Could these massive grid failures happen here?

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
"Both the northern and eastern grids have collapsed. Please allow us to address the problem,"

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/07/201273182043511580.html

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    To some extent they already do. Except for a few mitigating factors such as NA having far better electrical infrastructure to begin with (due to its having been in place so long and getting problems ironed out, standards set); India is relatively new to electric power. We also have better resources for getting the power back on.

    A certain expert in these matters that I happen to know has seen India's power grid. His evaluation was more along the lines of it being a miracle the things manages to supply power in the first place. It is quite common there for people to hack the grid and run wires willy-nilly to steal power. It happens to such an extent that the people running the grid have difficulty in accurately predicting usage as a result.

    That nation's high population density certainly doesn't help either. In short, the power outage is really symptomatic of the much more complex problems of the country.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    Lucky for us we still have 3 fairly isolated segments of the power grid (I think a interconnected smart-grid with many small generation plants is a recipe for large-scale failures) and in the west a oversupply of electricity due to economic conditions and cool weather so far. Almost all our major grid failures have not been from the lack of supply at the generation plants but in the lack of transmission capability from power-line failures due to nature, human screw-ups or transformer overloads from harmonic generation from DC saturation during magnetic storms causing grid instability.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/the-unruly-power-grid/0
    In a startling thought piece, "Cascading Failures: Survival Versus Prevention," published in in November 2003, the Carnegie Mellon team argues that if blackouts are as hard to predict and prevent as tsunamis and earthquakes, we should make it our business to be prepared. They argue that the question is not how to prevent blackouts, but how to survive them.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=cascading%20failures%3A%20survival%20versus%20prevention&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ece.cmu.edu%2Fcascadingfailures%2FTalukdar_CascadingFailuresSurvivalvsPrevention.pdf&ei=d-UXULiHN8HgmAWM7YBI&usg=AFQjCNHhID-2xjA87dlYCfoO1LZgVN6NOQ&cad=rja
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    (I think a interconnected smart-grid with many small generation plants is a recipe for large-scale failures)

    I think an interconnected DUMB grid is the recipe for large scale failures, and indeed is what happened in India (uncoordinated use of the grid.)

    A smart grid with a HV DC backbone would be as resilient as they come. No synchronization issues, straightforward management of loads, no power factors etc.
    Almost all our major grid failures have not been from the lack of supply at the generation plants but in the lack of transmission capability from power-line failures due to nature, human screw-ups

    Agreed and agreed. In general, a lack of intelligence and ability to rapidly adapt to changing load conditions. If, when a transmission line goes down, every electric water heater, spa heater, pool heater and space heater shut off, you would avert the resulting blackout.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    I think an interconnected DUMB grid is the recipe for large scale failures, and indeed is what happened in India (uncoordinated use of the grid.)

    A smart grid with a HV DC backbone would be as resilient as they come. No synchronization issues, straightforward management of loads, no power factors etc.

    An interconnected DUMB grid with limited base-load power is what happened in India. My problem with the "smart" grid is how it will be smart. If you think smart means maximizing stability and fault tolerance instead of maximizing profit by letting current grid standards slip I've got this bridge I can sell you.

    https://files.nyu.edu/ha32/public/research/Allcott%202012%20NBER%20WP%20-%20The%20Smart%20Grid,%20Entry,%20and%20Imperfect%20Competition%20in%20Electricity%20Markets.pdf
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    nsaspook wrote: »
    An interconnected DUMB grid with limited base-load power is what happened in India. My problem with the "smart" grid is how it will be smart. If you think smart means maximizing stability and fault tolerance instead of maximizing profit by letting current grid standards slip I've got this bridge I can sell you.

    Well, if you define "smart" as "dumb" (or "fragile" or "rigid") then the above statement is valid - but that seems like an awkward way to talk about it. Our utility here (SDG+E) has been slowly rolling out smart (as in intelligent and fault tolerant) grid infrastructure for years. The interruptible program (schedule BIP) is used a fair amount to prevent rolling blackouts here, for example, and has increased grid reliability.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    Well, if you define "smart" as "dumb" (or "fragile" or "rigid") then the above statement is valid - but that seems like an awkward way to talk about it. Our utility here (SDG+E) has been slowly rolling out smart (as in intelligent and fault tolerant) grid infrastructure for years. The interruptible program (schedule BIP) is used a fair amount to prevent rolling blackouts here, for example, and has increased grid reliability.

    I don't mean "smart" as "dumb" (or "fragile" or "rigid") but smart as in goal seeking to prioritizing the utility's objectives that are primarily financial. IMO one of the primary objectives is to reduce base-load plant redundancy and standby/peaker capacity by using disincentive pricing models with the "smart grid". The smart DC interties allow power and the generation plants to be moved cross continent but they also create critical points of cascading failure if local capacity is left to atrophy to the point they are not self supporting.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=smart%20grip%20means%20maximizing%20profits&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CFkQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww-scf.usc.edu%2F~hgoudarz%2Findex_files%2FProfit%2520Maximization%2520for%2520Utility%2520Companies%2520in%2520an%2520Oligopolistic%2520Energy%2520Market%2520with%2520Dynamic%2520Prices.pdf&ei=bT0YUP_pG6LqmAXbyYBg&usg=AFQjCNFYa5TIJ_6Ex6f79anhdx_1dYLLOw&cad=rja
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    nsaspook wrote: »
    but smart as in goal seeking to prioritizing the utility's objectives that are primarily financial.

    Ah, I see. Yes, I agree; they are often used to make the utility more money. However, as a public utility they're effectively not allowed to do whatever they want, and have to meet criteria as to power reliability, overall safety etc and thus are not free to prioritize profit above all else.
    IMO one of the primary objectives is to reduce base-load plant redundancy and standby/peaker capacity by using disincentive pricing models with the "smart grid". The smart DC interties allow power and the generation plants to be moved cross continent but they also create critical points of cascading failure if local capacity is left to atrophy to the point they are not self supporting.

    They do indeed create more critical paths; however, any transmission line project does that. No utility adds transmission lines they don't need purely for redundancy. Smart grids allow more flexibility in dealing with transmission failures, and facilitate lower power prices (as the linked article points out.) It also allows fewer new power plants to be built, which seems to meet the desires of:

    1) Utilities, who do not want to spend more money on power plants.
    2) Consumers, who do not want to pay for new power plants via increased power prices.
    3) People living in the service areas, who do not want new power plants built near them.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    Ah, I see. Yes, I agree; they are often used to make the utility more money. However, as a public utility they're effectively not allowed to do whatever they want, and have to meet criteria as to power reliability, overall safety etc and thus are not free to prioritize profit above all else.

    This is true in theory, but in practice requires a sufficiently funded public utilities commission with staff who are knowledgable enough to determine (or at least provide an educated opinion on) any points of contention.
    In California, PG&E has been found to have instructed their gas pipeline inspectors to reclassify the severity of discovered leaks so that immediate correction was not required. None of this came out in routine regulatory proceedings. It was only discovered during the investigation into a catastrophic pipeline explosion in a residential neighborhood.
    In many areas, the PUC is staffed with former (and/or future) employees of the regulated utility, since they have the technical qualifications for the job.

    And, of course, the funding of PUCs is being reduced since they are examples of how unnecessary regulation is stifling business innovation and job growth.

    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, however...."
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    They do indeed create more critical paths; however, any transmission line project does that. No utility adds transmission lines they don't need purely for redundancy. Smart grids allow more flexibility in dealing with transmission failures, and facilitate lower power prices (as the linked article points out.) It also allows fewer new power plants to be built, which seems to meet the desires of:

    1) Utilities, who do not want to spend more money on power plants.
    2) Consumers, who do not want to pay for new power plants via increased power prices.
    3) People living in the service areas, who do not want new power plants built near them.

    I don't see lower prices every happening when a vital commodity is scarce and a major aspect smart grid design is to optimize the usage of sparse resources with major disincentives to local redundancy and spare capacity if there is a major build-out of high power interties. So I guess we are back to large transmission lines being the major cause of large-scale grid failures in NA and the hopefully fail-safe nature of tightly coupled networks we are designing to manage them. I personally have a low trust factor in the ability of complex nation-scale computer networks to control large non-linear inertial energy systems like the power grid and feel safer flying a old 747 with triple redundant flight controls than a fancy new airbus with fly-by-wire but I do have confidence (with my retirement money) in the utility sectors ability to make money in a bad economy.:-)

    Yes, the ability to disconnect power from users from the grid (at the power meter level) might prevent the massive type of blackouts seen in India but as we've seen in California the solution is rolling blackouts for large areas instead stable power because they simply didn't have enough power for everybody like what normally happens in India.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_blackout
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    nsaspook wrote: »
    I don't see lower prices every happening when a vital commodity is scarce and a major aspect smart grid design is to optimize the usage of sparse resources with major disincentives to local redundancy and spare capacity if there is a major build-out of high power interties.

    OK. That was from the study you posted - so you're disagreeing with your material there.
    So I guess we are back to large transmission lines being the major cause of large-scale grid failures in NA

    I don't think that's supportable. There are a great many causes of large scale grid failures.
    I personally have a low trust factor in the ability of complex nation-scale computer networks to control large non-linear inertial energy systems like the power grid and feel safer flying a old 747 with triple redundant flight controls than a fancy new airbus with fly-by-wire

    No problems there. 747's aren't as safe as, say, A340's - but both are remarkably safe overall, so the difference isn't all that noticeable. (Data there - 1.47 fatal crashes per 1 million departures for 747; .8 fatal crashes for A340.)
    but I do have confidence (with my retirement money) in the utility sectors ability to make money in a bad economy.

    Well, that is their primary objective; you'd expect them to be good at it.
    Yes, the ability to disconnect power from users from the grid (at the power meter level) might prevent the massive type of blackouts seen in India but as we've seen in California the solution is rolling blackouts for large areas instead stable power because they simply didn't have enough power for everybody like what normally happens in India.

    I've been here for 20 years now. And outside the blackouts caused by Enron gaming the system I've never seen a rolling blackout here in San Diego. There were some in LA in 2005 if I recall but they didn't affect many people.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    OK. That was from the study you posted - so you're disagreeing with your material there.

    I've been here for 20 years now. And outside the blackouts caused by Enron gaming the system I've never seen a rolling blackout here in San Diego. There were some in LA in 2005 if I recall but they didn't affect many people.

    I agree with most of that study but put me down as skeptical on lower costs for the end-user.

    http://www.caiso.com/2b5d/2b5db469fef0.pdf [email protected] Grid
    http://investor.shareholder.com/common/download/download.cfm?companyid=SRE&fileid=565772&filekey=5ef79b96-50b5-405e-97e1-5aa4f0ea53a8&filename=Q1-12_Presentation.pdf [email protected] owner

    I lived in San Diego (Spring Valley) back in the 1970's (Ex-NAVY), wish I could afford to buy back my old house. San Diego's SDG&E was on a somewhat isolated grid from the rest of California back then but with the retirement of older plants on the coast, Imperial Valley, etc ... and massive growth with little increase in local capacity it's local grid has become dependant on far flung power causing this cascading (total blackout) failure less than a year ago.
    The initiating event was a procedural error made by a technician switching out a capacitor bank on a 500kV line at a APS substation in North Gila, AZ, causing the line to trip; it had been carrying 1,397 MW westward across California to Imperial and San Diego counties and CFE in Mexico. Electric utilities normally use advance planning and real-time computer monitoring and modeling to detect when such a single-point failure could trigger a cascading blackout, but none of the utilities detected that the system was vulnerable to the loss of this particular line. This began an 11-minute accelerating cascade of transformer, transmission line and generation trips culminating in the disconnection of the main transmission path carrying power southward into San Diego from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and points north.

    http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/04-27-2012-ferc-nerc-report.pdf
    Because so much of the flow on H-NG was intended for San Diego, the inquiry considered whether increasing internal generation in SDG&E’s area would have avoided the cascading outages.40 Figure 7, on the next page, illustrates post-contingency loading on the CV transformers based on pre-contingency loading on H-NG and the generation level at IID’s and SDG&E’s jointly owned Imperial Valley substation. The red area on the graph indicates the large zone in which loading below H-NG’s 1,800 MW SOL would load the CV transformers above their trip point. This area demonstrates the non-secure N-1 operating point of the CV transformers. It shows that the operating conditions that would reduce the loading on the transformer are: increased generation at Imperial Valley, reduced flow on H-NG before it tripped, or both. For example, the graph indicates that for the same amount of transfer on H-NG, additional generators connected at Imperial Valley would reduce the post-contingency loading on the CV transformers.
    40
    In general, adding generation in San Diego, CFE, or Imperial Valley and backing down generation in APS’s system (east of Path 49) would reduce the loading on IID’s 92 kV system for the loss of H-NG. For example, an additional 600 MW of generation at Imperial Valley and a reduction of generation in APS’s system by the same amount would have reduced the pre-contingency loading on H-NG by 20% and improved the post-contingency voltage in WALC’s Blythe area by approximately 4%. Under this condition, the loading on the CV transformers for the loss of H-NG would be approximately 111% of their normal rating (166 MVA), well below their trip setting of 127%. This is a further demonstration of the importance of including all facilities when deriving SOLs.


    I'm all for decentralized energy systems using wind, rooftop solar, energy efficiency, co-generation and more but I think the current vision of the "smart grid" seen by the people who will profit from it will drive us into centralized massive renewable, solar and wind facilities to supply the power and then grid operators will micromanage (A super Enron) the grid with pricing and demand response devices to level peak loads to the point that only very tight control maintains stability. IMO in the way smart grids are being presented now, there is very little upside to the consumer.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,072 admin
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    This article is placing the blame for India's power failures due to theft and corruption:
    Theft of electricity is so pervasive in India that 15 to 30 percent of power is lost to illegal hookups, bill fraud, or nonpayment.
    ...
    Power theft is usually associated with high levels of corruption. Thus it is common – and growing – in many parts of South Asia, Africa, Latin America, and former Soviet states, according to experts.
    The US is not immune. The Arizona Public Service Company did a study in 2000 and found about 15,000 electric meters had been tampered with, costing nearly $5 million a year. The US industry estimates a yearly loss of 1 to 3 percent to power theft.
    One study in India’s most populous state, Andhra Pradesh, discovered that losses in electricity were 3 percent higher during election years. Politicians were winning votes by allowing power theft. And in years when no known criminal was running for office, the utility’s revenues rose 5 percent.
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    BB. wrote: »
    This article is placing the blame for India's power failures due to theft and corruption:


    -Bill

    As per post #2 (by me), second paragraph. :roll:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    i dispute that it is power theft that caused this. it makes no difference if one pays for the electric or not as bad wiring, aka poor power distribution, knows not who paid for it or not. somebody over there is blowing smoke because even if those that stole it were to pay for it it is still the same power going over the same lines and through the same transformers.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    niel wrote: »
    i dispute that it is power theft that caused this. it makes no difference if one pays for the electric or not as bad wiring, aka poor power distribution, knows not who paid for it or not. somebody over there is blowing smoke because even if those that stole it were to pay for it it is still the same power going over the same lines and through the same transformers.

    I think that they are trying to make several points:
    1. The stolen power usage is less predictable and not as much data is available about the individual use profiles that add up to the total demand. That can make it more difficult to accurately predict total load and have peaker facilities ready to come on line.
    2. There is no reason to expect that the power thieves will cut back on usage on request or even that disconnects built-into the system would work properly with the rogue taps in place and possibly interconnected.
    3. The loss of revenue makes it harder to spend money on necessary facility improvements, and corruption on the construction side can make expenditures less effective and the quality of the resulting infrastructure may be less than designed. The latter are, I think, the arguments most often made.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    1 i still disagree as just because one pays for it it does not make it predictable as to when and how much.

    2 if the power company knows that the thieves are taking xx megawatts then they know they have to send out that much more to keep customers (paying) happy.

    3 i think they can afford to pay for some inspectors to go around looking for the thefts. often times it is the same person as meter readers doing the inspection and all that is external so no problem with access. it is true that they are losing revenue, but it sounds like they don't care to change the circumstances with a little enforcement. if it is as widespread as they claim it to be then they could find many of them easily to make a difference and the fact that they'd be catching them and either making them pay or go to prison would inspire others to not do that theft.

    the real problem is not the theft, but the infrastructure of their electrical grid.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    niel wrote: »
    1 i still disagree as just because one pays for it it does not make it predictable as to when and how much.

    Yes it does. As per my source the metered power allows them to build an historical database of usage trends. Known power users, even new ones, can then be predicted to a fairly accurate degree given the historical data. These are not one or two illegal taps; it is estimated that nearly 30% of the power use in India is "unknown loads/losses". Since this varies on a whim it is impossible to build an accurate model.
    2 if the power company knows that the thieves are taking xx megawatts then they know they have to send out that much more to keep customers (paying) happy.

    They don't know how much the thieves are taking and how much is lost to other problems. The theft is an unpredictable variable. New line taps appear daily, and sometimes people who use power legitimately bypass their meters this week when their funds are going low so they don't have to pay for it.
    3 i think they can afford to pay for some inspectors to go around looking for the thefts. often times it is the same person as meter readers doing the inspection and all that is external so no problem with access. it is true that they are losing revenue, but it sounds like they don't care to change the circumstances with a little enforcement. if it is as widespread as they claim it to be then they could find many of them easily to make a difference and the fact that they'd be catching them and either making them pay or go to prison would inspire others to not do that theft.

    Corruption thy name is bureaucracy. Some of these inspectors are quite willing to take bribes to overlook the illegal installs. There's quite a "we don't care" attitude among certain members of the corporate structure which only changes when something like this mass black-out occurs and the public starts screaming for heads.
    the real problem is not the theft, but the infrastructure of their electrical grid.

    Both, and more so the situation is as I mentioned before symptomatic of a larger problem; a society with quite the wrong attitude towards the issue. They don't consider electricity theft stealing because electrons are intangible. No one will notice a few megawatts, right? They've got plenty more where those came from 'cause it just keeps coming. Until it doesn't. Just like water; as long as the tap flows there's no problem, so leave the tap running.

    Anybody recognize that attitude?
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    I believe that electricity theft could be as high as 30 % easily. I think many of you grossly underestimate the amount of corruption that happens in 3rd word countries.. Inspectors can always easily be bought.So can the power company employees from the billers to the line workers.
    Take a look at these ficticious figures.
    Im a factory owner use 5000 (money) worth of electricity a month. The meter reader earns 500 a month. now if I give him 300 a month to not notice the bypass wires for the meter that save me 1000 a month ,you think he wont be in that? I now ok steal 20%of the power. I pay another 300 a month to an office supervisor at power company to take another 1000 off the bill.You think he wont be in that..? he gets 10 businessmen like me and his income goes up by 3000 probaby more than double his company paid salary.
    Another thing people do is throw wire connected to a chain up over the grid street wires at night then remove in morning. very hard to find the thieves.and the police just get bought if they did find someone..
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    it is estimated that nearly 30% of the power use in India is "unknown loads/losses". Since this varies on a whim it is impossible to build an accurate model.

    Another really scary thing about this particular item is that there is no simple way to tell a theft load from a loss caused by defective equipment or interconnections. That means that infrastructure problems are harder to detect until they become critical.
    A secondhand acquaintance of mine installed an electrically powered car lift for home DIY. It had a 240 volt motor and he accidentally connected one phase wire to the metal of the lift. No immediate safety hazard because the whole concrete slab to which it was bolted came up to line voltage, and the lift still worked. But the 30 Amp continuous drain did not trip the 40 amp breaker and his next electric bill was a real surprise. :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,072 admin
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    Just in one region, year over year with corrupt politicians vs non-corrupt election year, from the previous article:
    One study in India’s most populous state, Andhra Pradesh, discovered that losses in electricity were 3 percent higher during election years. Politicians were winning votes by allowing power theft. And in years when no known criminal was running for office, the utility’s revenues rose 5 percent.

    That is an 8% spread. For many industries, that is the difference between profit and loss.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    inetdog wrote: »
    Another really scary thing about this particular item is that there is no simple way to tell a theft load from a loss caused by defective equipment or interconnections. That means that infrastructure problems are harder to detect until they become critical.
    A secondhand acquaintance of mine installed an electrically powered car lift for home DIY. It had a 240 volt motor and he accidentally connected one phase wire to the metal of the lift. No immediate safety hazard because the whole concrete slab to which it was bolted came up to line voltage, and the lift still worked. But the 30 Amp continuous drain did not trip the 40 amp breaker and his next electric bill was a real surprise. :-)

    thank you for saying what i was saying. there are contradicting statements here saying there is up to 30% being stolen and then it's being said they don't know how much is being taken to gear up for power production. past performances of paying customers can give a rough idea, but does not say that one day those same customers won't all use an average of 30% more than usual as nobody can predict the future with any certainty. common sense would dictate that one would need to be able to switch in extra during such a period as they do here. now what good is it to do that if the lines and transformers can't handle it even for the amount of paying customers?

    if they can say,
    "Theft of electricity is so pervasive in India that 15 to 30 percent of power is lost to illegal hookups, bill fraud, or nonpayment."
    then they do know they need that extra power to be sent out. they can't spite their paying customers because they don't want to supplement the extra that is being stolen and if the lines and transformers can't take that extra 15-30% then how can you just blame it on the thieves?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    The stats for today will be inaccurate tomorrow. They can send crews out to take down 50 illegal taps and the next day 100 new ones are in place. If someone dies making one these connections the attitude is "so what?" because there's 2 billion people there; they are a disposable commodity.

    We have many, many immigrants from India here in B.C. You would not believe the mindset. That is the problem: from the thieves on up to the politicians they don't actually perceive that any of these actions which cause grid instability are wrong. Until it becomes the popular attitude because the power went out. Then a new batch will be put into positions of authority, some of the old guard will be 'sacrificed', and things will function for awhile until they all fall back into the old ways.

    The theft of electricity isn't the only type of theft contributing to the problem. It would not surprise me at all to find they have people working for the power company who steal wiring and sell it to be used for illegal connections. Contractors not doing work for which they are paid or doing it improperly. Bureaucrats ignoring data on misuse and failures. Bribery as a normal course of business.

    There's a lot more wrong with India's power grid than bad wiring.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?
    niel wrote: »
    they can't spite their paying customers because they don't want to supplement the extra that is being stolen and if the lines and transformers can't take that extra 15-30% then how can you just blame it on the thieves?

    They ARE spiting their paying customers; many people in India experience power cuts for most of the day. They don't have the money to replace the infrastructure because they don't make much from their customers - since everyone is stealing power.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    Even if they had the money to replace the infrastructure it does not mean it would get replaced. much of the money would dissapear in so many ways. some just stolen,some wasted on unusable items(but saleable or usable to some friend,relative.) Some lost to overcharging contractors,so inferior items installed with high failure rate. ETC ETC
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    EXAMPLE .how money goes .
    On the island I spend much time in Philippines it took 12 years to build a 27klm concrete one lane each way road. Its now almost complete and paid for . But it was paid for with government funds 3 times.
    Some of it has failed already as the contractor wanted more profit so left out much of the reinforcing bars. concrete was also many times made weak by using less cement. Its how it is in such countries.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Could these massive grid failures happen here?

    well at least it's now being said that it isn't just theft of power, which is what i said.:roll:
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