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Thread: Grid Frequency Experiment

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gar View Post
    110628-0842 EDT

    From today's SME daily briefing:
    Greater Grid Frequency Variation Could Save Utilities Money, Aid Renewable Usage.
    Popular Science (6/28, Boyle) reports "utilities could save energy and money by allowing for greater frequency variation" in the nation's power grid, "so the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering allowing the change." The article notes that variation would throw off the clocks on many appliances, which use the constant rate to keep time. "Renewable energy is one primary reason FERC cares about frequency variation," Popular Science notes, since renewable sources usually fluctuate in terms of the amount of energy they produce. "One trade group that has studied the potential effects says East Coast clocks could run 20 minutes fast over a year, and timepieces on the West Coast clocks would be off by about 8 minutes."

    The AP (6/28) notes that the FERC is proposing to let the rate vary as an experiment, which "is tentatively set to start in mid-July, but that could change." Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the US Naval Observatory, said "this will be an interesting experiment to see how dependent our timekeeping is on the power grid."
    I have some comments, but I am going to loose power shortly. The comments will be later.

    .
    Well I know allot of T-101-104 time switch's that might be affected, the only clock in my home I'm not sure of (and I not taking it apart) is the one on my stove, the microwave has its own oscillator the one here in my computer room is atomic, the rest of the house are battery wall clocks, and the alarm clocks are battery back up, so none of them use the power line for reference.

    Oh I almost forgot my sprinkler system timer that is old school with a synchrotron clock motor, but I don't use it as the water bill hit $270.00 for just using it one month, the grass can get brown for that.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
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  2. #32
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    With manual 'spring forward' and 'fall back' based on DST, the accuracy with how I set my clocks twice a year, causes them to never show the same time anyway.
    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gar View Post
    110628-0842 EDT

    From today's SME daily briefing:
    Greater Grid Frequency Variation Could Save Utilities Money, Aid Renewable Usage.
    Popular Science (6/28, Boyle) reports "utilities could save energy and money by allowing for greater frequency variation" in the nation's power grid, "so the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering allowing the change." The article notes that variation would throw off the clocks on many appliances, which use the constant rate to keep time. "Renewable energy is one primary reason FERC cares about frequency variation," Popular Science notes, since renewable sources usually fluctuate in terms of the amount of energy they produce. "One trade group that has studied the potential effects says East Coast clocks could run 20 minutes fast over a year, and timepieces on the West Coast clocks would be off by about 8 minutes."

    The AP (6/28) notes that the FERC is proposing to let the rate vary as an experiment, which "is tentatively set to start in mid-July, but that could change." Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the US Naval Observatory, said "this will be an interesting experiment to see how dependent our timekeeping is on the power grid."
    I have some comments, but I am going to loose power shortly. The comments will be later.

    .
    How can the utilities save money by running "fast"???
    Don, Illinois
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by don_resqcapt19 View Post
    How can the utilities save money by running "fast"???
    maybe because mechanical meters will run faster then the actual load allowing them to make more off a customer?
    I know pumps and blowers and fans will pull more energy if they run faster then design, but I don't know how much other types of motors will pull if over sped a little, if any

    The other problem is going to be machinery system timing, machines that use the motor to time a production line can be affected if motors speed up or slow down, a 4 pole motor will not track the same speed change as a 2 pole motor when changing the frequency as a source of speed control unless some kind of servo or feed back loops are in place, I worked a a few plants that used manual operator control to sync the conveyor belts by hand, and this is where it will be a problem.
    Last edited by hurk27; 06-28-11 at 11:34 AM.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by gar View Post
    110628-0842 EDT

    From today's SME daily briefing:


    I have some comments, but I am going to loose power shortly. The comments will be later.
    After you get tight power back?

  6. #36
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    Frequency was not always controlled, becasue the utilites saw no need. In the early 1900's, textile plants in New England had trouble with varying speeds on their looms causing variations in the fabric or machine jamming as the power system frequency wandered a few hertz. Other industries also had issues, but the utilities had no motivation to change.

    A GE engineer developed a turbine governor that maintained generator speed much better than the existing systems, many of which were manual. But he couldn't sell any. There was no perceived need. At Christmas, he sent the wives of all the utilitys' executives a beautiful mantle clock with an electric motor drive (Synchrotron). The wives complained that the pretty clock did not keep time accurately. He then sold a lot of turbine governor upgrades.

    Today, there are few clocks that keep time with a motor. With the suggested change, industries will actually have better frequency because the time correction would be removed and the system could stay closer to 60 Hz more of the time. NERC is not advocating removing frequency controls, just removing the artifical adjustement of system frequency.
    Bob Wilson

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurk27 View Post
    maybe because mechanical meters will run faster then the actual load allowing them to make more off a customer?
    I made a similar, equally serious point, in post #13.


    Quote Originally Posted by hurk27 View Post
    I know pumps and blowers and fans will pull more energy if they run faster then design, but I don't know how much other types of motors will pull if over sped a little, if any
    I can't think of any motor driven application where a speed increase would reduce the power required.

    Quote Originally Posted by hurk27 View Post
    The other problem is going to be machinery system timing, machines that use the motor to time a production line can be affected if motors speed up or slow down, a 4 pole motor will not track the same speed change as a 2 pole motor when changing the frequency as a source of speed control unless some kind of servo or feed back loops are in place, I worked a a few plants that used manual operator control to sync the conveyor belts by hand, and this is where it will be a problem.
    The absolute speed increase would be different but the ratio of the speeds would remain the same all other things being equal.
    But you probably wouldn't want to use standard mains driven cage induction motors anyway for an application where timing is crucial. Their speed varies somewhat with loading.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by don_resqcapt19 View Post
    How can the utilities save money by running "fast"???
    I think that quote was saying that the frequency is very tightly regulated by generating plants. With large scale solar and wind connecting to the bulk transmission grid, the fear is that having those power outputs varying all the time, it might be tougher to keep that frequency nailed down to 60 Hz +/-.03 Hz or so. It sounds like this is a test to see how much the frequency can vary before electrical loads take notice. Just my take on the article. By the way, I work at a utility and this is the first I am hearing of this test (although I do not work in the transmission planning group or anything).

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Besoeker View Post
    Doesn't mechanical mean mechanical in the sense that they are clockwork with a spring and an escapement mechanism?
    i.e. mechanical as opposed to electrical....
    I would say so, but I think he may have meant synchronous motor based timers and clocks, as opposed to electronic.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jraef View Post
    I would say so, but I think he may have meant synchronous motor based timers and clocks, as opposed to electronic.
    Possibly so. Not so many of those around now, though.

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