Fragility Assessment of Wood Poles in Power Distribution Networks against Extreme Wind Hazards Conference Paper uri icon


  • Distribution networks in wind-prone areas along the Gulf Coast of the United States suffer extensive damage during hurricane seasons. This often results in loss of power in both small and large geographical areas depending on the configuration of the network and the spatial distribution of damage to the network components. Wood poles support overhead lines, which are primary components of power distribution networks, and are highly vulnerable to failure during strong winds. This paper presents the failure fragility function of typical classes of wood poles against strong winds. Using the provisions of the ASCE7 standard, an analytical model for wind load profiles along distribution wood poles is considered. Also assessed are categories of dimensions and material properties of dominant classes of wood poles. Uncertainties in applied wind loads and the structural response of the wood poles are accounted for in this framework to improve the accuracy of the derived fragility curves. This is achieved by making reasonable assumptions on the dispersion of the pole dimensions and material properties. The Latin hypercube sampling technique is used to generate and randomly pair 5,000 samples of the parameters of wind load and pole response. A Monte Carlo simulation is then used to compare realizations of the wind demand and pole capacities across a wide range of wind speeds, which serve as the intensity measure of the demand. The failure fragility curve is developed from the comparisons. The results of this research constitute a portion of risk analysis of power distribution networks against strong winds. ASCE and ATC 2013.

name of conference

  • Advances in Hurricane Engineering

published proceedings

  • Advances in Hurricane Engineering

author list (cited authors)

  • Shafieezadeh, A., Onyewuchi, P. U., Begovic, M. M., & DesRoches, R.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Shafieezadeh, Abdollah||Onyewuchi, Precious U||Begovic, Miroslav M||DesRoches, Reginald

publication date

  • November 2012