Instrumentation captures electrical blackout sequence of events within 1/10,000th of a second of occurrence

On August 14, fault and power quality recorders at Ametek Power Instrument’s Rochester, NY, facility indicated an initial power voltage drop of 10% occurring over an 870-millisecond window. The voltage recovered briefly as automatic protection systems attempted to maintain normal voltage. However, after recovering for 270-milliseconds, a second, more severe voltage drop of 22% occurred for 540 milliseconds.

09/18/2003



On August 14, fault and power quality recorders at Ametek Power Instrument ’s Rochester, NY, facility indicated an initial power voltage drop of 10% occurring over an 870-millisecond window. The voltage recovered briefly as automatic protection systems attempted to maintain normal voltage. However, after recovering for 270-milliseconds, a second, more severe voltage drop of 22% occurred for 540 milliseconds.

Those power fluctuations are indicative of the massive power swings that investigators continue to study in attempts to identify the root cause of the cascading outages that resulted in the massive August 14th blackout.

Being able to capture and analyze the quality and events associated with electrical power is not confined to electric generating and distribution companies. Any manufacturing or processing facility whose product quality can be affected by the quality of electricity is likely to benefit from power quality and event sequence instrumentation.

Click here to read more about the information Ametek Power Instrumentation captured about the worst electrical blackout in U.S. history.

—Dave Harrold, senior editor, Control Engineering, dharrold@reedbusiness.com





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