Archive

Archive for the ‘power grid’ Category

Power-grid experiment could confuse electric clocks

June 25, 2011 Comments off

msnbc

Traffic lights, security systems and computers may be affected by frequency change as well
Chris Carthart

Charles Krupa  /  AP

A UPS delivery man in South Boston wheels packages past a store window featuring clocks at Quincy Market in Boston.

WASHINGTON — A yearlong experiment with America’s electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast.

“A lot of people are going to have things break and they’re not going to know why,” said Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of two official timekeeping agencies in the federal government.

Since 1930, electric clocks have kept time based on the rate of the electrical current that powers them. If the current slips off its usual rate, clocks run a little fast or slow. Power companies now take steps to correct it and keep the frequency of the current — and the time — as precise as possible.

The group that oversees the U.S. power grid is proposing an experiment that would allow more frequency variation than it does now without Read more…

Mexico supplies electricity to wintry Texas

February 4, 2011 Comments off

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexico’s state electricity company on Wednesday started supplying electricity to the US state of Texas, where demand shot up amid unusually cold temperatures and caused power outages.

Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission “was determined to support Texas with electrical energy faced with the problems the state is suffering due to climatological conditions,” a statement said.

An energy transfer of 280 megawatts began at midday (1800 GMT) via the north Mexican border cities of Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Piedras Negras, it added.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a statement that power and emergency management experts were working with utility providers to ensure power was restored as quickly as possible.

“Until that happens, I urge businesses and residents to conserve electricity to minimize the impact of this event,” Perry added.

An epic winter storm Wednesday buried more than a third of the United States in drifting snow, sleet and ice that brought air and road travel to a halt.

Snowstorms also paralyzed air transport, blocked operations in factories and caused schools to shut in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Ciudad Juarez mayor Hector Murgia said the temperatures of around minus 13 degrees centigrade (8.6 Fahrenheit) were the lowest recorded in almost 50 years.