[time-nuts] 60 Hz measurement party

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 25 23:31:47 UTC 2011

> Extrapolating further, I wonder if anyone has done common view
> time transfer based on synchronized power grids? Although not
> as precise as LF or TV or GPS methods it would make a nice
> demo of the concept.
> /tvb

Interesting idea.. but here's a potential wrench in the works.. the 
phase in the "consuming area" is always lagging the phase in the 
"sending area"... as the amount of power sent varies, the phase 
difference varies.

So, for instance, you're up in the Pacific NW.. generally a "sender" of 
power via the Pacific Intertie down to us in the LA area.

What might be interesting is for both of us to measure phase against 
some common reference (e.g. GPS) and then do a delta.

Then compare that delta (perhaps integrated over a day?) against the 
published power that's been transmitted over the links (CAISO has this 
on their website, I think)

There's also a fair amount of phase shift possible between transmission, 
through distribution to your house.  Maybe some sort of E/H field pickup 
under a HV power line (if that didn't trigger the DHS dragging you away).

The field should be easily detectable. For an exercise when I was 
substitute teaching a coworker's EM statics class at Cal State 
Northridge, I had them work out whether a) a compass needle would 
deflect under the DC link (carrying 3000A), and b)whether you could 
measure the current that way.  The general answer is yes and yes, 
although it's a lot easier if one of the links is down and they're 
running with the ocean return path.

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