Author Topic: The European power grid has been running slow  (Read 6827 times)

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Offline tooki

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The European power grid has been running slow
« on: March 05, 2018, 06:21:08 pm »
https://www.reddit.com/r/europe/comments/824i1g/some_european_digital_clocks_no_longer_correctly/


Apparently the European grid, which is all connected, has been running below 50Hz for so long that clocks that derive their timebase from the line frequency are running about 6 minutes behind GMT.

(Nb:None of the sources give an epoch, the time when the two would have been synchronized. Articles about this say “it’s relative to GMT”, but that’s useless without knowing T=0, unless I’m missing something.)

This page shows the current line frequency and offset: https://www.swissgrid.ch/swissgrid/en/home/experts/topics/frequency.html
 

Offline dmills

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 06:39:51 pm »
Europe has just had a week of unseasonably cold weather (I clocked -8C air temp in March!), so no great surprise that loads were on the high side, I am not at all surprised the frequency drooped a little.

What is surprising is just how high the frequency is being allowed to go to correct, the uk http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ is showing 50.1Hz on 49GW of demand.

Regards, Dan.
 
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Online PA0PBZ

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 06:46:51 pm »
So anyone that noticed their clock running behind will have corrected that by now, and will have to do this again soon when the correction in the net frequency has been done :)
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 
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Online BrianHG

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 06:53:42 pm »
Typo from  https://www.swissgrid.ch/swissgrid/en/home/experts/topics/frequency.html

Quote
Grid time deviation

The grid time is a time measurement which is based on the standard grid frequency of 50 Hz in Europe. Fifty oscillations in alternating current equate to one second of grid time. Frequency fluctuations lead to deviations in grid time. If the frequency is lower than 50 Hz, the fifty oscillations last slightly longer. If, on the other hand, the frequency is lower than 50 Hz, the fifty oscillations are shorter. Since one second of grid time always constitutes precisely fifty oscillations, the grid seconds therefore last slightly shorter or longer depending on the frequency. The grid time deviation is calculated by comparing with UTC time (coordinated universal time), which is determined using highly precise atomic clocks.
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 08:33:24 pm »
It must have been really slow for a while then.
Thursday was bad. See attach. Source: http://map.pqube.com/
(no you do not access the loggers live, they are barely capable of serving one user)

Edit: as is the next day, averaging 49.985 Hz.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:40:01 pm by Jeroen3 »
 
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 12:47:09 am »
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.
 

Online BrianHG

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 12:59:12 am »
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.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 01:07:04 am by BrianHG »
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Offline bw2341

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« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 01:45:48 am by bw2341 »
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 06:31:12 am »
That data logging is neat, would be kinda neat to set something like that up at home for fun.
The price is a bit prohibitive. But there are a few of those units on Ebay in the US.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2018, 10:24:50 am »
Europe has just had a week of unseasonably cold weather (I clocked -8C air temp in March!), so no great surprise that loads were on the high side, I am not at all surprised the frequency drooped a little.

What is surprising is just how high the frequency is being allowed to go to correct, the uk http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ is showing 50.1Hz on 49GW of demand.

Regards, Dan.

I take it you're in the UK too? Over the weekend and start of this week, temperatures have recovered here but perhaps they're still below normal on the continent?
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 05:09:39 pm »
According to the news the low frequency has been caused by some electric producers in the Balkan.
It has also revealed a flaw in the Dutch air raid siren system. During the monthly test quite a few stayed silent because the clocks wheren't synchronised. Really?  :palm:
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 05:34:41 pm »
What is surprising is just how high the frequency is being allowed to go to correct, the uk http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ is showing 50.1Hz on 49GW of demand.
That's totally irrelevant to the central European grid frequency as the UK National Grid only has HVDC interconnects to continental Europe and Ireland so the grid frequency in Great Britain is independent.  The only long distance AC interconnect is to the Isle of Man. 
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2018, 06:58:11 pm »
What is surprising is just how high the frequency is being allowed to go to correct, the uk http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ is showing 50.1Hz on 49GW of demand.
That's totally irrelevant to the central European grid frequency as the UK National Grid only has HVDC interconnects to continental Europe and Ireland so the grid frequency in Great Britain is independent.  The only long distance AC interconnect is to the Isle of Man.
Your grid is now 50.127 Hz, that's way worse that what we are having!

Anyone else experience lagging text  and slow responses on the post reply page?
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 04:50:17 am »
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.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2018, 06:33:08 am »
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.
Yes, there are transmission line effects. Which makes it quite complicated, because after sync you first have to counteract the capacitance of the cable before actual power is going trough.

It's even essential all three phases are exactly the same length.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2018, 07:58:45 am »
What is surprising is just how high the frequency is being allowed to go to correct, the uk http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ is showing 50.1Hz on 49GW of demand.

UK statute is 50Hz+-0.5Hz. Outside that and explantions have to be made.

Those responsible for balancing generation and demand are more worried about having too much generation than too much demand. It is easier to shed load than it is to shed generation. Above 52Hz transmission gear would start to be damaged.

It is entirely possible for there to be a 1GW reduction in demand within 0.5s. Ouch. That has been seen when one of the two UK-France links "popped out".
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline frenky

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2018, 08:09:49 am »
https://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/london/kosovo-serbia-imbalance-impacting-european-system-26903978

System frequency deviation caused by political disagreement between Kosovo and Serbia is affecting the whole of continental Europe's power system and must stop immediately, transmission system association Entso-e said Tuesday.

Kosovo has been using more power than it produces while Serbia, responsible for balancing the Kosovo grid, has failed to do this, Nies said.

As a result, Serbia has been free-riding on the system.

Political disagreements between the Serbian and Kosovar authorities "have led to the observed electricity impact. If no solution can be found at political level, a deviation risk could remain," Entso-e said.

The average frequency since mid-January has been 49.996 Hertz, resulting in 113 GWh of missing energy.
 

Offline woody

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2018, 08:12:09 am »
It has also revealed a flaw in the Dutch air raid siren system. During the monthly test quite a few stayed silent because the clocks wheren't synchronised. Really?  :palm:
Huh? So a system designed to work when all else fails is derailed this easily. Good thing that these sirens are soon going to be replaced by NL-Alert. A system that only works when my phone settings are OK, it is in reach of a cell tower, switched on, charged and within hearing distance. I feel so much safer now ::) I certainly hope the nuclear plant 7 miles away does not decide to blow its stack in my lifetime.
 

Offline JohnPen

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2018, 10:04:39 am »
Back in the 60s, when working with broadcast video VTRs, we monitored the mains frequency because we had to manually adjust the VTRs to re-synchronise them if the mains frequency shifted too far off. It was a regular occurrence in those days that a very popular show used to finish just before the Nine o'clock news.  On many occasions during the 10 second run time lead in for the News headlines the mains frequency used to drop by 0.1 Hz.  This used to cause real problems trying to keep the VTR in synch with a moving target.  The reason 'thousands of kettle being switched on across the UK' putting a sudden very high load on the National Grid. :) :)
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2018, 10:25:10 am »
Back in the 60s, when working with broadcast video VTRs, we monitored the mains frequency because we had to manually adjust the VTRs to re-synchronise them if the mains frequency shifted too far off. It was a regular occurrence in those days that a very popular show used to finish just before the Nine o'clock news.  On many occasions during the 10 second run time lead in for the News headlines the mains frequency used to drop by 0.1 Hz.  This used to cause real problems trying to keep the VTR in synch with a moving target.  The reason 'thousands of kettle being switched on across the UK' putting a sudden very high load on the National Grid. :) :)

Indeed, and I may still have a paper graph somewhere of the demand surge after (IIRC) Miss World finished.

Such things were the reason for building the world's largest man-made cave, in Dinorwig :)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline Karel

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Online BrianHG

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2018, 03:40:40 am »
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.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 03:43:25 am by BrianHG »
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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2018, 11:01:14 am »
Slow clocks are the least of Kosovo's problems. Kosovo has 60% unemployment, corruption by the mafia style government is rife, has Serbs as neighbours, and has no hope for young people because they have nowhere to go (Kosovo is not a member of the EU). The place is very poor and is literally falling apart. Kosovo is a basket case.

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.
 

Offline Jester

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2018, 01:36:50 am »
Years ago we developed a long range PLC based communication system for utilities. All of our testing in USA/Mexico/Canada was going very well and then we setup a test site on a Caribbean island and we started seeing data drop outs. After a bit of remote troubleshooting we realized the frequency was going up and down like a yo-yo string. After we widened our nominal frequency range (software tweak) the data loss dropped right off (at least while the power was on).  During one of our visits the engineer from the local utility pointed out that the cruise ship in the port that morning had more generation on board than the entire island, so you need to expect the frequency to bounce around a bit.

If I recall NERC mandates time correction daily in USA/Canada. There was some discussion about dropping this in the future
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 01:40:51 am by Jester »
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2018, 02:23:44 am »
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. 
 

Online BrianHG

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2018, 03:10:16 am »
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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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2018, 06:33:43 am »
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.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2018, 08:12:12 am »
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, 11:57:33 am »
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!

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Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2018, 03:22:55 pm »
Years ago we developed a long range PLC based communication system for utilities.
Amateur Radio Operatour would love you for!  :--  :-BROKE
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Offline Jester

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2018, 07:54:05 pm »
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 09, 2018, 08:11:51 pm »
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 09, 2018, 08:32:09 pm »
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 09, 2018, 10:52:20 pm »
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 09, 2018, 11:59:29 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 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, 12:41:08 pm by tooki »
 

Offline Karel

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2018, 07:20:50 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 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.
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Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2018, 07:36:41 am »
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, 10:40:01 am »
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, 12:39:47 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, 12:45:02 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, 12:47:21 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, 12:49:10 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, 12:51:52 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 10, 2018, 01:36:54 pm »
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 10, 2018, 01:43:34 pm »
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 10, 2018, 01:52:26 pm »
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 10, 2018, 02:24:07 pm »
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 10, 2018, 02:40:19 pm »
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 10, 2018, 02:44:54 pm 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 10, 2018, 02:45:25 pm »
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 10, 2018, 03:02:56 pm »
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 10, 2018, 03:03:29 pm »
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.)
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2018, 03:06:55 pm »
Online power grid frequency display for most of the world.

FNET/GridEye Frequency Display
http://fnetpublic.utk.edu/tabledisplay.html
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks to me that it’s got a disclaimer saying it’s just sample data:
 “The frequency values displayed here on the public website are fed from a set of sample data and do not represent the current system frequency.”
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2018, 09:14:36 pm »
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.
I just did. It was more interesting then I had expected. Especially if your timelapse it.

Yellow: mains. (no, trough 12V plug in transform)
Blue (trigger): DS1104z-s function gen set to 50 Hz.
2018-03-10 21.26.50 + 10 minutes.


The second one was even more interesting, it dropped to 49.95, so it went fast.
2018-03-10 21.53.10 + slightly under 10 minutes.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 09:29:04 pm by Jeroen3 »
 

Offline Gary350z

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2018, 01:49:23 am »
Online power grid frequency display for most of the world.

FNET/GridEye Frequency Display
http://fnetpublic.utk.edu/tabledisplay.html
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks to me that it’s got a disclaimer saying it’s just sample data:
 “The frequency values displayed here on the public website are fed from a set of sample data and do not represent the current system frequency.”
Yes, that statement is a bit vague. A quick look at their website seems to indicate that they have lots of monitoring boxes that collect the data that is presented on their website. I was just looking for an online display of the US mains frequency and found the above.
If  anyone knows of a online display of the US mains frequency let me know. :)
 

Offline bitwelder

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2018, 06:25:45 am »
You beat me to it !   I had already rephrased that before your post because of the same reason you state here.
And remember to suppress your curiosity regarding what happens around the magnetron  ;)
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2018, 06:49:53 am »
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks to me that it’s got a disclaimer saying it’s just sample data:
 “The frequency values displayed here on the public website are fed from a set of sample data and do not represent the current system frequency.”
Yes, that statement is a bit vague. A quick look at their website seems to indicate that they have lots of monitoring boxes that collect the data that is presented on their website.

The statement seems clear enough to me: Yes, they do operate a large network of measuring devices and collect the data in near real-time. That costs money, and they have set up an academic/industry "consortium" to fund the work -- http://fnetpublic.utk.edu/index.html

You have to be a member of the consortium to actually get access to the data and any results and forecasts derived from it. That web page with the large "raw data" set is only a dummy to show off the size of the data set that goes into the anaylsis; it does not provide the actual data.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2018, 10:48:22 am »
This one does show the actual, realtime, frequency of the powergrid, but Europe only:

http://www.mainsfrequency.com/

If you leave your browser open on that page too long (one hour or so), it will stop working and you have to wait
till next day before it starts working again. I guess to limit server load.
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 schmitt trigger

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2018, 03:45:32 pm »
There is a recent NY Times article, which places some of the blame on political frictions within the Balkan states.
(Removing sarcasm filter): Who would have though that over 100 years later, there would still be political friction on the Balkans?  :box:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/world/europe/kosovo-serbia-clocks-europe.html?emc=edit_th_180309&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=371077490309
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 04:14:23 pm by schmitt trigger »
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2018, 04:07:12 pm »
Power generator synchronization and phasing between different countries is one of the reasons that makes HVDC interlinks attractive.


Now an opinion:
In these days related to the IoT craze, one of the things that could be simply implemented and would benefit enormously, is timebase synchronization via the web.

No need about synchronizing different clocks all over the house.
No need to adjust for daylight savings time.

Fortunately my mobile phone does that, so it has become my primary time reference.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2018, 04:31:25 pm »
Power generator synchronization and phasing between different countries is one of the reasons that makes HVDC interlinks attractive.


Now an opinion:
In these days related to the IoT craze, one of the things that could be simply implemented and would benefit enormously, is timebase synchronization via the web.

No need about synchronizing different clocks all over the house.
No need to adjust for daylight savings time.

Fortunately my mobile phone does that, so it has become my primary time reference.

See http://www.ntp.org/

Be aware that the more you look at anything related to time and date the more difficult it becomes. For a taster, consider how many seconds there are in a minute, hours in a day, seconds in a day, and months in a year. Then you can move onto the more intractable questions.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2018, 04:48:57 pm »
It used to be the case here in the UK that the frequency was higher during the night in order to correct clocks for lower frequency during the day. The CEGB (Central electricity generating board)as they were
 back then worked hard to keep clocks telling the correct time.
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2018, 04:57:10 pm »
This is a fun take on the issue.

https://youtu.be/bij-JjzCa7o
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2018, 06:50:47 pm »
In these days related to the IoT craze, one of the things that could be simply implemented and would benefit enormously, is timebase synchronization via the web.
We have had DCF77 for decades. Works fine. It just sometimes takes an hour to sync time.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2018, 07:28:56 pm »
We have had DCF77 for decades. Works fine. It just sometimes takes an hour to sync time.

The US equivalent is WWVB, I believe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVB
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #63 on: March 12, 2018, 07:57:38 pm »
I'm familiar with WWB, and we can purchase some so-called "atomic clocks", which synchronize to that station.

My comments stems from the fact that every week one sees a new, preposterous gadget utilizing the IoT for the most absurd things: "Learn your cat's feeding habits with this IoT enabled cat feeder".

So, I was only wondering.....why not use it for something useful, like keeping ALL the clocks accurate? Instead of relying on the powerline frequency accuracy?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 08:01:14 pm by schmitt trigger »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #64 on: March 12, 2018, 08:01:15 pm »
My comments stems from the fact that every week one sees a new, preposterous gadget utilizing the IoT for the most absurd things: "Learn your cat's feeding habits with this IoT enabled cat feeder".

So...why not use it for something useful, like keeping the clocks accurate? Instead of relying on the powerline frequency accuracy?

But doesn't pretty much every IoT-enabled thingamajig in fact contain a clock? What's missing?
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #65 on: March 12, 2018, 08:09:19 pm »
The plain-vainilla gadgets, like a microwave oven or the coffee maker.

Of course, once that it is web-enabled...well, you know, one has opened another can of worms.
 

Offline grifftech

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2018, 11:35:25 pm »
The grid in Texas is running slightly slow 59.99hz
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2018, 07:03:09 am »
The grid is running fast now, 50.037, but the error has not reduced.
-368.844 s at 2018-03-16T07:02:54+0
 

Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #68 on: March 17, 2018, 05:43:53 am »
The grid is running fast now, 50.037, but the error has not reduced.
-368.844 s at 2018-03-16T07:02:54+0
That's because even after they said they were fixing it now, it was running slow for another week. I've had my bench meter sitting there showing the frequency, and until yesterday, 9 times out of 10 when I looked at it, it was still running slow.
 

Offline stj

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #69 on: March 17, 2018, 11:23:01 am »
what is the official accurancy of mains??
i'm not sure i'v seen the numbers mentioned.

i think it's a bit unfair to expect 50.0000000000000000Hz  :-DD
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #70 on: March 17, 2018, 12:13:54 pm »
Used to be that the accuracy spec was less than 1 second from midnight to midnight, though you could have errors during the day as it slowed down, but you would correct it later to make up the total error. However there have been recent changes to relax this, making the accuracy less as the mess of separate and different energy providors made it harder to keep the accuracy spec.

Clocks powered by mains it is easy enough to differentiate on power on if the input mains is 50Hz or 60Hz, and set an internal divider to compensate for the clock. This makes a clock that works all round the world, though they can eeasily be confused with UPS or generator power suuply as this can vary quite a lot from a nominal frequency, generators by up to 10% easily from no load to full load.
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #71 on: March 17, 2018, 02:23:41 pm »
what is the official accurancy of mains??
i'm not sure i'v seen the numbers mentioned.

i think it's a bit unfair to expect 50.0000000000000000Hz  :-DD
Read the Swissgrid link in the original post.
 

Offline fergch

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Re: The European power grid has been running slow
« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2018, 02:50:14 pm »
 
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Offline edavid

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