Random email I got today:
Here is an observation I made during the power down:
if 1 million people each cut 100 Watts from the grid, that is 100
million watts of load reduced.
Since all power that is generated must be consumed voltage should rise
as the load decreases.
The power companies (Power generators) will need to cut back on
production to keep the voltage from rising to high and burning things
out that are still drawing power from the grid (A bad thing).
So I decided to monitor the voltage with a very accurate meter at my
house during the 8 pm to 10 pm time frame. I stabilized the load at my
house before taking the measurements (I turned off most all loads,
Water pump, Water heater, Most lights, and anything else that could
cause a line voltage drop if it kicked on during the monitoring
At 8 pm the voltage was 120.1
At 8:15 pm 119.8
At 8:30 pm 120.4
At 8:45 pm 121.4
At 9:00 pm 122.4
At 9:15 pm 122.6
At 9:30 pm 122.2
At 9:45 pm 119.9
At 10:00 pm 120.1
All the voltages I measured were well within the acceptable range for
house hold use even during the event.
It was interesting (but expected) that the voltage went up during the
lights out time and returned back to near the 120 Volt range after the
This suggests to me that we (the people who decided to participate)
were able to make a difference by turning out the lights!
Today (Sunday) I have been monitoring the voltage throughout the day,
It has been in the 120 to 121 range all day.
If we did manage to reduce the load by 100 million watts (100
Megawatt), we actually saved even more power than that! Numbers vary
but between 20 to 40% of power generated is lost in transmission
between the power plant and the end user. That is why Obama is pushing
the “Smart Grid”. If the loss numbers are anywhere near close then the
total power reduction of 100 megawatts was actually more like 120 to
140 megawatt reduction when viewed from the generation end!
There is so much to love here – that my friend took 2 hours of his life to take semi scientific voltages measurements on a Saturday night, that he spent hours preparing for it, that he took more time to email it out, but mostly that he is just so damn excited about it all.
Give the Geek in your life a hug – they will likely save us all.
Be the Change.