"If true, that could prevent major blackouts,
like the one we had a couple of years back."
Mismanagent of, and ignorance of, the state of an
in-house computer that monitors/guages the
'state' of power flows in the FirstEnergy control
area* was the major cause of the blackout in
Aug. 2003. (There were maintenance issues with
HV Transmission lines, namely, extended tree
trimming scedules, that exacerbated the situation
and, in fact, may have been the kick-off event
that precipitated the blackout. BUT, proper
supervision could have allowed re-routing of
power flows or 'shedding of load' had certain
information systems been operating.)
Personelly, I don't see where we're eliminating that
kind of confusion at the control center where the root
problem with FirstEnegy was personnel/procedures
and a possible software 'bug' in their state estimater.
Of course, a better communications system properly
planned and implemented would allow a better picture
of the system to be painted for the control area
operators, allowing for minor contingencies before
they become major.
Jim P // WB5WPA //
*Cites, references available upon request.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Jarvis" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 4:41 PM
Subject: [RFI] BPL redux
> Early on, I commented here, and to K1ZZ & W1RFI that
> BPL would die of its own weight, if it were only a
> source of broadband service to unserved consumers.
> The reason is it's a late entry into an already competitive
> market, where service is dominated by large capital
> barriers to entry. It certainly wouldn't provide economic coverage
> to presently unserved rural customers, for the same reasons
> of economy that have limited cable and dsl.
> To survive and be profitable, it would have to benefit
> from economies in the operation of the power utilities.
> This Texas implementation reflects some efficiencies...automated
> meter reading being one. BUT...and this is important...it
> plays at the notion that a smart power network can be controlled
> better than the present one. If true, that could prevent major
> blackouts, like the one we had a couple of years back.
> And THAT could be the killer app, which would both justify the
> project economically, and rally public policy.
> I'm told that utilities are routinely pulling in topside protective
> ground wires which have a fiber core. Someone in that industry might
> comment. If true, they have the long-haul infrastructure...or will...
> to make something like this play.
> The other variation which might evolve...I'm seeing cell sites on power
> towers. If the power companies could provide both facilities and
> fiber trunking for cells, there could be a shift in those economics
> which would encourage BPL.
> Dangerous stuff, for those of us who are concerned about RFI. It's a
> very good thing that ARRL has worked with Motorola to verify the operation
> of their BPL system. It sets the bar high for companies like Current
> Communications, and may help bring them into reasonable compliance.
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