FURI | Spring 2018

Simulating Interdependent Infrastructure Vulnerability to Projected Demand Increases in Phoenix

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Water and power distribution networks are vulnerable to increasing stress as urban populations and ambient temperatures rise. This work identified critical nodes and conditions that produced cascading failures in real-time simulations representing Phoenix in 2020, 2040, 2060, and 2080. Power demand increases with temperature are higher than expected, creating a smaller safety margin and higher propensity to fail. Power failures appear more detrimental when at a critical location, or coincided with water system failures. Recommended future work involves incorporating more localized urban heat island modeling and examining alternative electrical and power network configurations to be more resilient to failure.

Student researcher

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Suzanne Schadel


Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Graduation date: Fall 2019