Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Repost: It hertz when you do that – power grid to stop regulating 60 Hz frequency

This is a repost from the Blog: Watts up with that?

It's interesting to think how the ramifications of this will affect our industry.

A 60 hertz sine wave, over one cycle (360°).

“Experiment” on the US power grid will change the way some clocks and other equipment function.
Story submitted by Joe Ryan

The AP has released an “exclusive” story concerning the nationwide “experiment” that will be conducted on the US power grid.  The experiment will relieve the power providers from the duty of regulating the frequency of power on the line.
Normally the power stations condition their power to a frequency of 60 cycles a second, a frequency that many old clocks use to maintain their time.  With the new standard, or lack of standard, these clocks will stop keeping time properly.
But the problem is more than that.
First, we have this gem from Joe McLelland who heads the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (from AP article):

“Is anyone using the grid to keep track of time?” McClelland said. “Let’s see if anyone complains if we eliminate it.”
… forgive me for not getting warm fuzzies from this.  Likewise,  Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, had this to say (AP Article again):
“A lot of people are going to have things break and they’re not going to know why,”
So, we have what appears to be an untested, for the hell of it, “experimental” major change to the US electrical grid coming in a few weeks and those in charge aren’t really sure how it will work or if it may break something?
Not only is this what a LAB is for, but it is also something that the Federal Government should be TELLING people about in advance, and not in an AP “exclusive” press release.