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Predicting remaining life of transmission tower steelwork components

Segovia, M. and Catterson, V. M. and Stuart, A. and Johnston, L. and Bain, H. and McPhaden, R. and Wylie, R. and Hernandez, A. (2016) Predicting remaining life of transmission tower steelwork components. In: Risk, Reliability and Safety. CRC Press, London, UK. ISBN 9781138029972

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Abstract

Failures in transmission tower’s components usually result in extended disruption of power supply. Repair is very costly as it involves replacement of the transmission lines’ sections affected. Additionally, it might also entail litigation cost associated with power disruption. Maintenance decisions have to be taken in time to prevent a failure. At present, maintenance decisions are mainly based on expert’s judgement, who perform inspections every 10 to 12 years. On specific sites, tower’s components degrade much faster due to aggressive atmospheric conditions, with corrosion being the primary cause of deterioration. In this context, data indicating health state from an UK utility were used to create a Cox model that relates the time before a failure occurs to climatic and atmospheric conditions highly correlated with corrosion. The paper demonstrates the use of the model for predicting remaining tower life, and highlights how this can feed into maintenance planning.