Friday, August 02, 2013

"Phasor" technology can make power grid(s) more stable, but will they work against solar geomagnetic storms?

The power grids of the IS could become more resilient with new technology using “Phasor measurements”, according to a front page story in the New York Times August 1 by Matthew L. Wald, “New tools for keeping the lights on”, link here

Wald reports that the United States is divided into three grids: the eastern two-thirds of the nation, Texas, and western states.  (That is, Texas could still become a separate country if it wanted to?)

The massive power failure in the northeast in 2003 occurred after equipment failure and mismanagement in a circuit in northern Ohio.  The new equipment would prevent such a failure from spreading. 

The obvious question is whether phasor technology would protect transformers during massive solar storms (geomagnetic disturbances from coronal mass ejections) or even terror EMP attacks. 

The Department of Energy says that about 1000 phasor units should be deployed around the country by the end of 2014.  But that’s probably after the anticipated maximum in solar storm activity this cycle.  

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