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.
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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.
The Trade-Offs Between Distributed and Concentrated Energy Generation for Resilience
“What resilience trade-offs are there between using distributed and concentrated energy generation?”
Both distributed and concentrated energy generation supporters argue that their preferred energy generation method is superior. Distributed supporters say that their preferred method allows for generation to be much closer to consumption loads, undercutting the need for long transmission lines, while concentrated supporters say that their base load profiles allows for the necessary amount of energy to be delivered throughout the day. When selecting new energy methods, these must be taken into consideration during construction. These are The Trade-Offs Between Distributed and Concentrated Energy Generation for Resilience.
Why Situational Awareness of the Grid Is Crucial for Electricity Resiliency
“Why is monitoring the grid so crucial for electricity resilience?”
One of the most fundamental parts of building resilience is preventing cascading outages. If even a single transmission line snaps, then it could overwhelm other ones, eventually resulting in a large-scale power loss. One of the key tools to preventing this is having situational awareness of what is going on in the grid, so one can react fast enough to mishaps. This is Why Situational Awareness of the Grid Is Crucial for Electricity Resiliency.
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How a Downed Transmission Line Can Trigger a Cascading Power Failure
“How can a single failed transmission line cause a whole power grid to shutdown?”
The electricity grid is the backbone of modern human infrastructure. However, if a single transmission line becomes faulty and goes down, then power will need to be redistributed throughout the entire system accordingly. If no care is taken, then the extra surge of electricity can overwhelm other transmission lines and cause them to fail, repeating the process until a cascading power failure occurs such as in The Northeast Blackout of 2003. This is How a Downed Transmission Line Can Trigger a Cascading Power Failure.