Natural Hazards

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 633–650 | Cite as

Factors influencing cost-effectiveness of maintenance of power distribution poles subjected to hurricanes: a system-dynamics-based analysis

  • Jin Tian
  • Yue Li
Original Paper


Based on a system dynamics (SD) model of long-term cost-effectiveness of power pole maintenance over 50 years, the influence of factors that affect cost-effectiveness was examined. Taking a typical region subjected to hurricanes (i.e., Miami-Dade County, USA) as a case, the SD model was established and tested with scenarios of power poles maintenance strategies. Factors such as wind speed variation (due to climate change), regional annual growth rate of the pole population, and discount rate were explored. It was shown that changing the parameters for these factors results in the following: The variation of wind speed due to climate change produces a negative impact on cost-effectiveness under the given replacement strategy; the factors of wind speed and annual growth rate of poles have a significant influence on the replacement ratio of poles particularly in the later period such as later 30 years; similarly, the discount rate has a marked impact on cumulative cost in the later decades. The difference between the contribution of factors is more significant in the later stages of the design life. The simulation results indicate how the change of these factors can lead to an impact on cost-effectiveness over time. The results have meaningful strategy implications, allowing an optimization of the timing of maintenance and a focus on different critical factors at various time periods.


Cost-effectiveness Hurricanes System dynamics Power distribution poles 



The research described in this paper was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Catalyzing New International Collaborations Program, and Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events Program under Grant No. NSF-1050443. This support is gratefully acknowledged. However, the writers take sole responsibility for the views expressed in this paper, which may not represent the position of the NSF or their respective institutions. The authors would like to thank Dr. Sigridur Bjarnadottir for providing suggestions and fragility data of distribution poles for this research and also thank Professor William M. Bulleit for his valuable comments and suggestions on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reliability and Systems EngineeringBeihang UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Civil and Environmental EngineeringMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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