Young to OR 20 Annual Conference

Modelling Asset Risk at Northern Powergrid

Our consultant Panagiotis Samartzis will be at the Young to OR 20 Annual Conference on Tuesday 4 April. He will present our recent work where we collaborated with Northern Powergrid (NPg) to develop an innovative decision-support tool.

Northern Powergrid (NPg) is an electrical distribution company for the northeast part of the UK. Planning the maintenance of NPg’s portfolio, which is north of 500k assets, has proven over the years to be quite challenging due to the dynamic and complex nature of their health condition, as well as their sheer volume.

In order to assist the aforementioned process, NPg has collaborated with decisionLab, a London-based OR and Data Science consultancy, so as to develop an innovative decision-support tool – the Asset Risk Model (ARM). The ARM, which is built in AIMMS*, employs a number of OR techniques that assists NPg’s asset managers to make optimised intervention decisions in order to reduce the risk associated with their asset portfolio.

At the heart of the model, the health deterioration of the assets is calculated employing probability distributions. Then a mixture of flexible multiple threshold criteria as well as decision maps is implemented in order to identify the optimum interventions, based on four different budgetary scenarios, providing increased flexibility to the user. The optimal plan is subsequently allocated to a year in the planning period. Furthermore, the ARM enables the identification and allocation of interventions across multiple asset categories, even across the whole portfolio, in a consistent, robust yet computationally inexpensive way.

Moreover, a plethora of features has been incorporated into the ARM that greatly enhance the decision-making process. In particular, interventions can be planned on specific dates, the geographical proximity of intervention sites is taken into account as well as constraints are imposed on the allowed number of interventions per year to name but a few.

Finally, a variety of output pages and regulatory reports in order to visualise the results of all investment strategies is produced by the ARM. Hence, the monitoring of the process is ensured as well as the running of multiple what-if scenarios is facilitated, making it an iterative procedure.

* AIMMS is a leading commercial optimisation modelling software tool.

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