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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
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      CommentAuthormisterfish
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
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      CommentAuthorLoonyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Cool, we might get some pretty lights tonight over Stockholm, it is usually too far south and too much light pollution for any aurora to be visible :-)
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: LoonymanCool, we might get some pretty lights tonight over Stockholm, it is usually too far south and too much light pollution for any aurora to be visible :-)
    Too much of a light show could cause black out problems. Be careful what you wish for.
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      CommentAuthorLoonyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Blackout=no light pollution, and I am well stocked up with candles and have a primus stove... Great viewing WIN ( wrong thread? )
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: LoonymanBlackout=no light pollution, and I am well stocked up with candles and have a primus stove... Great viewing WIN ( wrong thread? )
    You might have good viewing nights for a number of weeks more than you would have been satisfied with.
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      CommentAuthorLoonyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Ahh, but remember, Sweden already has a modern grid... 9 million population makes it easier to keep the lights on....
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: LoonymanAhh, but remember, Sweden already has a modern grid... 9 million population makes it easier to keep the lights on....
    Do they use isolation capacitors, or only DC for long-haul transmission?
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      CommentAuthorLoonyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Interesting question... I know that the Swedish grid is integrated with the other Scandinavian country's , and also with the Baltic states, but now you have got me thinking I shall do some more research into the mechanics of the system when time allows... And if the power is still on when I get home tonight!!!!
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: LoonymanInteresting question... I know that the Swedish grid is integrated with the other Scandinavian country's , and also with the Baltic states, but now you have got me thinking I shall do some more research into the mechanics of the system when time allows... And if the power is still on when I get home tonight!!!!
    The problem is that if there is a big enough solar event AC power transmission transformers that are not protected from DC biasing with capacitors can get pushed into saturation where they suddenly turn into giant resistors and subsequently molten globs of metal and nasty insulating / cooling oil.
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    An excellent article on this point was in last month's Sky and Telescope magazine. There are a couple or three hundred of those big multi-hundred kV transformers in the North American grid, and supposedly they are hard to make and there aren't spares ... plus the ones in service are likely to be obsolete technologically and would preferably be replaced with upgraded designs. Of course, when the grid blows out, whoever is tasked with replacing these transformers would be working with emergency power on tiny sub-segments of the former grid and developing or implementing new tech would be... er.... challenging.
    Especially with no water, sewer, fuel pumps, HVAC, food..... The article said it could take YEARS, like 4 of them, to get the system back up and running.

    Many many many people would likely die in the first few weeks after such an event. And one of the necessary magnitude happened in the late 19th century, before there was much of an integrated grid, but it wreaked havoc with telegraph systems. If that same event happened today... well, let's just say we could kiss Moletrap goodbye.
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Telegraph battery banks exploded. Kaboom!

    In the meantime there has been legislation around to fund DC isolation capacitors that would prevent such a disaster. Installing all the capacitors would take several years and $100 - $200 million, a lot less than one day's fun in the Mideast adventures. The bill has been stalled. Our manly man speaker when he isn't crying is too busy trying to get GE a $3 billion sweetheart deal on fighter engines to worry about the grid going black.
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      CommentAuthoralsetalokin
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011 edited
     
    The financial priorities of our governments are screwed up for sure. I am particularly pissed off about Obama's "Highspeed rail" initiative to spend a bunch of millions of dollars of taxpayer's money to put in a high-speed rail line somewhere... most likely in the DC-Maryland area.... when, as a frequent Amtrak passenger, I see the continuing deterioration of the nation's REAL rail infrastructure and equipment all over the system. The much-used track from Chicago to points south is in such bad shape that the Amtrak trains have to slow to below 40 mph in some sections just to stay on the rails, and this Amtrak schedule runs daily, with trains full of people. And, since Amtrak leases track from the freights, guess who has to sideline and wait while conflicting traffic passes.... that's right, on the nominally thirty hour trip from Chicago to San Antonio, it is usual to experience 5 or more hours of track delays while freight trains pass by. The cars are in bad shape too, with malfunctioning heat and air conditioning, inaudible PA systems, clogged up toilets, and rude personnel.

    But let's forget all that and build a HighSpeed Rail corridor that only a few people will be able to use.....

    I'd really like to see Obama take the train as an ordinary sleeping car passenger south from Chicago, and spend some time looking out the windows at what our country has become.

    I'd also like to see purple pigs flying in echelon formation....which is more likely than Obama taking a real Amtrak train, for sure.

    Oh, how I pray for that super x-class flare, to save us from all this crap and give us (the survivors) a chance to rebuild something worthwhile, instead of this wasteland of walmarts and burgerkings.
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Rail is a victim of the automobile / truck industry, and the airline industry. Rail doesn't work in the US because cars are heavily subsidized. The public is addicted to cars. Southern California and several other megalopoli would perish if the actual cost of cars and highway infrastructure had to suddenly be borne on a pay as you go basis.
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      CommentAuthorVylasni
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: alsetalokinThe financial priorities of our governments are screwed up for sure. I am particularly pissed off about Obama's "Highspeed rail" initiative to spend a bunch of millions of dollars of taxpayer's money to put in a high-speed rail line somewhere... most likely in the DC-Maryland area.... when, as a frequent Amtrak passenger, I see the continuing deterioration of the nation's REAL rail infrastructure and equipment all over the system. The much-used track from Chicago to points south is in such bad shape that the Amtrak trains have to slow to below 40 mph in some sections just to stay on the rails, and this Amtrak schedule runs daily, with trains full of people. And, since Amtrak leases track from the freights, guess who has to sideline and wait while conflicting traffic passes.... that's right, on the nominally thirty hour trip from Chicago to San Antonio, it is usual to experience 5 or more hours of track delays while freight trains pass by. The cars are in bad shape too, with malfunctioning heat and air conditioning, inaudible PA systems, clogged up toilets, and rude personnel.

    But let's forget all that and build a HighSpeed Rail corridor that only a few people will be able to use.....

    I'd really like to see Obama take the train as an ordinary sleeping car passenger south from Chicago, and spend some time looking out the windows at what our country has become.

    I'd also like to see purple pigs flying in echelon formation....which is more likely than Obama taking a real Amtrak train, for sure.

    Oh, how I pray for that super x-class flare, to save us from all this crap and give us (the survivors) a chance to rebuild something worthwhile, instead of this wasteland of walmarts and burgerkings.


    I know a little something about this. I worked for Bombardier Transportation close to a decade and know what we had to go through with the Acela project. We needed inclines in the tracks and some major repairs to the infrastructure made to handle the expected top speed of the cars. We ended up having to knock down the top speed and develop a pneumatic tilting system which leans the cars into curves to compensate for the poor tracks.

    There are all kinds of wacky things in the U.S. rail system. There's a 100 metre stretch of track in Jersey that doesn't work with any of the wayside systems in place and you have to develop special software just to handle that small stretch of track everyone uses because they can't be bothered to change out the wayside equipment.

    I'm a big believer in trains as a green and comfortable means of travel, but there's really a huge infrastructure effort to be done. Safety is no small factor with very few of the tracks in the U.S. having any kind of automated stopping systems. Just look at the recent incident in California. Guy missed a red light. No computer sytems to insure safety, human error = dead people.

    But the car is king in the U.S. still and that culture change isn't going to happen soon.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Scary stuff all this. But hey, let's keep giving most of our money to China and hostile oil producing countries and the rest to defense contractors who make expendable weapons we waste in Afghanistan killing savages. What a great world we live in. I left out the financial bunch who sell musical chairs and vapor to idiots. Didn't mean to leave them out. Not quite sure where the dot coms come in. Hard to believe sites like Facebook, Twitter and Groupon are worth the value people place on them currently. Leno line if I remember right "Twitter is trying to buy Facebook. The new company would be called TwitFace."
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    It's only a small storm.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Yeah. THIS time.
    • CommentAuthorLakes
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Should I buy a genny/primus stove and start stocking up on food and water then?
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      CommentAuthorlegendre
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2011
     
    Sure, I'd advise panic.