Global power grid failures being used to push smart grids

Thursday, August 16, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: power grid, failures, smart grids

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) India's recent massive power grid failure - the largest in history which left some 670 million people without power - has renewed calls for so-called smart grids in the United States, as some analysts have questioned whether a similar event could occur in North America.

Initial thoughts of a similar situation happening in the U.S. draw criticism from many quarters, especially from power industry officials who note that the American grid is much more hearty.

"But there are still situations that can cause major failures, and the interconnected nature of the electrical grid means a problem in one place can be far-reaching," writes Jesse Emspak at Discovery News.

Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for the California Independent System Operator Corporation, which manages power distribution for much of the state, notes that interconnectivity.

"Our grid is just one big machine," he said.

Keeping it all even

The country's infrastructure of power grids provides a constant flow and amount of energy; the voltage and current are related and must be kept at certain levels. Another facet of an alternating current system is that its generators must run in sync.

What that means is that the loads on equipment that transmits the power have to remain in balance. Excessive demand in one region pulls more current through the grid, which results in a drop in voltage.

"But running more current has another effect: Equipment heats up. The power lines, substations and everything else that make up the grid are all designed to operate up to a certain temperature," writes Emspak.

Think of a home. The electrical system is wired into a fuse box; circuit breakers trip when they get too hot. Older systems feature fuses, which blow out when they are overtaxed.

In an electrical grid, a drop in voltage on a transmission line, such as when ice or a tree downs one, creates a situation where the electrical load on the line has to be rebalanced. Power is shunted to lines that are still up and functioning. But that then places an extra load on them because the total amount of energy in the system remains the same. If enough lines crash, grids are designed to reduce their loads automatically by shutting down power to those areas.

And that may just be the way it is - in the U.S., India and elsewhere - for the foreseeable future.

Experts note that the current line-and-wire distribution system is what we are stuck with, likely for decades to come.

That means blackouts will continue to be a reality, though the better the power infrastructure, the less likely they are to happen.

"There's no magic technology that's going to allow us to transmit power wirelessly," Bob Gohn, vice president of research for Boulder-based Pike Research, told Discovery News in a separate interview.

"But there is a future with greater distributed power that is more independent, having your own power generation or with solar or gas power plants, and using storage systems to run your home for a while," he said.

Smart grid equals smarter technology

He says one idea floating around is to produce power locally by combining small-scale power generation with larger batteries located in homes as one way to get your house off the power grid. Such a system would be more reliable, quieter and produce less CO2 emissions than using a backup generator.

Some communities are already experimenting with the concept. Homes power electric storage systems combining solar panels, electric vehicles and smart-meter technology to get more homeowners off power grids and become more power independent.

"You may not run your entire house," says Gohn, "but you could keep your refrigerator going for a while."

Smart-grid experts are encouraging utilities to utilize wireless technology and advanced software systems to help them get a better handle on which houses, specifically, have been affected by outages.

"They won't prevent an outage, but they might allow you to restore things more quickly," Matt Wakefield, senior program manager of smart grid systems for the Electric Power Research Institute, an industry-based non-profit group, told DN.





Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.