[time-nuts] Line Frequency standard change - Possible ?

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Thu Feb 9 18:39:24 EST 2017

In message <ff3ad224-243b-f87f-6d2f-d2103b547593 at comcast.net>, Peter Reilley wr

>Isn't this "hard" lock to UTC creating a single point of failure? A 
>solar burst, an EMP, or
>a software error could leave us all in the dark.

Well, to be honest, all of those things would wreck havoc with
any big grid...

The bigger concern is what happens when the three GPS receivers
on your 1GW nuclear block disagree 10 milliseconds...

>After all, smart inverters could be
>programmed to act like big lumps of rotating iron and be compatible with 
>the current system.

It is harder than it sounds.

Small solar inverters are the best, they an regulate down at milliseconds
notice, and many jurisdictions impose asymetric frequency bands on
them to exploit this.

Big inverters, no matter what you put behind them, get quite a bit
more expensive if they are designed to provide "non-VA" power,
because you suddenly have to run the current both ways in the same

Nobody wants to pay for that voluntarily, and nobody are particular
keen to cause the first explosion/fire while they get the control-law

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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