5G Millimeter Waves
“What makes 5G 5G and what are the benefits and drawbacks?”
5G is poised to disrupt the world of mobile communications. This is being driven by its greater radio frequency spectrum. 4G devices can receive signals ranging from 3 kHz to 6 GHz, while 5G can go up to 300 GHz! Although these Millimeter Waves allow for more connections, they also lack the ability to penetrate hard surfaces such as trees and buildings. This makes it one of the biggest barriers to mass 5G deployment, and will need to be solved by further research and innovation.
Why Load Shedding Can Increase Grid Resilience
“How can shutting down electricity loads help stop grid failures?”
The electrical grid is one of the most complex machines in the world. However, like all machines, it can be prone to failure from overuse. One thing we can do to prevent this is take inspiration from demand side response and commit to load shedding unnecessary assets when the supply cannot keep up with demand. This way the grid can be stabilized before a black start is necessary. This is Why Load Shedding Can Increase Grid Resilience.
“How can we tell that there is a voltage fluctuation just by looking at a lamp?”
The intensity of a lamp’s power is dependent on its supply voltage. Therefore, when there is a power fluctuation, the brightness on a lamp will also fluctuate, similar to a brownout. This Power-line Flicker also holds true for all electricity-dependent light producing sources, whether it be a television or a computer monitor.
How Downed Communication Systems Could Delay Power Restoration
“How do fallen communication systems exacerbate power outages?”
When a power outage occurs, interdependent infrastructure systems will fail. When the phones and internet that makes up the communication infrastructure also fails, then it will make it more difficult for utility workers to bring power online. This is How Downed Communication Systems Could Delay Power Restoration.
“How can electricity flow in the opposite of the intended direction?”
Electricity is designed to be flown in a single direction from a generator. However, if said generator experiences a fault and needs to shut down, then electricity will flow back and be used for its own local loads. This Backfeeding can be quite dangerous and organizations need to design their equipment so everything works smoothly.
Image credit http://www.ecocooling.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/electricity.jpg
Water and Electricity Interdependence
“How are water and electricity directly interrelated?”
Water and electricity, two of humanity’s most vital resources, are often thought as being from completely different worlds. However, the reality is that the generation of one resource uses some of the other! To illustrate, water needs to be pumped through mechanical pumps reliant on electricity while power plants use water for their operation. In this way there is Water and Electricity Interdependence. So every time you let the faucet run, you’re not only wasting water but also electricity!
“How can different infrastructures be interdependent without any direct connection?”
Infrastructures can be interdependent in numerous ways. However, one of the most subtle forms is through cause and effect, in which the consequences of one infrastructure failure will carry over into another one. Take for example the 2018 Northern California Wildfires. When the fallen transmission line caused a fire, the smoke that swept into the Bay Area caused the air pollution levels to skyrocket. This made people rush to the hardware stores to purchase protective masks, emptying stocks within hours. Through Logical Interdependence, the supply of gas masks was contingent on the fire resilience in Northern California.