method to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of mitigation strategies for the replacement of power distribution poles subjected to hurricanes. The method demonstrates how the performance of poles distributed over a certain region, as well as the cost of maintenance and replacement, varies with time. Compared to a static assessment, the dynamic analysis provides more information for decision-making about replacement strategies, e.g., the changing trend of cost and performance in a period, and thus a potential trade-off between short-term and long-term benefits. Also, some variables and features that play an important role in cost-effectiveness are examined using sensitivity analysis, so that refinement of pole replacement strategies can be made. The model depicts the systemic and dynamic natures of long-term cost-effectiveness of pole maintenance and assists in the development of a better replacement strategy for multipole systems. In a case study, the model was applied to a typical region subjected to hurricanes, i.e., Miami-Dade County in Florida, USA. The simulation results from the model led to a maintenance strategy optimization that included both selection of class of poles and ways of replacement. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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Natural Hazards