Impact of Climate Change on Power Systems

  • Xiaolong Hu

Student thesis: Phd


The global mean surface temperature rise was observed in the past century and proved the warming of the earth climate system. Global warming is believed to continue into the next decades due to unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas emissions. As a consequence of global warming, extreme weather scenarios are also expected to occur more frequently. In such a context, it is of vital importance to assess the impacts of climate change on the operational performance of power systems.This thesis investigates the impacts of climate change on the operational performance of power systems. The future climate is simulated based on emission scenarios and is then used as an input to the thermal models of power system components to assess their ratings and ageing, and further the reliability of the system.This research contributes to a number of areas in power system research. In the literature review, the risks that climate change may cause to power systems are identified. The models used for the simulation of future climate are firstly introduced. The weather variables that can be simulated from the models include air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, soil moisture and soil temperature. Among the models, the one for soil temperature is originally developed in this thesis. Following this, the component thermal models of overhead line, cable and transformer, from different standards are compared and selected. After that, the sensitivity of component ratings to individual weather variables is investigated, as a preliminary study for the later research in this thesis. Then, the impacts of climate change on component ratings (including both static and dynamic rating) are comprehensively and probabilistically assessed. The assessment results indicate the reduction of component ratings due to climate change. The impacts of climate change on system reliability is further examined on the IEEE Reliability Test System. Results demonstrate and quantify the reduction of both component ratings and system reliability, and prove that the dynamic rating can be used to mitigate the reduction. Finally, the preliminary exploration of transformer ageing is carried out and shows an increased ageing rate due to air temperature rises.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorIan Cotton (Supervisor) & Simon Rowland (Supervisor)


  • Cable
  • Dynamic Thermal Rating
  • Transformer Ageing
  • Overhead Line
  • Power System Reliability
  • Thermal Rating
  • Power Systems
  • Transformer
  • Climate Change

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