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POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

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POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by CliveS on Aug 11, 2019 1:17 pm

What happened?   Why did the grid cascade trip and not isolate the immediate network?  Natgrid is NOT responsible for failure of British rail or hospital emergency supplies and MUST NOT fiddle the protection around trying to keep key areas/cities railways on!! 
Just shed the immediate area in this case Norfolk and Suffolk.  We do not need an expensive legal inquiry or someone to blame;  just reset the protection and shed the nearest area to the fault.  Sorry for the RANT.

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by CliveS on Aug 12, 2019 10:08 am

Just had a further thought.  British Rail should apply for government funding to install say a GWatt of emergency generation plant which could be spread all over Britain and Natgrid could then shed the railways first; knowing that the railways have that emergency generation to keep them going.A few minutes delay is better than hours of disruption.
 Further, British Rail should always include a single hybrid diesel electric unit on each intercity train so that in case of an electrification line fault, the driver is able to continue slowly towards his destination. NOTE signalling and points are all assumed to be on a separate DC battery backup supply.

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by mapj1 on Aug 12, 2019 3:12 pm

Trains where the on board computer does not need to be re-programmed if there is a power cut of more than 5 mins would also seem to be a good idea.
news article   I understand that the Siemens programmable controllers forget their settings. Which is so fundamental as to be almost unbelievable that no-one tested it, in a way our mains supply is too good.

Turns a 5 min delay into many hours, and may explain while some countries with less reliable infrastructure shun the latest technology.
regards Mike

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by Denis McMahon on Aug 13, 2019 7:17 am

One often hears about Switzerland and its marvellous railway system and how it runs so punctually, in spite of the many types of snow they have there. I wonder what contingencies that country has for dealing with power failure. Should we be talking to them?

I understand that the new trains currently running on Great Western are hybrid diesel electric, while electrification progresses towards the west. Should these trains stay that way?
Denis McMahon "There is always a better way."

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by CliveS on Aug 13, 2019 10:05 pm

Yes, hybrid diesel-electric engines give the operator much more flexibility and may in fact be cheaper to run than the all electric versions.  This would be particularly so,if the carriages need additional heating in the winter and they could avoid the addition expense of installing emergency power generators in case of grid power failures.
Not sure what the Swiss do to cover supply failures but it would certainly be interesting to find out.

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by Roger Bryant on Aug 14, 2019 7:00 am

Switzerland is fairly self sufficient for electricity at the moment with a mixture of Hydro and Nuclear (the Greens are trying to upset this but that's another story). The Swiss Railways have their own Hydro stations and grid running at 16 2/3 Hz with some converter stations to take additional power from the 50 Hz grid.
A significant quantity of electricity passes through Switzerland, Italy was blacked out a few years ago due to failure of some trans alpine interconnects in a storm but the lights stayed on here.

Best regards

Roger

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by CliveS on Aug 21, 2019 9:40 pm

Latest is a lightning strike caused the blackout by tripping a 400kv line. Now, I did hear through the grapevine that the under frequency protection operated and shed the load automatically and in my view correctly as the cascade tripping was avoided. 
Natgrid is not responsible for the fiasco on the railways as they restored the grid power fairly rapidly.   The railways should be asked to explain why their emergency generation and backup procedures failed so miserably and make sure it does not happen again by re-educating drivers and installing backup generation. 

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by Alasdair Anderson on Aug 23, 2019 9:41 am

Clive,
I agree with much of what you say but I suspect the problem with the railways, or at least the problem with the trains not resetting and needing a someone to attend to restart the trains, was not something that had been foreseen. Whether it should have been foreseen is a different issue but I would suggest it is the designers of the trains who should have carried out the risk assessments, not the purchasers.
Alasdair

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by CliveS on Aug 23, 2019 10:07 am

Yes, Alasdair; it is a common problem with our new hi-tech world.  In fact I have the same problem with my car.  A light is on saying the airbag is not functioning??  But how does the driver reset the alarm?? 
Siemens may have included a lockout alarm/relay which was not self resetting when the power was restored; If the relay is not in the drivers cab then what to do?? Easy answer is start the standby hybrid diesel/electric unit and off we go. 

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by Roger Bryant on Aug 23, 2019 11:32 am

What exactly had to be reset on the trains has not been specified but I suspect that it may be to do with the train protection system that links to the signals. These are often designed to stop the driver being able to override them. For example in normal service if a driver exceeds a speed limit or passes a signal the train is bought to a full stop before the system can be reset. If the trackside and the train systems both lost power there may be a need for resynchronisation.

Best regards

Roger

Re: POWER FAILURE IN EAST ANGLIA

Posted by Benyamin Davodian on Aug 24, 2019 8:25 pm

Hello, what kind of vehicle do you have?
Regards, DAVODIAN BENYAMIN

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