Aurora Borealis

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Aurora Borealis

Post  Highplains Drifter on Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:34 am

I have friends in Fairbanks and they keep telling me that the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) have been so beautiful this winter. I just started reading about the Solar Strom that Nasa is predicting. Anyone been studying this? What does your company do to protect it’s grid from theses Storms?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvJfjVdJ79o
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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  rcdallas on Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:54 pm

I've never seen the Northern Lights. Never really knew what they were. Now when it comes to the solar cycle I've heard of that but the only thing I reckon that it had an effect on was ham radio operators operating on the HF band.

How can a solar storm affect a power grid? I'm clueless.

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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  topgroove on Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:05 pm

harmonics wrote:I've never seen the Northern Lights. Never really knew what they were. Now when it comes to the solar cycle I've heard of that but the only thing I reckon that it had an effect on was ham radio operators operating on the HF band.

How can a solar storm affect a power grid? I'm clueless.

Ground currents induced during geomagnetic storms can actually melt the copper windings of transformers at the heart of many power distribution systems. Sprawling power lines act like antennas, picking up the currents and spreading the problem over a wide area. The most famous geomagnetic power outage happened during a space storm in March 1989 when six million people in Quebec lost power for 9 hours
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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  rcdallas on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:54 am

Woah Top. That's some pretty narly stuff. I wonder why I've never heard of this before but it makes sense. Another notch in the belt.

Just imagine calling that one in to dispatch... Laughing

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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  Highplains Drifter on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:41 am

rcdallas wrote:Woah Top. That's some pretty narly stuff. I wonder why I've never heard of this before but it makes sense. Another notch in the belt.

Just imagine calling that one in to dispatch... Laughing


If you could call dispatch, the magnetic field might shut down the computer that runs your truck and affect cell signals……… Gun Draw
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Who needs radios!

Post  rcdallas on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:15 pm

I'll just send up some smoke signals and get er done Smokin Cool

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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  admin on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:23 pm



this is cool.. a time lapse video from the international space station

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Monitors say nation's grid can withstand massive solar flares.

Post  rcdallas on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:02 pm


ClimateWire; 3/1/12
A once-in-a-century solar storm could take down large sections of the nation's electric power network, according to a new study by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the grid's monitor. But the blackout would likely last days, NERC said, not months, as prior warnings of a potentially catastrophic outage had projected.

The NERC study, a collaboration with the industry's Electric Power Research Institute, says new modeling and analysis backs the conclusion that rogue currents in the earth from a geomagnetic solar eruption would most likely cause a voltage collapse across the top half of North America in a worst-case event. It would not be prolonged or sustained enough to cripple hundreds of grid transformers, NERC said.

Because high-voltage grid transformers are not manufactured in the United States, it would take months to place them and restore power, with catastrophic consequences for urban populations and the economy.

NERC President Gerry Cauley said yesterday that the industry experts who collaborated on the new study do not believe that is a realistic worst-case scenario. Most of the 50 million customers who lost power in the 2003 Northeast Blackout had power restored in a day or two, demonstrating that an even more extensive blackout would also be manageable, NERC officials said.

"One of the major findings, I think, of the report is that given that the science I've described ... we believe it is much more likely that the grid would suffer voltage collapse and failure due to a shortage of what we call reactive power that supports the voltage on the grid," Cauley told reporters.

"But the consequences of that kind of failure mode is that it is much less likely that large equipment, transformers, would be permanently damaged and would be unavailable to put the lights back on."

The NERC study has produced computer models of how solar storm-induced currents propagate from the earth into the long-distance transmission cables and on to transformers and other equipment, he said. Now it is up to utilities to conduct detailed tests using the models to determine the vulnerability of their systems, he added.

How much protection is enough?

Mark Lauby, NERC vice president and director of reliability assessment, said the risks differ for each part of the grid, based on ground properties, the grid configuration, and the type and age of the transformers.

Cauley said it is not decided whether NERC will develop mandatory standards for grid projection following the completion of the analysis. NERC, whose members come from the power sector, has been designed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to oversee grid security. It develops standards through a consensus-based process and then sends these to FERC for final action.

One of the challenges is determine how much protection is enough, Cauley said. "What is a prudent level of protection ... realizing that all this costs money and works back to ratepayers?

"We work with the industry to design standards that are practical and solve the problem and address a particular risk and do so in a cost-effective way. So I don't think we've drawn jointly with the industry the conclusion there must be a standard," he said. He added that based on the report issue yesterday, "I think it is very likely and very appropriate that we give that strong consideration.

"I know I'm hedging there a little bit because I can't sit here and authoritatively say you must have a standard within the next number of months, but I think it is as important consideration."

NERC expects to address the standards question early in 2013.

The NERC officials said the analysis draws on studies of a geomagnetic storm March 13-14, 1989, that triggered the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power system and caused grid disturbances in many parts of the midcontinental United States. Most of the outages were restored within nine hours, Lauby said.

No need for panic

Lauby said that the most vulnerable transformers are those built prior to 1972 that have bunched wiring assemblies that could concentrate a heat buildup from excessive current flows.

Rich Lordan, EPRI senior technical executive, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said there are probably not a lot of pre-1972 transformers still in service, but the industry needs to identify them and document their vulnerability.

"We do need to find out where they are, then calculate -- based on our assumptions for the most severe storm we can conjure -- what will be the resulting currents in that transformer," he said. Then the appropriate remedies will have to be devised, which could include adding protective devices and sensors to provide early warning of overheating, and coming up with strategies to isolate the transformer when a solar storm threatens.

The risk is manageable, he said. "I don't think it is something you would panic about."

Some utilities in the Northeast have installed protective devices. NERC also relies on satellite data that provide several days notice that a solar disturbance is headed toward Earth, enabling grid and generator operators to begin defensive steps. A close-in satellite provides an hour's notice of the precise threat, Lauby said.

The nature of the solar storm threat has produced conflicting assessments and heated disagreements.

A congressionally appointed Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack concluded in 2008 that there was a significant risk of widespread damage to grid transformers.

Allegations of secrecy

An earlier report by NERC also emphasized a hazard to transformers.

"Geomagnetically-induced currents on system infrastructure have the potential to result in widespread tripping of key transmission lines and irreversible physical damage to large transformers.

"The physical damage of certain system components (e.g. extra-high-voltage transformers) on a large scale ... could result in prolonged outages as procurement cycles for these components range from months to years," that report concluded in 2010.

Still another report by the JASON committee of scientists, which advises the federal government, concluded in 2011 that a body of analysis that underpins the 2008 and 2010 analysis was not persuasive.

"We are not convinced that the worst-case scenario ... is plausible. Nor is the analysis it is based on, using proprietary algorithms, suitable for deciding national policy," the Jason report said.

But it warned, "The federal response, however, is poorly organized; no one is in charge, resulting in duplications and omissions between agencies."

Thomas Popik of the Foundation for Resilient Societies, who was a public participant and observer in the development of the new NERC report, said he and other non-industry officials were excluded when the report's conclusions were completed.

"It is important for the public and Congress to understand that the conclusions in this report were developed in secret. ... Formal membership and voting on the task force was restricted to representatives of electricity generation and transmission companies. In this way, nearly two-thirds of the task force participants were disenfranchised and kept in the dark."


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If we take a direct hit all hell is breaking loose

Post  Thorium on Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:28 pm

I have studied this pretty extensively and its not a matter of if, But when IMHO.

The great solar storm of 1859 destroyed the telegraph system in the united states in short order when we took a direct hit from a coronal mass ejection from the sun.
wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

There will be all kinds of work for many months if such an event occurs. Surge arrestors on the line may help some but I have seen them destroyed by lightning a CME could sustain a serious pulse that is going to last longer than lightning.

Most people don't even realize it could happen or that the majority of the damage will happen on the dark side of the earth.

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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  Highplains Drifter on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:43 am

Thorium wrote:I have studied this pretty extensively and its not a matter of if, But when IMHO.

The great solar storm of 1859 destroyed the telegraph system in the united states in short order when we took a direct hit from a coronal mass ejection from the sun.
wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

There will be all kinds of work for many months if such an event occurs. Surge arrestors on the line may help some but I have seen them destroyed by lightning a CME could sustain a serious pulse that is going to last longer than lightning.

Most people don't even realize it could happen or that the majority of the damage will happen on the dark side of the earth.






If wireless goes down so will the internet, and none of those ATMs will work. I think one needs to be stock piling lots of cash. Have you heard of Life Saver Water Purifier? I think you might………. http://www.lifesaversystems.com/





RcDallas, please post the link for the article you posted, Thanks.....Drifter
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I have several PURs

Post  Thorium on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:36 am

I have used them all over the world.

Transmission fiber optics will survive but both ends will have problems.

Personally I think it would be interesting the only worry I would have is having enough gasoline for the generator. Shocked

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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  rcdallas on Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:54 pm

Highplains Drifter wrote:
RcDallas, please post the link for the article you posted, Thanks.....Drifter

I can't. That came from my company in a news bulletin, no way to post a link.

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Space Weather.

Post  Thorium on Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:37 pm

If you like twitchey gauges and stuff the space weather can give you a heads up on geomagnetic storms.

swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/


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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  Highplains Drifter on Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:42 am

The solar storm of yesterday and today really messede with all portable radios today!
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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  topgroove on Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:38 am

I noticed my satillite radio was cutting in and out alot today.
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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  MI-Lineman on Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:36 am

What we gotta bunch of Dooms Day Preppers here? Rolling Eyes laughing laughing

I'm on WIFI in a hospital and everything here's been workin fine!!
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Re: Aurora Borealis

Post  PSE Lineman on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:54 am

I've seen the aurora from a little town on the Northwest corner of Hudson Bay in September. The most activity is in the Equinox, March 21 or September 21 and the weeks before and after. If you google aurora borialis you can read up on it. It is so spectacular it will blow your mind. Imagine the swirls of light that follow tinker bell around in Peter Pan. Minus the stars is what it looks like. The colors are magnificent, the greens, whites, pinks, mostly greens. We were up there visiting a friend in Rankin Inlet for 10 days. We saw them at least 4 nights. They stretch from the ground to the sky. I've seen them in the Northwest here on the coast just below the border with Canada a few times. One time it looked like I was in pool, underwater, looking up through rough wave action in the middle of town with lights all over. Another time was at 3am out on a bad cable and looked up and there they were. Cool as hell. If you have never seen them, I suggest you do before you die. It is a wonder to behold! Better that acid from the late 60's.

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Re: Aurora Borealis

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