Workshop on Fragility of Electrical Equipment and Components
June 20–21, 2012
UC Berkeley, Richmond Field Station,
PEER Laboratory and nees@berkeley Equipment Site

This event is now completed.

Workshop Description and Recap

In addition to Hybrid Simulation Workshop and K-12 Teacher’s Workshop planned for FY12, nees@berkeley organized a workshop with practicing engineers. Since the lab has a long-time relationship with utility and lifelines companies, a workshop on fragility of substation electrical equipment and components was conducted. In previous discussions and meetings, it was identified that the utilities experience a strong need for reliable means of assessing fragility of electrical component and equipment. As of today, the fragility assessment is limited to estimates based on subjective observations of equipment performance in earthquakes, results of qualification analysis of equipment (typically linear-elastic), projections of performance from qualification tests and expert opinion. This approach was used during the workshop to estimate fragility of various equipment. As a strong alternative to this approach, a hybrid simulation technique was presented to utility and lifeline engineers. In this case the parametric study needed for fragility curves can be conducted on many support structures without their physical presence. Instead the support structure can be modeled in a computer and equipment is tested in hybrid simulation that combines the physical object (equipment) and mathematical model of the support structure. Several presentations covering successful applications of hybrid simulation to seismic performance of electrical equipment were presented. It was demonstrated that the hybrid simulation represents a reliable tool for parametric studies of equipment’s seismic performance at reduced cost. Although the hybrid simulation technique does not by itself provide the seismic capacity of the equipment (unless test to failure is conducted), it does provide the means for better and more economical estimates of the effects of different support conditions on seismic response of the equipment. As a culmination of the workshop a demonstration test on a Real-Time Hybrid Simulation Platform at nees@berkeley was conducted.

More than 30 engineers participated in the workshop and they were affiliated with Bechtel, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Pacific Gas and Electric Co, San Diego Gas & Electric, Bonneville Power Administration, Southern California Edison and consulting engineering companies. The two-day workshop agenda covered a number of topics ranging from laboratory tests to performance observations from field studies. The presentations (PDF format) can be downloaded via links on the agenda webpage.


Workshop Pages: Agenda


nees@berkeley Laboratory • UC Berkeley — Richmond Field Station • 1301 South 46th Street, Building 484 • Richmond, CA 94804 •