How can Exponent's systematic, risk-based framework help you make more informed electric utility asset management decisions?
Extended dry spells increase wildland fuel, enabling wildfires to ignite easier, burn more intensely, and spread faster. Risks of an electric utility asset failure starting a catastrophic wildfire have proliferated in recent decades — especially in the western United States — and regulatory agencies like the California Public Utilities Commission are requiring utility companies to demonstrate their plan for using more advanced, systematic techniques that quantify risk reduction and associated remediation.
Exponent provides unparalleled electric utility consulting to help you quantify asset failure probability, develop models to demonstrate degradation, and predict fire growth over time. We've worked with utility clients to develop a state-of-the-art tool that provides risk-based metrics for determining asset health system-wide. This framework is then used to compare the relative risk of each piece of asset — such as tens of thousands of electrical towers or wood utility poles — to target repair, replacement, or other capital improvement projects to those assets that pose the greatest risk. Based on inspection inputs, outage history, and real-time data, our advanced predictive models enable more precise decision-making when it counts.
Given the multifaceted challenges in electric utility asset management and wildfire mitigation, Exponent is uniquely qualified with our multidisciplinary teams of materials scientists, electrical engineers, civil engineers, thermal engineers, metallurgical engineers, data scientists, health toxicologists, epidemiologists, and others — all under one roof. We have assisted clients in curbing wildfire risk by measuring transmission structure failure probability as a function of wind speed within a given high fire-threat zone. And our degradation modeling work has helped utilities predict when specific assets may reach threshold strength levels and require replacement. We perform failure modes and effects analysis, reliability and maintenance assessments, asset health condition assessments, project prioritization, and provide risk management records and data management, regulatory compliance support, as well as change and quality management.
Under site-specific conditions, Exponent can predict fire growth over time, so you can evaluate catastrophic fire risk in an area during specific meteorological events. Our damage assessments can assist you in better managing assets by evaluating the extent of fire damage to equipment, enabling asset repair and replacement to reduce the likelihood of failure or electrical arcing. Additionally, Exponent's origin and cause investigations aid in the evaluation of physical evidence from wildfire investigations and litigation. This helps clients understand potential consequences of wildfires such as landslides, assess natural resource recovery, and mitigate future litigation risks.
Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled
With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.
Our global and comprehensive expertise across industries gives us a deep understanding of current challenges, best industry practices, and the implications of emerging technologies.