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Tuesday, May 8 • 11:00am - 11:30am
PRESENTATION: An Analysis of Enhanced Tree Trimming Effectiveness in Connecticut using a Geospatial Approach

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AUTHORS: Jason Parent, University of Connecticut; Tom Meyer, University of Connecticut; John Volin, University of Connecticut; Robert Fahey, University of Connecticut; Chandi Witharana, University of Connecticut

ABSTRACT: We evaluated the effectiveness of an enhanced tree trimming (ETT) program for its ability to reduce tree-related power outages on an electric distribution system during storm events. Evaluations encompassed thirteen years of trimming (i.e. 2005-2017) data and were performed for both backbone (originating directly from a substation) and lateral (offshoots of backbones) utility lines. The study site spanned the entire state of Connecticut, where the dominant vegetation is temperate deciduous forest. We controlled for variations in weather, tree cover, and wire type, by pairing ETT-treated zones with nearby untreated zones. ETT-treated and untreated control zones had the same wire type and similar percent tree cover and line lengths. Relative outage rates were calculated for each pair to indicate the performance of ETT-treated zones relative to background outage rates of untreated zones. ETT-treated backbone conductors had overall outage rates that were 0.07 - 0.09 outages/km/year lower than untreated backbones, which is a 33 - 42% reduction when compared to all untreated laterals (0.2 outages/km/year). ETT-treated lateral conductors had significantly lower outage rates, than untreated laterals, for "minor" outage types (i.e., blown fuse, tripped recloser, etc.) but not for "major" outage types (broken poles or wires). Overall outage rates on laterals were reduced by 0.07 - 0.36 outages/km/year which amounts to 35 - 150% reduction over the outage rate for all untreated lateral zones; it should be noted that these results are applicable only to storm-damaged areas. Our study provides a robust empirical evaluation of ETT and also proposes a geospatial methodology that controls for variations in weather and environment.

Tuesday May 8, 2018 11:00am - 11:30am
Room 205

Attendees (4)