Power out, folding halted

reelbigfishreelbigfish Boston, MA Member
edited August 2003 in Folding@Home
Hey guys, since there are huge power outages going from CT, NH, NY, MI, OH, ON, QC, all my folding boxes are out. I assume we lost of lot of folding since many of our guys are from these areas, especially Ontario. I actually have power at my parents house in CT. I hope all is well for those without power.


  • AuthorityActionAuthorityAction Missouri Member
    edited August 2003
    My power went our for a little while, then my cable wouldn't work. No TV or internet make Jeff go mad. I was bored out of my mind :banghead:

    Do you know why the powers out?
  • reelbigfishreelbigfish Boston, MA Member
    edited August 2003
    A transformer blew up in NY and caused a chain reaction on the grid. The grid is supposed to make it so areas on the grid without power can get power from areas that have power, but the explosion worked in reverse and took out power in neighboring grid.
  • ShortyShorty Manchester, UK Icrontian
    edited August 2003
    It's definitely a nitemare for you US guys.

    Im just looking to see if I can find out what effect it's having on the backbone networks :(

    Good luck you lot :thumbsup:
  • AuthorityActionAuthorityAction Missouri Member
    edited August 2003
    I hope they get it up quick, it sucks not to have power.
  • ketoketo Occupied. Or is it preoccupied? Icrontian
    edited August 2003
    "Rig #1 - Abit NF7-M, Barton 2500+ @ stock, not good enough memory to OC ;["

    *wanders off topic and wonders if this is one of the early signs of dementia

    HEY, good luck to all suffering the consequences of the outtage. No problems here in the north/west of Canada.
  • t1rhinot1rhino Toronto
    edited August 2003
    I was lucky. Most of my folders had 8 hours of backup power. Too bad our ISP went down. :D
    Everything is back to normal now. :)
  • danball1976danball1976 Wichita Falls, TX
    edited August 2003
    At least I still have power. I'll catch up to some of you rather fast.
  • NecropolisNecropolis Hawarden, Wales Icrontian
    edited August 2003
    I just hope they can get their power back and get folding again.
  • WuGgaRoOWuGgaRoO Not in the shower Icrontian
    edited August 2003
    i thought i lost all my folding pooover...but thankfully nothing bad happened to any of my machines...praise the lord
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian
    edited August 2003
    Yeah, looks like what happened was:

    Ohio area had three major feed lines die, or possibly a Nexus point. Autorouting and Autodemand interchanges cut in. Ohio (with interchange out partly, meaning areas that buy power from power companies in Ohio and WERE pulling 300 Megawatts east could suddenly not GET power and had instead a large reverse flow to cope with) and points west of the west end of a big loop (Erie loop)that covers New England in large part and feeds into Canada suddenly needed power to cover the lack of what the big feed lines provided to points east up into New England and points between. The loop tried to satisfy demand-- and techs noticed that the 300 Megawatt flow east was suddenly a 500 Megawatt flow WEST.

    Power Companies use excess capacity that is normally on to sell power.

    The rest was a cascade of safeties, as reactors (power plant nuclear type) scrammed (shut down or safety shut down themselves under computer control) under too much demand, power plants isolated themselves, and generating systems under higher grid load safetied (coal and natural gas power plants).

    One nuke plant (power generating type) will take 2 weeks to do a full startup, as safety regs demand function tests equivalent to full start up from scratch before put under full load and cut in to feed power. Power Plants have fast react, but typically not as many nuclear power engineers are at a plant that has proven stable than when they are first built. But after a reactor emergency shutdown (in this case caused by sudden demand on reactors to give more power than they were set to allow, in SECONDS of time), a full start porcedure comes into effect. There is more than one nuclear gen plant in the area affected (I have heard about 10).

    So, in areas effected, with nuclear power, expect limited power for a while. Some places are doing rolling blackouts.

    If I were in one of those areas up in the Northeast US, I woudl be testing UPS and Surge systems, as this was a huge surge followed by a dropout caused by a huge electrical flow reversal. Those companies, like credit card companies and phone companies that stayed up and let the rest of us comppute into those areas, had the equivalent of very large APC Matrix UPS installers and diesel power generation.

    Note that Detroit and Ohio power companies also interchange power and Detroit Edison probably got an out of range pull toward Ohio and their plants alarmed and shut down.

    There are supposed to be interconnect cutouts, according to power engineers industry associations, that would cut this out, but power flow routing is intentionally dynamic and the start of this happened in a very short time. So far, Ohio had its problem an hour before the east coast got itself depowered.

    The rest happened with scary speed. SECONDS gened many pages of logs out of computers dumping log data to printers and sounding alarms.

    The guess by the engineers association that is one of the groups that oversees this larger interchange is that they know they have 10,000 pages of plant logs to go through now, and many more to come. So the exact sequence is not known and the details will not emerge for up to months.

    Catastrophics that propagate like this are good reasons for anyone using computers to have a power management long enough to shut down at bare minimum, and for as long as must be if commercial. At least one Visa transaction computer exchange center up in New England (northeast US) was on emergency power for a couple days. They had a Matrix UPS installation buiilding and deisel generators and several days of fuel on hand and arrangements for more if needed. They operated normally as far as needed transaction processing.

    The other lesson in this is to check your credit card bills next time you get them very carefully. It is possible power glitches caused minor changes in transactions en-route or partial transactions, or dupes got resent by mistake (chance about 10-20%).

    The accusation that this started with a Blastered bunch of power control computers is so far totally unfounded, and I am gonna say discount it until PROVEN so well it will stand up in court. And tell folks it is not known to be true and very unlikely (the computers did what they were supposed to do at each plant, and many of them do not run Windows or are very heavily surrounded by firewalls and are isolated).
Sign In or Register to comment.