The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to fund a new, high-tech power grid for New York's financial centres which will use advanced superconductor technology. DHS feds have named the new system "Project Hydra". The allusion is to the Lernaean Hydra, the terrible nine-headed monster of Greek legend which was hard to …
Let the finger pointing begin. Again,
I think that was supposed to be Ohio...
As a proud Ontarian who almost met his maker trimming trees around his rural power lines this weekend, it is probably a miracle that Ontario was not the cause. But officially, it was those Ohioawaneses. And not just cuz Wiki says so either.
This is stupid.
With the way things are done in New York, the automatic multiple path scheme will not work because someone will ignore the Electricity 2.01 patch they need to install in order to enable multiple paths.
I seem to remember that in 2003, there was a failsafe shutdown that should have prevented a larger section of the grid from "melting" but people had forgone the General Electric Power Management++ patch.
It was a small power supply outfit in Ohio that failed to adhere to protocols that caused the power surge that led to the power outage.
North-north east Ohio to be more on target.
In central Ohio (Columbus) we did not get the power outage.
The main benefit
The main benefit of superconducting cables isn't the lack of electrical resistance, actually, since the power saved by that, while significant, is roughly equal to the power consumed in keeping the cables cooled down below the critical temperature. The benefit is actually mostly in power density. Even with the coolant sleeve, a superconducting cable can carry more power than a copper cable of the same thickness. Given that these cables are being run through underground pipes which were laid back in the days before ubiquitous computer usage in downtown NYC, this is rather important.
Justification for this technology changes over time
When I first heard about this technology, the justification was that the growth in data cabling under the streets of Manhattan was so fast that in next-to-no-time there would literally be no space left for power cables without the road caving in. That was back in "boom time", and it looks like the exponential extrapolation may have been a bit off.
Now the justification is "homeland security".
Seems like cool stuff without a good reason to exist.
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