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1, FEBRUARY 2005


A Reliability-Centered Asset Maintenance Method for Assessing the Impact of Maintenance in Power Distribution Systems
Lina Bertling, Member, IEEE, Ron Allan, Fellow, IEEE, and Roland Eriksson, Senior Member, IEEE
Abstract—This paper proposes a method for comparing the effect of different maintenance strategies on system reliability and cost. This method relates reliability theory with the experience gained from statistics and practical knowledge of component failures and maintenance measures. The approach has been applied to rural and urban distribution systems. In particular, a functional relationship between failure rate and maintenance measures has been developed for a cable component. The results show the value of using a systematic quantitative approach for investigating the effect of different maintenance strategies. Index Terms—Asset management, electric power distribution system, maintenance strategy, reliability evaluation, reliability-centered asset maintenance (RCAM).



LECTRIC power distribution systems constitute the greatest risk to the interruption of power supply [1]–[3]. Traditionally, however, distribution systems have received less attention than generation and transmission, evidenced by the difference in the number of publications [4]. However, focus is moving toward distribution as the business focus changes from consumers to customers. Deregulation of the power system market has led to a shift from technical to economic driving factors. The utilities that own and operate the power distribution systems now face various market requirements. On the one hand, customers are paying for a service (delivered energy) and the authorities are imposing regulation, supervision, and compensation depending on the degree to which contractual and other obligations are fulfilled, see for example Norway [5], Sweden [6], and the U.K. [7]. On the other hand, utilities must ensure that their expenditure is cost-effective. This means that electricity utilities must satisfy quantitative reliability requirements while at the same time minimizing their costs. One predominant expense for a utility is the cost of maintaining system assets, for example through adopting preventive measures, collectively called preventive maintenance (PM). PM

Manuscript received June 29, 2004. This work was supported by the Competence Center in Electric Power Engineering at the Royal University of Technology (KTH). Paper no. TPWRS-00271-2003. L. Bertling and R. Eriksson are with the Electrical Engineering Department, Royal Institute Technology (KTH), 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden (e-mail:; R. Allan is with the Electrical Engineering Department, Manchester Centre for Electrical Energy, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Manchester, U.K. (e-mail: Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRS.2004.840433

measures can impact on reliability by either improving the condition, or prolonging the lifetime of an asset. Reliability overall can be improved by lowering either the frequency or the duration of interruptions. PM activities could impact on the frequency by preventing the actual cause of the failure. Consequently, PM is cost-effective when the reliability benefit outweighs the cost of implementing the PM measure. There is, therefore, a need for utilities to incorporate systematic methods which relate maintenance of system assets to the improvement in system reliability. This is part of the wider concept of asset management. Asset management involves making decisions to allow the network business to maximize long term profits, while delivering high service levels to the customers with acceptable and manageable risks. Reliability evaluation and maintenance planning techniques have separately been well developed, for example [1]–[4], [8], [9], with reliability assessment starting in the 1930s [10]. However, few techniques relate system reliability to component maintenance. Furthermore, the available techniques are not generally put into practice. The reason for this, according with the authors, is the lack of suitable input data and a reluctance to use theoretical tools to address the practical problem of maintenance planning. One method for relating reliability to PM is known as reliability-centered maintenance (RCM). RCM is a qualitative systematic approach to organizing maintenance [11]–[13]. It originated in the civil aircraft industry in the 1960s with the introduction of the Boeing 747 series, and the need to lower PM costs in attaining a certain level of reliability. The results were successful and the methodology was developed further. In 1975, the U.S. Department of Commerce defined the concept RCM and declared that it should be used in all major military systems [11]. In the 1980s, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) introduced RCM into the nuclear power industry. Today RCM is used or being considered by an increasing number of electrical utilities [14], [15]. The main feature of RCM is its focus on preserving system function where critical components for system reliability are prioritized for PM measures. However, the method is generally not capable of showing the benefits of maintenance for system reliability and costs. This paper proposes a reliability-centered asset maintenance (RCAM) method, which provides a quantitative relationship between PM of assets and the total maintenance cost [2]. The method is developed from RCM principles attempting to relate more closely the impact of maintenance to the cost and reliability of the system. The method has been developed from

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results and applications are included. and an urban underground cable system in central Stockholm. Stage 2 Component reliability modeling: analyzes the components in detail and. Both studies used data for the systems in question. the Birka System. the proposed cost analysis considers: . • the cost of preventive maintenance . CAIDI [h/int].customer]. This has presently been done for one component type. underground cables. 1 illustrates the logic for the RCAM method. who will suffer supply unavailability and may suffer direct costs and/or be compensated via a penalty payment. More details are provided for the Birka System in Section IV. Furthermore. The resulting method has been implemented in MATLAB where output from RADPOW is used as input [2]. FEBRUARY 2005 comprehensive application studies for real power distribution systems..e. • the cost of interruption The optimal maintenance method and PM strategy is the solution that minimizes the sum of these three costs. Consequently. Finally. in more corrective maintenance (CM) actions. has been developed within the Competence Centre of Electrical Engineering at KTH [2]. A computer code RADPOW (reliability assessment of electrical distribution systems). is gained by multiplying by the present worth value factor . • the cost of failure . which was shown to be critical for the reliability of one of the systems used in these studies. However. — The load point indices are: expected failure rate . These components are further studied. Formulating the failure rate model for Approach II is a complicated task. annual outage time (unavailability) (U) [h/yr]. the critical components for the system reliability are identified from a sensitivity analysis. II. and the failure rate reduction is a consequence of the PM actions considered for the specific component that is studied. and the overall system indices. A supply interruption affects the customer. respectively). Stage 3 System reliability and cost/benefit analysis: puts the results of Stage 2 into a system perspective. for example for a simple or first-order comparison of strategies. in some cases it may not be necessary to include . and average energy not supplied (E) [kWh/yr]. B. The present worth value of to be paid after years with the discount rate one outlay . repair costs and losses in revenue due to nondelivered energy and 2) cost of the PM actions. This figure includes the different stages and steps in the method. A network modeling technique and the minimal cut set (load-point-driven) approach [1] is used to deduce the failure modes. III.customer]. the investments in PM measures are spread over the remaining time of the assessment period . The main stages of the RCAM approach are as follows. based on the analytical approach. whereas the second approach assumes this ratio to depends only on be dependent on time. RADPOW evaluates the load point indices. In the second case. defines the quantitative relationship between reliability and PM measures. the important issue is to compare the costs associated with different maintenance methods. also time-dependent (Approach II). e. If little or no PM is done. These events occur randomly and therefore models based on probability theory have been used. the cost of failure also depends on the customer cost [16]. the present worth value of the total annualized costs is evaluated. The economic evaluations have been made using fundamental techniques. with the support of appropriate input data. STEPS IN THE RCAM METHOD Fig. NO.76 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS. average outage duration (r) [h/int]. then more system failures are likely to occur resulting in more repair actions being required. The relationship between reliability and maintenance has been established by relating the effect of PM to the causes of failures for the component being assessed. focusing on the impact of maintenance measures. and the systematic process for analyzing the system components and their causes of failures. planned maintenance or replacement of a component in advance of failure. The details of the underlying theory are too extensive to be developed in this paper. Stage 1 System reliability analysis: defines the system and evaluates critical components affecting system reliability. Two direct utility costs are: 1) cost of failure (CM).. . The costs are evaluated on an annual basis with an assumed increase due to inflation . Application studies have been made on two different distribution systems in Sweden: a rural system of overhead power lines in southern Sweden.g. Two different approaches have been used. As a first step in the method. 20. and were done in close co-operation with the operating utilities (Sydkraft AB and Fortum Distribution AB (former Birka Nät AB). i. RCAM METHOD A. However. including both PM and CM with the objective of minimizing the total cost of maintenance. SAIDI [h/yr. and evaluates the effect of component maintenance on system reliability and the impact on cost of different PM strategies. 1. and AENS [kWh/yr. — The system indices are: SAIFI [int/yr. There are several costs that can be related to the effect of system failures. Reliability Evaluation This paper addresses the effects of failure events in electric power distribution systems. VOL.g. The first approach assumes a constant reduction ratio between failure rates and the effect of PM.customer]. These three stages emphasize a central feature of the method: that the analysis moves from the system level to the component level and back to the system level. is the effect of PM (Approach I). The motivation for any PM strategy is that the cost of applying the PM measure should be less than taking no action at all. Economic Evaluation The economic evaluation brings the RCAM analysis to its final step: to relate the benefits in costs due to the impact of maintenance on reliability. so only the overall principles.. e. In the first case. Therefore.

• Identify possible effect of alternative PM methods. and a reliability model. using experience data from Step 2 for the failure rate modeling. from reliability input data (from Step 1) (1) b) Approach II: Assume that the component failure rate function can be obtained as a sum of contributions from the different . The resulting failure rate function can be evaluated from (3) Fig. Stage 2—Component reliability analysis. where centage contribution to the total failures of that failure cause. vary their input failure rates for one type at a time.: RCAM METHOD FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF MAINTENANCE IN POWER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS 77 2) Identify critical voltage levels and components for the system reliability based on results from reliability analysis. are presented in more detail in this section. failure modes and failure events. . The ten steps needed to perform the RCAM approach. model the failure rate funcFor components as follows: tion a) Approach I: Simply assume that the failure rate equals the average failure interruption. Define input data including: network data. . For each failure cause PM method define a failure rate model as follows: a) Approach I: • Assume that the effect of applying PM is a reduction of the actual failure cause with % and . as follows: (2) 5) Model effect of PM methods on reliability for each failure cause. . The results provide a prioritized list of components for PM measures. and given from Step 3. and evaluate the resulting indices for the system and different load points. Deduce a causes of failures of type model for the failure rate as a function of time. preventing Assume that the PM method is applied to component number .BERTLING et al. Stage 1—System reliability analysis 1) Define reliability model and required input data. 1. • Assume that the failure rate for the analyzed component is reduced by the same percentage. Logic for the RCAM method (the steps that feature the asterisk (*) use RADPOW for reliability analysis). 4) Define a failure rate model. Perform this analysis for different voltage levels and load points. component reliability data and customer data. 3) Identify failure causes by failure modes analysis for each component identified as critical and affected by PM. • Determine the percentage each cause contributes to the total number of failures from interruption data and expertise. • Identify causes of failures from an understanding of: component functions. is the perreduction. Theapproachforthesensitivityanalysisisasfollows:categorize components according to their type. • Identify experience data for interruptions due to these causes of failures. as identified in Fig. 1.

and evaluate the resulting effect on the component failure rate. and within the period • number of times PM is applied . depending on the PM strategy. • Define which failure causes are affected by each PM denote the affected method in the strategy. define the resulting failure rate function. and also for Approach . • the cost of failure . which is given as follows: (5) b) Approach II: . Identify cost effective PM strategy Evaluate cost functions in [cost/yr]. based on those that were introduced in Section II: . . • Perform system reliability analysis with result from Step 8 as input data for included components. 1. VOL. It is made up of several parts. . that is • Evaluate the resulting composite failure rate for component type . point. Note that for Approach II this requires the effect of applying PM at different times on the resulting failure rate functions to be evaluated. • For Approach II. 7) Define and implement different strategies for PM. Let denote the nonaffected causes. NO. This step implies developing the failure rate model for the component applied with PM strategy . Stage 3—System reliability and cost/benefit analysis. Analyze the effect of using different PM strategies on system reliability. FEBRUARY 2005 b) Approach II: • Deduce a model for functional relationship between reliability and PM activities as a function of time. This model requires more knowledge about the component behavior and the effect of applying PM with method and the impact on specific failure causes. . 9) Compare system reliability when applying different maintenance methods and PM strategies. • the cost of preventive maintenance • the cost of interruption with and without PM respectively as follows: Approach I: (8) where is the cost of failure for component [cost/int]. b) Approach II: • 10) • a) (9) where is the inflation rate. . a) Approach I: • Define the extent of the effect for each failure . affected by PM method . . The resulting failure rate function provides the input data for component type to the system reliability model. The output is the system and load-point reliability indices that show the different effects of the PM strategy (S) on the system. on system and • Compare the impact of PM strategy load-point reliability indices. (6 ) . • The resulting failure rate function can be evaluated from (4) 6) Deduce different plans for applying PM. . . A PM strategy. . 20. in the system model. for the system is defined by: • applied PM methods denoted by: . evaluated as follows: (7) and similarly for each load . • proportion of the component type that are affected by each PM method denoted by . causes. an alternative is to compare the average load-point indices during the period. • at what times PM is applied 8) Estimate the resulting composite failure rate. II. which is shown at the bottom of the page.78 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS. (6) where we also have (6 ). . cause. and • The resulting failure rate function captures the average composite failure rate characteristic for the component . .

and the resulting effect on the load point indices is evaluated.: RCAM METHOD FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF MAINTENANCE IN POWER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS 79 c) Approach I: (10) where is the cost of applying PM method for component [cost/measure]. For each case. Case 1 refers to the base case with no PM. b) Approach II: Fig. (3) breakers. . Stage 1—System reliability analysis for the Birka system The disturbance data for the Stockholm city power system (from 220-. underground cables. 33-. . and with no PM. The statistics showed that the 11-kV voltage level contributed most to the number of failures and customers affected. For each of the results presented in figures the corresponding step in the RCAM method is noted. 2. . to 11-kV level) and the period 1982–1999 was surveyed [17]. Furthermore. From the Liljeholmen station (LH11) there are 32 outgoing 11-kV feeders that supply the southern part of central Stockholm and 14 300 customers. at each PM occasion. This system includes the 220/110-kV Bredäng station and 33/11-kV Liljeholmen station. breakers. (11) . is equally spread over the remaining time period. and transformers. that is CM. Identifying critical components for the Birka system with cases (1) base case. which are connected to each other via two parallel 110-kV cables. (4) cables. b) Approach II: (16) The cost-effective solution is the maintenance strategy that provides the lowest total cost when comparing the total costs for PM with different sets of . a specific component failure rate is assumed to be zero. (2) bus bars. The reliability of the Birka system was analyzed using input reliability data from experience and statistics and RADPOW [18]. A system was selected to investigate this voltage level in more detail. .BERTLING et al. 2 shows results from Step 2 in the RCAM method defining the critical components. 110-. customers are represented as one average 11-kV load point. . where the cost of applying PM. a) Approach I: (12) where is the customer interruption cost in [cost/kWh]. IV. The following component types were included: bus bars. . RESULTS FROM APPLICATION STUDIES (13) • Evaluate the total annualized costs in [cost/yr]: a) Approach I: This section provides selected results from application studies of the Birka system including failure rate modeling for the underground cables and with the effect of PM on one failure cause (water-treeing). these were categorized into the different voltage levels between 220–11 kV. is shown in (11). at the d) Approach II: bottom of the page. The most significant reduction occurs in Case (14) b) Approach II: (15) • Evaluate present values in [cost]: a) Approach I: The same value as given by (14). In the model. and (5) transformers (Step 2). Fig.

The conclusion is that the 11-kV cables are critical components for this system. This is a tree-like phenomenon that involves water penetration through the insulation. 4 would have a series of decrements similar to that shown.). when cables are considered 100% reliable. [22]. Stage 2—Component reliability modeling. 4. in which case the characteristic shown in Fig. %. One effective method for preventing failures of water-treed cables is the rehabilitation method [21]. it was assumed that replacement is made Fig. The characteristics of the XLPE cables in this system are consequently assumed to follow those of the XLPE cables with insulation degradation due to water treeing. The different cases are as follows: 1) base case. a new cable would not have the same characteristics due to changes in the manufacturing techniques. Therefore. (Step 3–5). Fig. One of these causes was water treeing. However. the average restoration time increases when the number of short interruptions is reduced. The class of material or method made the most significant contribution with 59% of the total failures. which can be measured with diagnostic methods. 3. measurements and modeling of the cable condition [20]. occurring primarily in the early produced (mid-1970s) XLPE insulation cables. and the average failure rate for the 11-kV cable in the Birka system due to other causes (Step 6. as the figure indicates.80 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS. The data is assessed from a complete population of cables over a 13-year aging period. FEBRUARY 2005 Fig. The initial value for the cable failure rate is relatively small but not zero. VOL. Three different maintenance activities were considered for these studies: no PM activities. It was assumed that the failure rate. 1. These include disturbance statistics [19]. Data related to this failure were collected and selected. 4 shows the final result for modeling the failure rate. Process to relate underlying failure cause to reliability. NO. it should be noted that for these XLPE insulated cables. Stage 3—System Reliability and Cost/Benefit Analysis: 1) Approach I: Results from the survey of statistics provided input data for modeling the relationship between PM and reliability using Approach I. Nevertheless. The water trees. which stops the growth of the current water trees. impact on the breakdown strength of the cable. that is 11 kV. Based on the experience data and the logic shown in Fig.) To obtain the composite failure rate for the cable. PM by the rehabilitation method and PM by replacing cables systematically before they failed (the replacement method) with notations: org. assuming one PM action on each cable. with a cable having the same characteristics as the current cable had when new. These assumptions were motivated by two aspects: that the water trees grow to a maximum length (that of the insulation thickness) and that this provides a worst-case scenario when showing the benefit of PM. This shows that these have the greatest impact on the failure rate and the unavailability for the average 11-kV customer. From discussions with maintenance personnel a list of underlying causes of cable faults was defined. The resulting input data for the component then consisted of the developed failure rate model for failures due to water trees. is constant. 1) Approach I: The information from the failure modes analysis provides input data for the failure rate modeling (Step 4). a failure rate model (Step 4) and a functional relationship between the failure rate and the effect of PM measures (Step 5) were defined [2]. a changed characteristic can be included quite readily. 2) Approach II: Data from the statistics (Step 3) were complemented with practical experience. This involves injecting a silicon-based liquid between the individual wires of the conductor. Resulting failure rate model for a water-treed cable affected by PM measures after 11 years (Steps 4–5. 4. including the underlying failure causes of material faults. (It should be stressed that this assumption enabled complete demonstration of the RCAM method. 3. The resulting cable failure rate model was used for the Birka system. Sensitivity studies were made to see the effect at the system level if each of these causes of failures were decreased individually or in combination. and PM of cables [21]. A comprehensive failure modes analysis was made (Step 3) using 18 years of data and 58 interruptions that were caused by the 11–kV underground cables. PM procedures are likely to be performed several times during the lifetime of a particular component. The RCAM approach described in this paper allows this to be assessed objectively. is much lower than the repair times for the other components. The number of occasions and their timing should depend on the cost of performing the PM actions and the cost-benefit of doing so. respectively. Approach II). on the other hand. Furthermore. it was assumed that the total failure causes were due to water trees and other causes. The failure rate characteristic with no PM is the resulting approximation of a function obtained from experience data [2]. after this time and due to this specific failure cause. si. rather than providing a true picture of the cables in the Birka system. The significant rise in average outage time is because the repair time for the dominant population of cables. and rp. The underlying causes of failures for each of these interruptions were investigated. In practice. 20. 2) .

Impact of maintenance methods and PM strategies on cost of failure for the Birka system (Step 10. as shown in Table I (Step 9). Consequently. 5 shows the benefit of these different cases on the system indices. TABLE I RELIABILITY RESULTS APPLYING DIFFERENT MAINTENANCE METHODS 3) %. It can be seen directly from the annual costs that PM is a dominating cost. it is seen that the most significant decrease in cost of failures is achieved with the replacement method. when the 11-kV cables are affected by PM measures. It is seen that the cost of failures is decreased for the Birka system. Both of these inbilitation ).BERTLING et al. Fig. The cases represent different maintenance strategies for the RCAM method with Approach I (Step 7). It has been assumed for each case that the causes of failures can be eliminated by the PM activities. The difference in percentages between cases 5 and 6 (25%) relates to those causes that were reported as included in material and method. 6. Input data for the economic assessment was provided by the utility. Fig. but if PM is carried out. Furthermore. 5) total of – 6) total for %. Approach II). Fig. Thus the corresponding failures would be eliminated and the reliability indices influenced. . %. Approach II). Effect on system reliability for different maintenance strategies using Approach I for the Birka system (Step 9). volve PM applied on three occasions (years and with the following proportions of cables subject to PM and 30% for (Step 7). Impact of different maintenance methods on the total annual costs of applying a PM strategy for the Birka system. Fig. 4) %. Fig. The results show that PM measures to reduce individual causes of failures for a critical component in the system can significantly improve the system reliability. Furthermore. 6 shows one result from the economic evaluation according to the RCAM method.: RCAM METHOD FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF MAINTENANCE IN POWER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS 81 Fig. that is . and from the Swedish customer interruption costs included in [23]. The reper occasion: 10% for sults from the system reliability analysis. 7. the cost-effective solution is not to carry out PM in this case. rehabilitation is better than replacement. show consistently that the best reliability is achieved with PM by replacement and with as much as possible of the component replaced. Results are shown for the case with the interest rate d = 2% (Step 10. since the greater benefit in reliability by the replacement method is offset by the higher investment cost. it is clearly more cost-effective to rehabilitate the cable than to replace it. but with no further detailed level of classification. 7 presents annual costs for the different maintenance methods using PM strategy S1. The final step in the RCAM analysis is to evaluate the present worth values of the annualised total costs of maintenance. 2) Approach II: A system analysis is performed for the Birka system including two strategies for applying the PM with either rehaor replacement . 5.

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