Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Rajiv K. Varma


The interdependencies that exist between multiple infrastructures can cause unexpected system behaviour when their component failure occurs due to large disruptions such as earthquake or Tsunami. The complexities of these interdependencies make it very difficult to effectively recover infrastructure because of the several challenges encountered. To overcome these challenges, a research program called Disaster Response Network Enabled Platform (DR-NEP) was initiated. This thesis deals with the modelling of electrical networks in order to study critical infrastructures interdependencies as a part of DR-NEP project. In first module of the thesis, the concept and understanding of interdependencies is presented. For studying the infrastructural interdependencies, three infrastructures are selected at Western campus: electrical power system, steam system and water systems. It is demonstrated that electrical infrastructure is the most significant infrastructure as all other infrastructures are dependent on electrical input. This thesis subsequently presents the development of a detailed model of the electrical power system of Western campus. This model is validated with actual measured data provided by the Western facilities management for different loading conditions and different feeder positions. Such a model has been developed for the first time at Western University. This model can be used not just for studying disaster scenarios but also for planning of future electrical projects and expansion of facilities in the Western campus. The second module of thesis deals with the different disaster scenarios, critical subsystems and the impact of appropriate decision making on the overall working of the Western campus, with a special focus on electrical power systems. The results from the validated electrical model are incorporated into the infrastructural interdependency software (I2Sim). A total of six disaster scenarios are studied; three involving the electrical power systems in collaboration with water and steam systems, and other three involving only the electrical power system. The study of interdependency during disasters is performed to generate a wiser decision making process. The results presented in this thesis are an important addition to the earlier work done in DRNEP project, which only involved three infrastructures: steam, condensate return, and water. In this iv thesis, the information on electrical networks which was earlier missing is provided through the validated electrical power model. It is demonstrated that decisions to reduce electrical power consumption on campus by evacuating campus areas are effective in stabilizing the hospital operations but not in maintaining Western business continuity. A decision to accommodate hospital activities according to power availability appears to be the better choice. The results presented in this thesis will help in a much better manner to pre-plan different preparedness strategies to deal with any future potential emergencies in the Western campus.