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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Power systems modeling for multiple infrastructure damage and repair simulations Ozog, Nathan


The interdependencies that exist within and between infrastructures can cause unexpected system properties to emerge when their components fail due to large disruptions. As witnessed following emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina, the complexities of these interdependencies make it very difficult to effectively recover infrastructure because of the challenges they create in prioritizing the most critical components for repair. The Joint Infrastructure Interdependencies Research Program was initiated by Public Safety Canada (PSC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in 2005 to research methods for remedying this problem. As a part of this research, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is developing an infrastructure interdependency simulator, named I2Sim, to simulate disasters and develop strategies for dealing with emergencies. Part of this development is to construct a model of the UBC electrical distribution system and interface it with I2Sim. In this research, a general methodology for such a model is presented, which employs an off-the-shelf powerflow modeling tool. In addition, a model of the UBC information technology infrastructure is developed to provide a second infrastructure model to demonstrate the electrical model's usefulness in multi-infrastructure disaster recovery simulations. Simulations with these models have shown that the recovery of this two-infrastructure system can be carried out more effectively following an earthquake if both infrastructures are considered together in the repair approach, rather than individually. This difference was on the order of thirty percent. To extend this research from electrical distribution systems to electrical bulk systems, an interdependency model of the British Columbia Transmission Corporation bulk power network and its communications system was also developed, along with a post-blackout restoration procedure. Using these, simulations of a post-blackout recovery were carried out to study the level of risk that communications outages may pose to the electrical network's recovery. These simulations revealed a correlation between restoration time and the number of communication points lost. This research also demonstrates there is value in combining the results of such simulations with risk evaluation tools. Together these results provided a clearer indication of where vulnerabilities exist.

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