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Europe's clocks loose time because: Balkans

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posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 08:03 AM
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This reads like satire but apparently it's real:



SARAJEVO, March 7 (Reuters) - European power grid lobby ENTSO-E urged Serbia and Kosovo to urgently resolve a dispute over their power grid, which has affected the broader European network, causing some digital clocks on the continent to lose time.

The grid shared by Serbia and its former province Kosovo is connected to Europe’s synchronized high voltage power network.

ENTSO-E, which represents European electricity transmission operators, said the continental network had lost 113 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy since mid-January because Kosovo had been using more electricity than it generates. Serbia, which is responsible for balancing Kosovo’s grid, had failed to do so, ENTSO-E said.

The loss of energy had meant that electric clocks that are steered by the frequency of the power system, rather than by a quartz crystal, to lag nearly six minutes behind, ENTSO-E said.
Serbia, Kosovo power grid row delays European clocks

Second source:
European clocks lose six minutes after dispute saps power from electricity grid


I find this quite alarming as it sounds to me like this could be exploited on purpose maybe combined with a hacking attack. Cascade effect, blackouts... And of course Balkans again. Serbia, Kosovo, not a minute to be lost, no time to loose,... Six minutes lost! As I was saying: almost sounds like satire.



Kosovo and Serbia have no time to lose. “Kosovo, wants dialogue to be successfully concluded this year, with the legally binding Agreement,” he said. According Thaci, Kosovo is ready to put the final step in this direction. “We know that this big Agreement with Serbia will be the ultimate guarantee for the triumph of peace and stability in these parts of Europe,” 

Kosovo President: Binding Agreement with Serbia This Year
edit on 8-3-2018 by MindBodySpiritComplex because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-3-2018 by MindBodySpiritComplex because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 08:12 AM
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Should be interesting to see who's being responsible for this.

Also, we need a revolution on how our electricity system works. This won't last for any more than 30 to 50 years.
edit on 8/3/2018 by vinifalou because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 10:18 AM
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My watch is also a little slow. Everybody update yourselves to my time.

I clearly don't understand this arse-about-face way of doing things, but it's clearly unstable.

Do all countries tie their clocks to their power flow?

If they lose power completely, does time stop? I do have a few things that I need to get done.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 10:45 AM
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originally posted by: SlowNail
My watch is also a little slow. Everybody update yourselves to my time.

I clearly don't understand this arse-about-face way of doing things, but it's clearly unstable.

Do all countries tie their clocks to their power flow?

If they lose power completely, does time stop? I do have a few things that I need to get done.


computers and anything useful do not tell time through the voltage coming from the wall. oscillations of quartz crystals are always stable and keep the time right. If you look on your motherboard you will find a little metal box with a crystal in it.

your phone syncs up online or over network to real agreed upon time, which is based on atomic clocks.

maybe your coffee maker or electric stove or microwave went a little behind. The things where when the power goes off and back on they don't show correct time anymore.

America is 110-120 volts 60hertz.. That's 60 strikes per second.. so when your coffee maker feels 3600 blips, it knows 1 minute has passed. or for Europe at 50hertz its 3,000 blips is one minute..

Any real clock doesn't rely on these things.

And in other words everything is adjusted back to atomic clocks anyway.


edit on 8-3-2018 by Reverbs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 01:42 PM
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Lol, where dd the six minutes go?

Nowhere, clocks are a control measure.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 03:58 PM
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a reply to: MindBodySpiritComplex

To understand why this is happening you'll need to know a bit about the way the (European) power grid works: it is a highly connected and well-regulated grid that is served by many AC generators (housed in various power plants). These generators are all kept in sync to provide a neat 50 Hz signal. So, to put it simple: they all rotate with an exact speed of 3000 RPM.

if production and demand were in perfect balance all the time there would be an even load on the grid and hence on each generator. This would make it very easy to regulate the grid to produce an all-time 50 Hz frequency.

However, sometimes some generators unexpectedly fail. Demand varies wildly. But it is a big grid and the operators are quite good in shifting the load around to ensure that all have sufficient energy. But still, don't forget that all this is done in real time, there are (almost) no buffers in the grid. Therefore in real life the load on the generators may frequently shift from 'a bit too much' (more demand than currently is produced) to 'a bit too less' (more produced than in demand). This affects the frequency of the grid. If there is more demand than production, the generators will run slighly slower because they all receive a bigger load, if the production is bigger than expected, the generators will run faster and exceed 50 Hz.

Because many devices (e.g. clocks) rely on the AVERAGE frequency of the grid to be exactly 50 Hz, the UCTE (Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity), an organization of electric transmission system operators in and near continental Europe, monitors these deviations and if the average deviation over a longer period in time becomes too big, UCTE will require the network operators to make a correction. In such cases, generators may be required to be ran slightly faster or slower for some period of time, and on average, the frequency then pans out to the desired 50 Hz exact. Note that still in real time the frequency may vary (quite wildly sometimes).

The correction can not be made if for whatever reason a larger part of the grid fails for an unexpectedly long period of time. The backlag becomes too big to compensate - and that's exactly what has been happening as of lately, because the Kosovo region seems to structurally have trouble producing sufficient amounts of energy due to conflicts in the region. So, as a result all generators that DO produce energy get a bigger load, this makes them run slightly slower and the frequency will fall back to say 49.95 Hz for a longer period of time, without being balanced out by intentionally planned periods that the grid has a slight overproduction.

Because cheap clocks rely on the fact that the AVERAGE frequency of the net is kept to 3000 rpm / 50 Hz pulses they normally run on time on AVERAGE. Yes, such cheap clocks, when compared with say quartz clocks, sometimes run a bit behind, than run a bit too fast, but on average they keep the correct time.

However, the current situation is that the power grid can not produce sufficient energy, demand is higher than production, and so all generators on the grid are suffering from a slight overload which makes it impossible for ICTU to regulate the grid back within it's normal limits.
edit on 8-3-2018 by ForteanOrg because: he grinded away at the grid a bit..



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 07:52 PM
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originally posted by: MindBodySpiritComplex
I find this quite alarming as it sounds to me like this could be exploited on purpose maybe combined with a hacking attack. Cascade effect, blackouts... And of course Balkans again. Serbia, Kosovo, not a minute to be lost, no time to loose,... Six minutes lost! As I was saying: almost sounds like satire.

It's not alarming, only non-important clocks use the power grid frequency, it's not stable enough to give an accurate result over a few months. I think my mini hi-fi uses that method, as the clock is always deviating from the real time, I just adapt to it. At this time it's 20 minutes in advance.


As for using too much energy, the suppliers can always shut it down and see what happens.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 09:50 PM
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When I was first stationed in Germany, back in the early 1990s... we weren't warned of the frequency difference... our 60Hz alarm clocks that we bought stateside, made us very late on our first duty day. We, of course had to do crappy details all day... then, we were sent to the BX to buy "European" alarm clocks.

Since then, I have gone to great lengths to purchase equipment with 50/60Hz 110/220V switchable power supplies.

Edit to add: I lived in the Philippines for a year as a civilian. I had to buy a voltage regulator for the house, because of wild voltage swings. Our power was supposed to be a steady 220V... it actually varied as much as +/- 60V. I burned up a computer power supply before finding that out.
edit on 8-3-2018 by madmac5150 because: Can't sleep, the clowns will eat me.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 10:05 PM
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This is normal on electricity grid systems although the time error in this instance was allowed to grow too large without action to compensate for it. What happens as the overall load increases is the generators slow down and the governors on the generators sense the small drop in frequency and increase output. When load is falling after the peak the opposite happens with governors decreasing output as the frequency rises but there is a lag in response (governor speed droop setting) and without additional action to correct the accumulated time error things can get out of hand quickly if the system only tries to maintain system frequency with no (or inadequate) attention to time error.

The error correction system usually has multiple stages of response so it can get more and more aggressive as the error gets larger. The amount of appliances & machines dependant on accurate system frequency is decreasing all the time these days (things with mains connected synchronous motors in particular).



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 12:33 AM
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Even the mighty BPA can let wall clocks wander during extra heavy load use times. It's more important to keep all their dynamos in perfect sequence, or things can go South.



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