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Utility asset management in the electrical power distribution sector

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1 Author(s)
I. E. Davidson ; Sch. of Electr., Electron. & Comput. Eng., KwaZulu-Natal Univ., Durban

Asset management is a concept that has been used in both the private and public sectors with a vast number of interpretations. In the context of an electricity distribution utility, asset management can be defined as a systematic process of, cost-effectively, operating, maintaining and upgrading of electrical assets by combining engineering practices and economic analysis with sound business practice. Any given electrical distribution network is made up of the primary and secondary plants hence these assets too can be classified as either primary or secondary plant assets. The rapid rates of technology developments as well as technology integration have continued to pose challenges to asset management in the global electrical power sector. This paper presents the fundamental principles of maintenance, refurbishment and strengthening as strategic methods for managing assets in the electrical power distribution sector, using some regional electricity distributors as case-study examples. The key question addressed is how these asset management strategies (maintenance, refurbishment and network strengthening) can be optimally applied, on both the primary and secondary plants, in order to achieve maximum asset utilization which would consequently yield high "returns on assets" (ROA)

Published in:

2005 IEEE Power Engineering Society Inaugural Conference and Exposition in Africa

Date of Conference:

11-15 July 2005