Dumb question of the day

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posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:45 AM
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Lets say not war but natural disaster. Earthquake, volcano, meteor, comet, or even a kill shot from the sun. One part of all these possible disaster was loss of power. So I have to ask why we have these power grids? Instead of a single grid powering the western US and western Canada would it not make more sense to have individual city power networks? Or even county by county? What are your thoughts?




posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:48 AM
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reply to post by remembering
 


The government doesn't work by common sense. As far as I know power companies are still under the thumb of the government.



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:48 AM
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cost prohibitive



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:51 AM
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Control.



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:55 AM
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ets sorry misread

It is area by area thats hwy they dont go out all at once.......


edit on 24-11-2012 by zonetripper2065 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:57 AM
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reply to post by remembering
 


Dear remembering,

It is not quite the way you imagine. Each power plant is local and has a primary service area, it is also able to buy and sell energy from other service areas. The idea is one of "peak load". One of the problems with green energy is that it cannot adjust to peak load as they cannot just burn more coal, oil or natural gas. By integrating the power grids it allows people to have energy even if their power plant is not making any.



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 02:00 AM
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Dunno about your situation, but where I live if the power goes out, it is staggered. Like a spider web, if one segment loses power, it doesn't mean that others along the line will, they're still able to be fed power from other links.

I thought this was just how it worked, as a result of how the grids have spread.

I dunno, if there was a doosie of an event that actually took out the lot, I think we'd be more worried about what else was going to happen than why we never invested in maintaining electricity. Like the giant alien reptile thats shooting lazers out of its eyes and screeching as it terrorises Tokyo...



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 02:35 AM
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There are three power grids. East, West, and Texas. Each could function without the others, but one going down completely would cause quite a bit of havoc.

The demand grew faster than the infrastructure, now we can't keep up. That's why it's so inefficient.



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 01:42 PM
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You're talking about redundancy. Accountants hate redundancy--it's inefficient.

It's the same reason they hate warehouses. They push relentlessly for "just-in-time inventory." That means no warehouse, that goods are delivered regularly to a retailer, but only as existing inventory is depleted. This means that your grocery only carries x number of flashlights. They don't stock up, even if there's a storm coming.

Folks have posted on another site about how neighborhood Walmarts stock 3 and only 3 10-lb bags of flour. It doesn't matter if there's a snowstorm coming; they will only get more when those 3 sacks are sold out.

And if anything interrupts the supply chain...any earthquake or storm, any power outage or terror attack, your local grocery carries less that four days of food for your neighborhood, because "nothing can go wrong."

but back to your question.

The electrical grid in most of the US runs at 93% - 99% efficiency. In other words, there is less than a 7% redundancy, if anything goes wrong.


Sleep tight.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 07:18 PM
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The government does not own or operate any portion of the electrical grid. The most they have to do with it is regulatory control over nuclear plants.

It is up to the privately owned power companies to decide how many generation facilities to have and where to put them. As long as they have the money and permission to build, they can build as many as they like.

But the cost to build and operate these facilities are very high. Far too high to have one in every city.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by remembering
 


Dear remembering,

It is not quite the way you imagine. Each power plant is local and has a primary service area, it is also able to buy and sell energy from other service areas. The idea is one of "peak load". One of the problems with green energy is that it cannot adjust to peak load as they cannot just burn more coal, oil or natural gas. By integrating the power grids it allows people to have energy even if their power plant is not making any.
that is very accurate.
so, op this is your reason



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 10:14 PM
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It also depends on the generation capacity that the power company has on hand. Some local networks have more generation, than load. Others have more load, than generation. When a wide spread grid dropout happens, the local network will drop off the nation wide grid. If there is not enough generation to support the local load, then that local segment will collapse on it’s own.

The local grid’s area will be determined by company service area, and/or geography.

The Indiana network operated by hoosier energy is one network where that the generation exceeds load. Indiana has had to island it’s self several times over the years to isolate it’s self from wide spread power fluctuations. When that has happened, we have never really noticed anything.

Like the outage of 2003. That is why it stopped it’s westward spread at the Indiana border. Although Illinois didn’t like us dropping off the net very much. It caused Illinois to have a momentary power deficit and some localized outages until they could start pulling power off the Indiana grid again.

We didn’t really notice anything except a momentary brightening of the lights when the outage was happening. That brightening was the shedding of external (out of state) load. Once the generators could throttle down, everything went back to normal.



posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by allenidaho
The government does not own or operate any portion of the electrical grid. The most they have to do with it is regulatory control over nuclear plants.

It is up to the privately owned power companies to decide how many generation facilities to have and where to put them. As long as they have the money and permission to build, they can build as many as they like.

But the cost to build and operate these facilities are very high. Far too high to have one in every city.


Dear allenidaho,

Sorry for the late reply, I was out of town. In fact many municipalities own power plant. The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is famous and the largest. I personally live in a city of about 100,000 and we own our power plants.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by remembering
 


I just had this conversation with one of the head techs at our power company (a friend). I assumed, because of our location, that we were a stand alone system. Man was I wrong. He told me that up until recently we were, but government regulations on coal burning forced them to shut all the plants and get on the grid. From what said we are so interconnected there is NO looking back....I trust his opinion



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