Author Topic: The European power grid has been running slow  (Read 4590 times)

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Offline BrianHG

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2018, 02:10:16 pm »
How many clocks actually are based on the grid frequency?  Between cell phones and battery operated clocks far less than half of mine care about line frequency.  The primary exceptions are the ones in the microwave and the coffee maker.
My 2 alarm clocks (one of which seems to run fast on occasion from the sensitivity to one of my stupid LED lights ballasts putting some HF on my mains).
Stove clock.
Wall clock.
Microwave clock.
Nuclear bomb clock.
Death clock.  (This one I would like to run slow...)
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Online Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2018, 05:33:43 pm »
How many clocks actually are based on the grid frequency?  Between cell phones and battery operated clocks far less than half of mine care about line frequency.  The primary exceptions are the ones in the microwave and the coffee maker.
Almost everything that loses the time in an outage. Your kitchen, your alarm clock, your radio.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2018, 07:12:12 pm »
I never realized the frequency changed based on load until I saw a video about everyone starting up their kettles at the same time causing them to have to fire up extra capacity. I guess it makes sense, since most power plants are based on generating AC from spinning turbines so any extra physical resistance is going to make it harder to turn, so it will turn slightly slower.  All power plants will more or less sync due to magnetics.  Each one would need to start pushing a little harder more or less in sequence to speed them up again.

That data logging is neat, would be kinda neat to set something like that up at home for fun.
Simpler than logging, if you want to see it in real time, get a 2 channel scope, get a crystal locked 50/60hz signal on 1 trace, and, probe the mains through a cheap ac transformer on the second channel.  Watch you mains slowly scroll in one direction, then slow down, then scroll in the other direction, every few minutes.   Well, it's like that for Hydro Quebec here in Montreal.  The average over a few hours is corrected to be 60hz exactly, but, every few minutes, it drifts above and below 60hz visible on my scope with the above setup.

I believe in North America, recently, our 60hz grids, if the power is sold across province/state borders, our 60hz needs to be tuned to a GPS referenced clock, so it has been said on a PBS documentary about our power grid.  I'm not sure how recent or accurate this info may be.

That's an interesting way to visualize it.  I've plugged into mains before and just read the frequency number but having both waves would let you visualize it more.


Actually, does the wave form lag a bit between very long distances?  I imagine that makes interconnections quite complex.  Ex: the wave might be at the peak in one region but in another it might not be quite there yet.

Yup, just zoom in to see around 1/2 to 1 sine wave on your scope, while you are locked onto a clean 60hz square wave from your function generator.  You will see the mains 60hz sine scroll on by fairly fast at times, like right across the display within a fast as a few seconds.  It will, in my case, it slows down/reverse/speeds up either which way depending on the total load on our hydro power station and how they regulate the velocity of the generators.

Use a lissajous figure display, with the mains on one axis and the reference on the other. Prettier, possibly easier to make a measurement, and doesn't require triggering.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline stj

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2018, 10:57:33 pm »
it will get much worse soon, once the undersea cable to israel is installed,  :palm:
they will be re-selling it to egypt and turkey under the carpet i'm sure!

*never trust a politician*
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2018, 02:22:55 am »
Years ago we developed a long range PLC based communication system for utilities.
Amateur Radio Operatour would love you for!  :--  :-BROKE
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline Jester

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2018, 06:54:05 am »
Years ago we developed a long range PLC based communication system for utilities.
Amateur Radio Operatour would love you for!  :--  :-BROKE

Not us, we were way way down low, I did read about the higher frequency PLC systems causing a lot of disturbance throughout the amateur bands. I also read about some of the 3kHz ones resonating in peoples toasters.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2018, 07:11:51 am »
I have experienced a very slow clock here in Australia. I bought a telephone answering machine in the USA in 1993 and brought it back to Australia. It used the mains frequency for its clock, so it ran slow hare... 50 minutes ticked over every 60 minutes. Damn. I opened it up, reverse engineered the circuit, removed the mains input to the RTC chip and used a very nice 8 pin IC that used the 50 Hz mains as a phase locked loop for a 60 Hz oscillator. The IC was bought at Dick Smith Electronics before it became a toy store. The circuit worked a treat.

Funny, I had a similar answering machine, with 2 tapes, and the incoming mains was used to drive the clock. I just looked in the "box of bits" to find a crystal that would divide down to 60Hz, and used a small bit of veroboard and some TTL dividers to get a 60Hz clock for it. As it also had the unfortunate thing of not having a working power transformer ( somebody had plugged the 110v device into 220V and burnt out the transformer, but the answering machine survived because it has voltage regulators to provide all the rails, and the 7809 and 7805 were more robust than the transformer) i also made a small power supply for it, giving a 12V battery backed rail for it, as the internal backup battery had a really bad timekeeping ability, it lost around 10 minutes an hour in battery backup. It also had audible prompts, and remote access ability as well, though I never used the remote side, mainly due to lack of a manual as I bought it on auction cheap as is. IIRC the crystal was 4.33 Mhz or similar, basically a NTSC timing crystal, from some item or the other that provided a microprocessor clock. After a bit of fiddling with a trimmer on the crystal it kept reasonable time, at least a few minutes a month. Had a built in oven as well, seeing as it was sitting next to the main aluminium plate heatsink inside the answering machine.

No longer around, it eventually wore out the rubber belts of the tape mech, and I also rarely got phone calls on the POTS line, more using it then for dial up internet.
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2018, 07:32:09 am »
IIRC the crystal was 4.33 Mhz or similar, basically a NTSC timing crystal, from some item or the other that provided a microprocessor clock.

NTSC = 3.579Mhz, PAL = 4.433619Mhz.
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2018, 09:52:20 am »
I have experienced a very slow clock here in Australia. I bought a telephone answering machine in the USA in 1993 and brought it back to Australia. It used the mains frequency for its clock, so it ran slow hare... 50 minutes ticked over every 60 minutes. Damn. I opened it up, reverse engineered the circuit, removed the mains input to the RTC chip and used a very nice 8 pin IC that used the 50 Hz mains as a phase locked loop for a 60 Hz oscillator. The IC was bought at Dick Smith Electronics before it became a toy store. The circuit worked a treat.

Funny, I had a similar answering machine, with 2 tapes, and the incoming mains was used to drive the clock. I just looked in the "box of bits" to find a crystal that would divide down to 60Hz, and used a small bit of veroboard and some TTL dividers to get a 60Hz clock for it. As it also had the unfortunate thing of not having a working power transformer ( somebody had plugged the 110v device into 220V and burnt out the transformer, but the answering machine survived because it has voltage regulators to provide all the rails, and the 7809 and 7805 were more robust than the transformer) i also made a small power supply for it, giving a 12V battery backed rail for it, as the internal backup battery had a really bad timekeeping ability, it lost around 10 minutes an hour in battery backup. It also had audible prompts, and remote access ability as well, though I never used the remote side, mainly due to lack of a manual as I bought it on auction cheap as is. IIRC the crystal was 4.33 Mhz or similar, basically a NTSC timing crystal, from some item or the other that provided a microprocessor clock. After a bit of fiddling with a trimmer on the crystal it kept reasonable time, at least a few minutes a month. Had a built in oven as well, seeing as it was sitting next to the main aluminium plate heatsink inside the answering machine.

No longer around, it eventually wore out the rubber belts of the tape mech, and I also rarely got phone calls on the POTS line, more using it then for dial up internet.

This sort of thing is what makes us true hackers. Not the evil "hackers" that the fickle media and politicians might depict. I for one am proud to be a hacker, as I would guess you would be too.

Yours might well have been the same model answering machine as mine. I bought it at a gadget/CD store called Circuit City in Austin in 1992. It had two tapes as well, "robot" voice prompts etc and it was light grey in colour. It had a double 7 segment LED numerical display on it. Like your mechanism, mine eventually wore out and the old technology made it not worth fixing. I rarely ever use a POTS phone these days.
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2018, 10:59:29 am »
Yours might well have been the same model answering machine as mine. I bought it at a gadget/CD store called Circuit City in Austin in 1992.
FYI, Circuit City was an established nationwide chain that went from successful to liquidated (2009) over the course of less than 10 5 years, mostly due to their 2003 2007 stroke of genius of laying off essentially all of the existing, experienced staff and replacing it with poorly-paid newbies. Turns out, the people that didn't care about quality customer service were already shopping online by then, and by eliminating in-store expertise, they eliminated the only reason anyone still shopped there…

Edit: updated with more accurate numbers; what I originally read in Wikipedia does not agree with what multiple news sources say.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 11:41:08 pm by tooki »
 

Offline Karel

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2018, 06:20:50 pm »
Yours might well have been the same model answering machine as mine. I bought it at a gadget/CD store called Circuit City in Austin in 1992.
FYI, Circuit City was an established nationwide chain that went from successful to liquidated (2009) over the course of less than 10 years, mostly due to their 2003 stroke of genius of laying off essentially all of the existing, experienced staff and replacing it with poorly-paid newbies. Turns out, the people that didn't care about quality customer service were already shopping online by then, and by eliminating in-store expertise, they eliminated the only reason anyone still shopped there…

Probably they had no choice. Experienced staff is expensive and that will reflect on the price of the products.
People will go to a shop with experienced staff to get information and advice. Then they will go home and order it from
an online webshop with lower prices. So, in the end it's the customers fault...
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2018, 06:36:41 pm »
This thread seems to have evolved into an "off-topic contest"...
Rules of the game: Each post must be triggered by something said in the prior post(s), but must then talk about some entirely different matter. We are doing fine so far!  ::)
 
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Offline stj

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2018, 09:40:01 pm »
mine was on topic,
the european union has dictated that the EU grid will be connected to Israel by undersea cable soon - because................
well they wont give a reason, so i speculate it's because they are owned.  :--

but the point is, the network is already overloaded due to a combination of dropping temperatures and sunlight causing an increase in heating and lighting, coupled with coal and oil powerstations being taken offline to please environuts.

we are all going to be in big trouble soon because of politicians - and a UPS wont cut it - personal generators are allready becoming surprisingly common here!!
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2018, 11:39:47 pm »
Probably they had no choice. Experienced staff is expensive and that will reflect on the price of the products.
People will go to a shop with experienced staff to get information and advice. Then they will go home and order it from
an online webshop with lower prices. So, in the end it's the customers fault...
Well, except that it wasn’t what happened. They were doing OK, even if they weren’t doing the best job at keeping up with some trends. What killed them was pure management idiocy. It went from being profitable to bankrupt in literally 3 years. From laying off the experienced staff (the chain’s hallmark up till then) to bankruptcy took just a year and a half! Best Buy, the main competitor, is still around, so clearly online shopping hasn’t killed the market.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2018, 11:45:02 pm »
mine was on topic,
the european union has dictated that the EU grid will be connected to Israel by undersea cable soon - because................
well they wont give a reason, so i speculate it's because they are owned.  :--

but the point is, the network is already overloaded due to a combination of dropping temperatures and sunlight causing an increase in heating and lighting, coupled with coal and oil powerstations being taken offline to please environuts.
The reason is to connect Cyprus (an EU member state) to the European grid. (It’ll be a DC connection, so no issues with line frequency.)
 
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Offline Gary350z

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2018, 11:47:21 pm »
Online power grid frequency display for most of the world.

FNET/GridEye Frequency Display
http://fnetpublic.utk.edu/tabledisplay.html
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2018, 11:49:10 pm »
The reason is to connect Cyprus (an EU member state) to the European grid. (It’ll be a DC connection, so no issues with line frequency.)

Thanks! Always refreshing to see some actual facts balancing out the conspiracy therories.  ;)

EDIT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EuroAsia_Interconnector
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 11:51:52 pm by ebastler »
 
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Offline rodcastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2018, 12:36:54 am »
I have two separate electric clocks (one at the microwave oven) and they both lag a few minutes every day requiring constant re-adjusting.

I would have hoped crystal-based clocks to be cheap enough to replace these useless electric versions by now.  I guess not yet  :-(
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2018, 12:43:34 am »
I have two separate electric clocks (one at the microwave oven) and they both lag a few minutes every day requiring constant re-adjusting.

I would have hoped crystal-based clocks to be cheap enough to replace these useless electric versions by now.  I guess not yet  :-(
Quartz clocks are cheap enough. But they’re less accurate in the long run. Normally, the electrical grid keeps clocks within a few seconds of what they were set to. This 6 minutes thing is an unprecedented anomaly.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2018, 12:52:26 am »
I have two separate electric clocks (one at the microwave oven) and they both lag a few minutes every day requiring constant re-adjusting.

Ouch! Seems that we are spoiled in Europe, to have a 6-minute lag (which was accumulated over the course of a few weeks) make the news... So it appears that the grid frequency in Chile is consistently below its nominal value?
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2018, 01:24:07 am »
I have two separate electric clocks (one at the microwave oven) and they both lag a few minutes every day requiring constant re-adjusting.

Ouch! Seems that we are spoiled in Europe, to have a 6-minute lag (which was accumulated over the course of a few weeks) make the news... So it appears that the grid frequency in Chile is consistently below its nominal value?
I guess it’s possible, but more likely, they’re appliances with quartz clocks that both happen to suck the same way! (If they were 60Hz appliances running on 50Hz they’d be off by what, 4 hours per day?)
 

Offline rodcastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2018, 01:40:19 am »
So it appears that the grid frequency in Chile is consistently below its nominal value?

LOL I've never put too much thought into it to be honest: I was confident of these clocks to be spot on until wife complained about adjusting them 5 mins every week or so..... for the past 7 years.  I have to admire her for this noble and silent labor I was totally unaware of until a week ago.

Next time I'm in the mood of doing risky stuff I'll plug the scope into the mains and see what I find on the Hz arena.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 01:44:54 am by rodcastler »
 
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Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2018, 01:45:25 am »
Next time I get in the lab I'll plug the scope into the mains and see what I find.

Beware -- the plugging of scope probes into mains has been a matter of considerable debate on this forum...  ;)
But I would be curious about your findings indeed. I'm sure you will do the right thing!
 

Offline rodcastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2018, 02:02:56 am »
Next time I get in the lab I'll plug the scope into the mains and see what I find.

Beware -- the plugging of scope probes into mains has been a matter of considerable debate on this forum...  ;)
But I would be curious about your findings indeed. I'm sure you will do the right thing!

You beat me to it !   I had already rephrased that before your post because of the same reason you state here.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2018, 02:03:29 am »
So it appears that the grid frequency in Chile is consistently below its nominal value?

LOL I've never put too much thought into it to be honest: I was confident of these clocks to be spot on until wife complained about adjusting them 5 mins every week or so..... for the past 7 years.  I have to admire her for this noble and silent labor I was totally unaware of until a week ago.

Next time I'm in the mood of doing risky stuff I'll plug the scope into the mains and see what I find on the Hz arena.
Ummmm... or a multimeter? (Or use a small AC transformer to isolate and reduce to a low voltage.)
 


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