More news on power supply : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The electric transmission and distribution systems do utilize

embedded systems many different ways. But there are also far more

devices installed that are electronic or rely on magnetics to

function. These devices are not susceptible to Y2K problems.

Control systems that I have designed and installed all have a method

of manual control and a means to disable the embedded system (failure

happens under normal operation from time to time)if necessary. The

electricians at my company are trained in manual operation of the

system, and actually do so routinely.

My group has inventoried and assessed 279 embedded systems installed

for control of the transmission system we operate. All have been

certified Y2K compliant by the manufacturer. In addition, integrated

system testing is being conducted on facilities to ensure proper

operation into the year 2000.

It's important for me to point out the interconnection of the

electric system and our dependence on telecommunications. Even

though one utility may be confident of their position, it's difficult

to communicate that because external factors can have a such a large


-- Richard Dale (, October 30, 1998


This was also posted on rick cowles open forum.

-- Richard Dale (, October 30, 1998.

Right on Richard!

-- Paul Davis (, October 30, 1998.

Are you cheering Mr. Dale bcause he posted good news or because he thinks the symtem will fail?

-- Believer (, October 30, 1998.

I'm trying to get to the bottom of this power thing, what is the truth. My view (based only on gut feel in the absence of any real evidence) is that there is little or no threat to the power supply. Of course there is still a problem in software which may still cause major economic disruptions and bankrupcies.

-- Richard Dale (, October 30, 1998.


You mentioned software. What about billing and auto disconnect or termination of service done by computer for "non-payment", etc.? Have these issues been addressed and confirmed compliant as well?

Thanks ====================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, October 30, 1998.


I am quite conversant with electrical wiring and connections in and to homes and businesses. I have lived in all parts of the US and have never found a location where a computer or a computer program can, "auto disconnect" or terminate service, either to a consumer or a business without human intervention.

Such software CAN issue work orders, disconnect notices, etc., but in all cases that I know of, an actual human employee of the power company must go to some location at or near the user and physically open the power connection.

I suspect that a line crew which received 10,000% of its normal number of such disconnects would question the validity of them, and in any case, wouldn't get through very many of them before someone started crying foul.

I have no clue if these issues have been addressed at all power companies yet, but what I have seen of "official" power company web sites indicates that billing and administrative software has typically been the first area to be dealt with.

You may get a bill for $9,000,000, but so would a lot of other people and hopefully it would "only" be an administrative nightmare, and not a "lights out" problem.

I expect any power problems to be in the transmission and distribution networks (grids) rather than in the generation end.

Here's a post from another Y2K forum, written by the operator of a hydro plant (dam) for Seattle Power & Light. You can reach him at the EMail address shown and I'm pretty sure that he'd be glad to answer whatever questions for you that he can. He is a volunteer fire chief as well, and I believe him to be an honest and concerned man and Y2Ker. He's also a guy who's not afraid to get dirt under his fingernails and he doesn't wear a necktie to work.

******************************** Date: July 03, 1998 02:49 AM Author: Lane Dexter ( Subject: My concern

Even though we are busily installing these frustrating new digital governors, I'm fairly confident we can keep some generation running in these old hydro plants. I'm more concerned about the "remote supervisory" controlled switchgear, that proliferates as Management tries to get rid of Substation Operators and overwork their few Dispatchers. That stuff isn't as simple as it once was; it's largely computer driven now.

Also, if the more complex thermal plants, especially the nuclear variety, have more serious problems due to embedded chips, non-compliant PLC's, etc., the loss of a significant portion of available generation could mean the system "twists apart" and collapses. Normally, a generating plant or two can be knocked off line, and the system handles it with only a minor frequency excursion. Simultaneous loss of a number of plants throughout the region would be a new experience. Restoraton in dead of winter would present a major challenge.

Let's hope we can hold it together, but be prepared in case we can't.

"Trust in God, but keep your powder dry."

--Cromwell *****************************

-- Hardliner (, October 30, 1998.

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