devastating solar storms expected to knock out National Grid in 2013

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posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Sinny
Don't let Phage dishearten you, he has a good eye for facts, but can be fallible and dogmatic,

If it helps your cause, since 2010 I've heard about the 2013 solar storms a cummin..

Yeah, but the latest research on the upcoming 2013 solar maximum indicates that this solar max will be relatively weak.

Sure -- solar events can possibly cause disruptions to the power grid and damage to satellites, but there is no reason that anyone should expect (the word used in the thread title) these things to happen. What's "expected" is that this solar max will be relatively weak, and will NOT necessarily cause a higher probability of large-scale devastation.

Our power grid has survived solar maximums before.

edit on 8/23/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I think I said that the figure 40kV was just an example without base.
But lets calculate something.

Germany´s grid is 1,78 million km long.
1,78 x 12V = 21,36 MV
Highest voltage layer is 400kV I think.
So that´s 53,4x times higher then the highest grid layer.
Keep in mind, only Germany´s grid. Europe is interconnected.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I know about the hotspot issue pretty well

However, my main point was about the weak point and that even if they [EDIT: they = emergency generator] are galvanic isolated from the grid, there is a chance that they will take damage from high voltage spikes. If such an potential difference is build, there are severe local potentials that are enough to produce arcs.
grounding does not matter when your phases have potential differences above the coil tolerance, they will destroy the windings from overheating because when there are so much electrons aviable, there will be enough current to produce enough heat. In this case there is no half cycle saturation needed to finish the guy.
edit on 23-8-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-8-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by Sinny
 


thanks,

Nasa were flagging it around 2009 but it appears now , closer to the time, that they have re-assessed its possible impact and expect it to be a weak end to the cycle.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by verschickter
 


Germany´s grid is 1,78 million km long.

Irrelevant. That is not a continuous transmission line and all of those lines do not have the same geomagnetic orientation. Some of those lines will be subject to induced currents and some will not. There will not be any potential of 21MV. There will be much lower out of phase potentials which may be problematic for substations.



If such an potential difference is build, there are severe local potentials that are enough to produce arcs.

There is no reason to believe that any severe local potentials would be produced. The grid problems associated with geomagnetic storms are not associated with high induced voltages. It is more complex than that.
edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by eriktheawful

Originally posted by MamaJ
reply to post by eriktheawful
 


I agree, we would have time to prepare and hope " they" would take heed in doing so.

The what ifs still creep into my mind though. Lol

The main concern if this were to happen will be with GPS. I'm not sure how we can prepare avoiding that issue.


Well, you know, humans got along just fine before GPS....

Compass, maps......using s sextant at sea.


Mater of fact, I trained on how to use one while I was in the Navy.


What I would be more concerned about is communications satellites going down and cell phone's not being available for months or more.

So many people out there would go into some sort of shock and widthdraw...........


I lived in Naples, Italy in the early 80's for 3 years. We didn't have a telephone. Got along just fine.


I was thinking of planes and transportation of goods. Other than that, I'm not too worried. More worried of a dang holy war than anything. People are nuts!



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by lacrimaererum
 


Nasa were flagging it around 2009 but it appears now , closer to the time, that they have re-assessed its possible impact and expect it to be a weak end to the cycle.


This is the cause of much confusion. The only prediction which has ever made is about the number of sunspots to be expected. The intensity of activity or its impact on Earth has never been predicted.

Very early predictions for Solar cycle 24 was for a higher than average sunspot number. That was revised to a lower than average sunspot number. Sunspot number has no known connection to the intensity of CME activity (which is what our concern is). However, with a higher sunspot number the probability of geoeffective CMEs is greater. This is why Solar maximum is discussed, but there has never been any scientific prediction that any exceptional Solar storm would occur on or around any given date.

A severe geomagnetic storm could occur next week, next year, in two years or not for 200 years. There is, as yet, no way of knowing.
edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by verschickter
reply to post by eriktheawful
 




But the gap in the spark plug is very small, so that potential is able to make the jump easily.


But you made a huge mistake here. Potential does not jump, its the electrons that are moving. Voltage is the difference in potential of two points. Means, electron count difference. Electrical field is the "space" in the conductor (can be air, too, see elco´s) between the potential.

We have to differ between that, its important.
When high energy electrons punch through the magnetic ribbons and hit conductors, they pose a external electron source so we could calculate the maximum electron count in all those conductors but its not the only factor, there is induction, too.
edit on 23-8-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)




I'm one too.


I specialize in radar equipment (Navy), and work with satellite communication systems.

When I said "jump" I meant that the difference of potential get's large enough, the electrons jump.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Phage, one thing that I learned in my 30 years of working with electricity is that it can do things that surprise you, or seem to defy the very rules for it. This is mostly when dealing with high voltage, high current and the human factor.

The human factor is the equipment that is built. No conductor is perfect, and no insulator is perfect. Especially when they are mass produced. My father used to work for Ohio Brass, the Hubble division, and he showed me how they do the quality assurance when they build their high voltage insulators. Only a certain amount from each batch that is manufactures is pulled for testing. A certain number of those are allowed to fail and the batch is still sent out. It is very possible to have equipment that has flaws that will not show up under normal operations, but can fail when conditions approach or exceed their tolerances.

Laminated wires used in generators can break down slowly with age and heat, where again, during normal operations they still function like they are suppose to, but again can fail when the upper tolerances are approached, especially if approached quickly.

I've seen lightning damage on high voltage equipment many times in my life, and I've seen it blow out equipment that it should never have been able to touch. You'd almost swear it magically happened, but it was simply because of the complex conditions that allowed it to arc and travel (particulates in the air, air humidity, etc).

I've worked on power inverters that have taken direct hits, yet only the fuse was blown. And then the next one that I repaired wasn't touched by any lighting.....but the primary transformer caught fire simply from a power surge (usually because the maintenance guy replaced the fuse with a metal object because they got tired of having to replace the fuse that kept going (ignoring that by blowing all the time, it was showing that it was breaking down).

So please remember that a "isolated" generator is only isolated in a electrical sense, and then the isolation is only during normal operations. And that's because of what electricity is made of: electrons.

Air isn't a good conductor, because it lacks the free electrons that a real conductor (metal wire) has. But given enough EMF (electromotive force), you can make ANYTHING conduct. Even rubber, fiberglass and plastics can conduct, and is why we have different types of electrical gloves or discharge rods (a discharge rod is a plastic or fiberglass rod with a metal tip and a long cable that you can clamp to ground. It's used to discharge high voltage capacitors or high voltage charging networks, like a PFN or Pulse Forming Network). They are rated for a certain amount of voltage. Use it on something that has a higher voltage and you risk electrocution because the voltage is high enough to force the electrons in those insulators to conduct.

I think what both Verschickter and I are saying is: don't think that any high voltage system has perfect protection from things. Engineers design it as best as they can, but there are many ways for things to go wrong, break down, or do the unexpected.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 


I think what both Verschickter and I are saying is: don't think that any high voltage system has perfect protection from things. Engineers design it as best as they can, but there are many ways for things to go wrong, break down, or do the unexpected.

Where have I said that high voltage cannot damage equipment?

I have said two things (regarding emergency generators specifically).
1) Being designed for emergency purposes, they have built in safeguards against power grid fluctuations.
2) Geomagnetic storms do not produce extreme voltage levels.

Power grids are at risk during electromagnetic storms because of problems within the power transmission system. Those problems cause the system to breakdown, not due to high induced voltages but due to various internal "feedback" situations. The damage can range from emergency system shutdowns to destruction of transformers to the shutdown or damage of generating equipment. While this occurs there may well be fluctuations in the distribution system and those fluctuations could well damage insufficiently protected systems which are connected to the distribution grid but there would be no outrageously high voltages produced. That is not the concern.
edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by DenyObfuscation
reply to post by lacrimaererum
 



Next year the sun is due to peak in current 11year solar storm cycle.

Any idea why this time would be worse than the previous peak in 2002?


the first video of the Japo astrophysicist dude, Machio or whatever... said it'll knock us back 100 years...that's all....

nothing too dramatic... we'll just need to update all our electronic hardware after that



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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What will the teenagers do without cell phones?!?



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by eriktheawful
 


I think what both Verschickter and I are saying is: don't think that any high voltage system has perfect protection from things. Engineers design it as best as they can, but there are many ways for things to go wrong, break down, or do the unexpected.

Where have I said that high voltage cannot damage equipment?

I have said two things (regarding emergency generators specifically).
1) Being designed for emergency purposes, they have built in safeguards against power grid fluctuations.
2) Geomagnetic storms do not produce extreme voltage levels.


edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)


And number 2 is where i get to say:

How much voltage can a geomagnetic storm induce on a transmission line? What is the maximum amount? The Canadian lines carried up to 790 kVAC normally.

I've done some research after first seeing this thread this morning. I can't find anywhere, anyone specifically saying what the upper limit of current that can be induced this way.

Obviously there will be a limit of some sort, because of how impedance in the transmission lines works, there will be a certain upper limit to the amount of current the line can handle.

But the amount of current induced is also dependent upon the strength of the magnetic field that the conductor moves through (or in this case the field is moving and the conductor is stationary). And the size of the conductor moving through a magnetic field.

So again: can you show us what that upper limit is? I've not been able to find one.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by Trillium
 


Geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) in long-line power delivery systems are caused by the rate-of-change of the geomagnetic field, just as in an E3 pulse.

www.thespacereview.com...
Yes. That is what I said. The power grid is at risk. Emergency generators are not.
It is the E1 phase of an EMP weapon which can damage electronics. Geomagnetic storms do not produce an E1 phase.



edit on 8/22/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)


Better read these over again
But the Canadian National Research Council and the Province of Quebec have a
Different line of thinking and this was only a moderate intensity from a
Geomagnetic storms off E3 and E2 from
www.thespacereview.com...
The real threat: geomagnetic storms
For the reasons outlined above, it is highly unlikely that any adversary would choose to—or, in the case of a terrorist cell, even be remotely capable of—carrying out a nuclear EMP strike against the US. However, it is virtually guaranteed that a powerful geomagnetic storm, capable of knocking out a significant section of the US electrical grid, will occur within the next few decades. In fact, this may well happen even within next few years as we approach the next period of elevated solar activity, known as “solar maximum”, which is forecast to peak in 2013. Geomagnetic storms are E3-like: low-intensity but long-lasting and low-frequency coupling to long-lines.
The first recorded evidence of space weather effects on technology was in 1847 when currents were registered in electric telegraph wires. Later, in 1859, a major failure of telegraph systems in New England and Europe coincided with a large solar flare called the “Carrington Event”, after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating flare. However, the real modern-era wakeup call to geomagnetic susceptibility of our infrastructure was the (moderate intensity) geomagnetic storm that shut down the entire Hydro Quebec grid in March 1989. There were also reports of computer failures in August of that year in Toronto, Canada (which possibly indicate that the associated geomagnetic activity had considerably faster components than just E3).
www.magazine.noaa.gov...

www.newscientist.com...
Solar storms halt stock market as computers crash
 09 September 1989 by LEIGH DAYTON , VANCOUVER
 Magazine issue 1681. Subscribe and save

SCIENTISTS blame an intense burst of solar activity for events which halted all trading on Toronto's stock market last month. Officials watched in disbelief as three disc drives failed in succession on what is supposed to be a 'fault-tolerant' computer system. The crash stopped trading for three hours. 'I don't know what the gods were doing to us,' said John Kane, the vice president of the exchange.
The Sun is currently unusually active. The present period of activity - marked by solar flares, discharges of charged particles and magnetic storms on Earth - began in the spring (This Week, 25 March). Scientists in Canada believe that the Sun is responsible for malfunctions in many personal computers across the country and for a two-hour power cut in parts of the province of Quebec.
Victor Gaizauskas, a solar physicist at the Canadian National Research Council, predicts that there will be more bouts ...



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 

As I pointed out, a figure of 12 V/km is a a typical figure used but it can vary depending on the geomagnetic (N-S, E-W) orientation of the line, the latitude, and the conductivity of the earth. While levels of 20 v/km have been proposed as a worst case, it is estimated that during the Carrington event the maximum reached was 10 V/km.

Given an average of 60 miles for a 765kv (the longest lines) line in the US, that 20 v/km would produce less than 2,000 volts. And again, that potential is within the transmission line, it does not get transferred directly to the distribution system. The problem is not voltage.


Here are some documents I've found useful.
www.fas.org...
www.eiscouncil.com...
edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by eriktheawful
 

As I pointed out, a figure of 12 V/km is a a typical figure used but it can vary depending on the geomagnetic (N-S, E-W) orientation of the line, the latitude, and the conductivity of the earth. While levels of 20 v/km have been proposed as a worst case, it is estimated that during the Carrington event the maximum reached was 10 V/km.

Given an average of 60 miles for a 765kv (the longest lines) line in the US, that 20 v/km would produce less than 2,000 volts. And again, that potential is within the transmission line, it does not get transferred directly to the distribution system. The problem is not voltage.


Here are some documents I've found useful.
www.fas.org...
www.eiscouncil.com...
edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)


Thanks. I'll take some time to read through it (most likely through dinner).



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 05:52 PM
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the NOAA space weather site here:

www.swpc.noaa.gov...

relates number of sunspots to solar cycle.

2002 and about 115, and so far we are under, at 75. just look at the chart. we are about 30 sunspots below the 2001 to 2002 period.

so if sunspots have an relation to a carrington event, it is less likely now then in 2002.

now earlier in thread phage questions the correlation of carrington and sunspots. good point. so where might one find yearly sunspot reporting from aroun 1857?

keep in mind that the definition of a sunspot has surely changed.

my opinion is that a cme is going to blow the grid is less likely now then in 2002.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by darkstar57
 


so where might one find yearly sunspot reporting from aroun 1857?

Easy access here:
Sunspot Numbers

The definition of sunspots hasn't really changed but the way the sunspot number is calculated varies a bit.


edit on 8/23/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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After reading through the articles that Phage was able to provide me, along with further research on the subjects of geomagnetic storms, I find that I have to agree with him in that from what we know of magnetic field strengths during these storms, it is of course very possible to still damage/destroy substation systems, but I'm finding a lack of support for any kind of arcing possibility through the switching system of something like emergency generating systems (IE the subject of emergency generators being damaged by an arc over from e geomagnetic event).

Here is why I'm having to agree with him for now on it:

First, magnetic field strength is measured in Teslas, normally represented by the capital letter "T"

During the 1859 event the field strength was estimated to be has high as -1750 nT ( nT stands for Nano Teslas) or -0.00000175 Teslas.

The Canadian 1989 event it was measured at -589 nT or -0.000000589 Teslas.

Source

Here is why that's important. The field strength of a generator that runs at 50 Hz, with a 240 VAC output, with 120 cm^2 coils is measured at -3.1 T or -3.1 Tesla

Magnetic Field Equations

That filed strength on that small generator is 1.77 MILLION times greater than that of the 1859 event, yet 240 VAC is too small to produce an arc.

That said, I still will not say that it can never happen. There could be all sorts of conditions from something that could induce a high voltage arc across the switching circuit for emergency back up generators.

However, Phage has convinced me that a geomagnetic storm alone would not be able to do that, as far as we know, because the strongest magnetic field is just way too small to induce enough voltage to make that jump.

I would say that because we've only been monitoring the sun for such a short time in human history (and the Earth's magnetic field too), that it's possible for us to have had stronger storms with higher measurements. However, given how strong the 1859 event was (the flare was a X15, norther lights seen all the way to the equator, and bright enough to read by in England), given the amount of particles it took from the sun, I would shrudder to think of how much of a flare it would take to make that field strength a million times stronger (I think the Earth's field would actually collapse before that happened to tell you the truth).

ETA - thanks again for the article Phage. They were a good read.
edit on 23-8-2012 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 09:42 PM
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Always looking forward to the next disaster.

Won't matter anyway, the world ends in a few months. lmao

Keeping being afraid man.





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