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Selective unexpected mains power outages ... computers are first to 'conk out'.


Aitchbee
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At home today about 3:30pm whilst watchin' c4 racing, my light in the kitchen flickered for a tenth of a second and also my TV was off for about ten seconds, then came back on; but my 2 computers had switched themselves off. I switched my computers back on and luckily no problems. The same thing happened again at 3:50pm. Again I switched the computers back on and also the TV this time.

Later, at about 5:30pm, I went over to my local bookies and was [half] surprised to see that nearly all of their screens were 'off-air', they said it happened at about 3:30pm.

Finally [I hope you are all sticking with me here], when I looked up at the big wind-turbine high up on the hill ... it was steadfastly not moving but it was [and still is] very windy. [I reckon the computer that controls the tubine was also 'knocked out'.

Question: Are mains connected computers always the first 'to go', when there is an 'outage' ?

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Aitchbee

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Thanks Jock1e - but what about the bookies' screens [displaying the odds] and the big wind turbine stopped turning this afternoon? I would have thought they have would have had surge protection installed in their computer systems for such occurences.

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bumpkin

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Surge protectors should work whatever the power source, they do not know it is wind-turbine.

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Aitchbee

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Jock1e - although their 20 [or so]information 'computer-controlled laser-display screens' were blank, they still were still glad to accept my bets for the evening horses ... number tens to win ... fingers crossed ;o]

PS. The big wind turbine I can see from my back window, is still, 'not for turning'.

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Forum Editor

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I'm not an expert on Wind turbine technology, but I wouldn't have thought the fact that the blades are not turning is in any way connected with your local power cut. More likely the turbine has been stopped for maintenance work to be carried out, as Jock1e suggested.

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morddwyd

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The reason computers, and some other devices trip out, while others don't. is that they are held "on" by the equivalent of an electronic relay.

Once the power is off, even for a millisecond, the "relay" trips, and the power goes off.

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Aitchbee

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That sounds a very feasible reason, morddwyd.

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wiz-king

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As I work in an area that is prone to outages and brown outs all our PC,s have small UPSs on. On last Friday the office sounded a bit like living in a disco full of canaries - we had that many problems the all three phases tripping out at different times - sometimes it was the lights and others it was the power. Smoking holes in the pavement are regular occurrences as the mains cables fry, I counted six joints in about 5 metres of cable before they eventually replaced the whole length.

With most of your bookies screens not working the turbine is redundant. QED

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fourm member

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There's no connection between the turbine and the power cut. That's just one of those coincidences.

When my wife was a child her father tripped over a cable and all the lights went out. He cycled to the depot and got them to send someone out. After a quick check the repairman asked for a shilling and put it in the meter.

There can be many reasons for a turbine not to be running including, it would appear, profit.

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Aitchbee

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Although it may have been a coincidence for the turbine to be stationary, I was a-thinkin' that the turbine's mast's rotational movement was controlled by a mains-supplied computer, as the big turbine blades always appear at different angles on the faraway hilltop horizon depending on the wind direction and strength.

BTW - the position of the blades have not moved at all since yesterday, I have just had a look.

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fourm member

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Aitchbee

I understand.

It would seem very bizarre for a power generation unit to rely on external power to work but, since this is wind power we're talking about, logic does not apply so you might be right.

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