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Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 27, 2020

Transformers are able to transfer electricity to other circuits. They are a vital part of our infrastructure. Sometimes, however, they fail - creating some interesting and spooky moments. Here are ten of the biggest transformer failures. 

#10 India 2012 power outage:


The world's most significant power outage ever, the summer of 2012 in India will forever be remembered for the most widespread blackout in human history. Two severe power outages affected most of northern and eastern India on July 30th and 31st. The outage on July 30 affected over 400 million people and was briefly the most massive power outage in history beating the January 2001 blackout in northern India when 230 million lost power simultaneously. The outage on July 31 is the most significant power outage in history, the outage affected more than 620 million people about 9% of the world's population at the time and half of India's entire population.

The outage spread across 22 Indian states in northeastern and the Northeast of the country. An estimated 32 gigawatts of producing capability were taken offline of the affected population 320 million initially had energy whereas the remainder lacked direct access for several consecutive hours. The electrical service was wholly restored to the affected locations by August 1. One of the grimmest effects of the outage occurred at electric crematoriums which stopped operating suddenly leaving some bodies half cremated before the wood was brought in to stoke the furnaces overloading the grid at peak times and simple human errors were eventually blamed for the troubles.


#9 New York City blue hot explosion:

Bright sky at night: power plant explosion turns New York City
Photo credit: The Guardian

A transformer explosion in Astoria New York lit up the sky in late 2018 causing an eerie blue glow and ominous low hum as the Box shorted out. Millions of people in New York City were left stunned by bright flashing blue lights as con Ed's plant transformer in Queens blew up New York City firewire confirmed that a fire had occurred within the Astoria neighborhood. It was later added that the explosion happened on the 20th Avenue facet of the con Edison plant. 

The eruption happened around 9:20 p.m. that night, and luckily no injuries were reported. LaGuardia Airport lost power as a result of the explosion, and all flights were grounded temporarily while efforts to fix the outage were underway the MTA New York's massive subway system also experienced delays across the number seven train line what Con Ed initially described as a short electrical fire at an influence substation in Queens spokesman for The Electric Company later said what happened was what's called an arc flash somewhat like a bolt of lightning after a malfunction and equipment that carries 138 thousand volts of electricity 20 feet up in the air an arc flash also referred as a flashover is a ray of sunshine and warmth produced as a part of an arc fault a sort of electrical explosion or discharge that outcomes from a connection via air to the floor or another voltage part in an electrical system.


#8 1965 Northeast blackout:

NYCdata: The Northeast Blackout - 1965
Credit: Photograph: Everett Collection H Copyright: Alamy

A defective relay at sir Adam Beck station on the Ontario facet of Niagara Falls drives to what was then the most significant energy failure in U.S. history at dusk all of New York State parts of seven neighboring states and elements of Eastern Canada have been thrust into darkness. The great Northeast blackout began at the height of rush hour delaying millions of commuters and trapping 800,000 people in New York subways and stranding thousands more in office buildings, elevators, and trains. 10,000 Nationwide Guardsmen and 5,000 off-duty policemen have been known as into service to stop looting. 

The blackout was brought on by the tripping of a 230-kilovolt transmission line near Ontario Canada at 5:16 p.m. which caused several other heavily loaded lines to also fail this precipitated. A surge of energy that overwhelmed the transmission traces in western New York inflicting a cascading impact tripping other marks ensuing within the eventual breakup of the whole northeastern transmission community. Altogether 30 million people in eight U.S. states in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec were affected by the blackout. During the night power was gradually restored to the blacked-out areas, and by morning power had been restored throughout the Northeast. In addition to New York, power overloads a computerized system shutdown affected 30 million folks in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec, and Ontario. Even no National Guardsman and off-duty police officers were called in to prevent looting it turned out to be comparatively calm and peaceable energy was restored for most individuals inside 13 hours


#7 Canada's Geomagnetic Storm:

March 1989 geomagnetic storm - Wikipedia

On Friday, March 10, 1989, astronomers witnessed a robust explosion on the Solar inside minutes tangled magnetic forces on the Solar had launched a billion-ton cloud of gasoline. It was just like the vitality of 1000's of nuclear bombs exploding on the similar time the storm cloud rushed out from the Solar straight in the direction of Earth at 1,000,000 miles an hour. The photovoltaic flare that accompanied the outburst instantly induced shortwave radio interference together with the jamming of radio alerts from Radio Free Europe into Russia. It was initially thought that the indicators had been jammed by the Kremlin; however, the interference was actually coming from the Sun. Sometimes the Sun emits billion-ton clouds of ionized gas known as a coronal mass ejection or CME. 

On March 10, 1989, a CME about the size of 36 Earth's in the equal to the vitality of hundreds of nuclear bombs exploding on the identical time escaped on the 12th. The gasoline cloud crashed towards Earth's magnetosphere and induced the Northern Lights to be seen as far south as Cuba & Texas. Due to this celestial occasion, six million Quebec residents had been thrust into darkness when the province's energy grid misplaced. Energy faculties and companies had been compelled to shut throughout the 12-hour blackout in addition to the Montreal metro and Val-d'Or Airport. In space, some satellites actually tumbled out of control for several hours. NASA's TDRS-l communication satellite recorded over 250 anomalies as high-energy particles invaded the satellite's sensitive electronics. Even the space shuttle discovery had its own mysterious problems, a sensor on one of the tanks supplying hydrogen to the fuel cell was showing unusually high-pressure readings. On March 13 the problem went away just as mysteriously after the solar storm subsided. 


#6 Cheyenne Wyoming 2009 transformer explosion:

Department of energy substation transformer explosion in Cheyenne ...
Credit: Photograph: youtube

A hazardous explosion in Cheyenne Wyoming except for a witness account who was told the likely cause of the eruption started with one very unlucky squirrel. It was so bright, you couldn't look at it, the onlooker said. The explosion and resulting electric arcs were so fierce that pieces of errant metal began to weld together from the focused heat. 

The toxic Brown smoke can be seen as this process unfolds while this was a freak accident involving a wild animal. It's possible the substation wasn't entirely up to code at the time when it comes to the standard substations must adhere to in the U.S. Some common Quality Assurance factors including ensuring sufficient clearance from energized elements needs to be offered to keep away from unintentional contact with them, if that may be met life parts should be guarded or enclosed which in this case they appeared not to be as a squirrel had access to them also grounding of all substation metallic buildings fences and tools tanks ought to be linked to a station floor grid which ought to be designed to make sure that step and potential contact values are decreases than those stipulated within the relevant requirements. This means that arcing and other results of low-level explosions should render minimal damage to the substation.


#5 Hurricane Sandy wreaks havoc in the Northeast U.S.:

Hurricane Sandy in Photos - The Atlantic
Credit: Photograph: The Atlantic

It was approximately 9:00 p.m. on October 29, 2012, when hurricane sandy was at its peak, and lower Manhattan was plunged into darkness. The con-ed substation on East 13th Street in Alphabet City in Manhattan flooded causing a massive transformer explosion visible from as far away as Brooklyn and the Lower East Side that knocked out part of the island's grid that catastrophe was compounded by outages at two different decrease. 

Manhattan substations finally resulting in a day's prolonged blackout that affected hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Manhattan was an island divided there was every little thing above roughly 30th Avenue the place you may virtually imagine that issues had gotten again to regular however when you crossed from midtown into downtown or as some folks jokingly famous into a brand new neighborhood referred to as SoCo. As in the south of power, New York was a completely different place, some parts of lower Manhattan still had power such as Goldman Sachs West Street headquarters, but most of those neighborhoods stayed dark. There were no traffic lights no neon signs illuminating typically busy streets, not even the bodegas could remain open a fixture of New York City streets. Sandy affected more than New York a massive sudden transformer failure in New Jersey was just one of many that the storm produced plunging the suburban neighborhood of cliffside into partial darkness heading into the evening.


#4 Multiple surges in Kenner, Louisiana:

New storm-surge maps from Weather Service show worst-case models ...
Credit: Photograph: The Lens

A video shared with social media shows the dramatic moment of multiple electrical explosions in Kenner Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans that resulted in a neighborhood-wide power outage. Kenner police officials said several power poles sparked around 3 a.m. within the 3200 blocks of Williams Boulevard. Power lines continued to spark for several city blocks throughout the evening. Kenner police blamed the high winds for the sparking and downed power lines, energy officials said at least 10,000 customers in Kenner and parts of Metairie were in the dark temporarily because of the power line issues. 

Employees and customers at an IHOP in the area were rattled when one of the transformers outside blew sparking a small fire in the restaurant, officials said I hop was damaged in the front from the light and in the back from water damage. Luckily the gas station shown in the footage and other volatile locations were left unarmed resulting in minimal damage to the neighborhood with the exception of the fried power infrastructure of course.


#3 Birds caused a blowout:

Spring brings flowers, green grass and large flocks of birds ...
Credit: Photograph: Radio Iowa

Out of all the things to cause an electrical explosion did you ever think a flock of birds would be the culprit. Apparently, that's the case in this clip as this massive flock of birds caused what's known as a swing short when most of the herd left the wire simultaneously. Have you ever wondered why birds and other small animals don't get shocked when they're sitting or running along power lines, the reply to this query has to do with how electrical energy flows? It should all the time transfer alongside the trail of least resistance and flows finest by conductors. The copper and electrical wires is a superb conductor, birds will not be good conductors that is one purpose they do not get shocked after they sit on electrical wires. 

The vitality bypasses the birds and retains flowing alongside the wire, as a substitute there's another excuse why birds can sit on the fence without getting shocked. There isn't any voltage distinction in a single cable for electrons to maneuver, there have to be what scientists name a difference in the electrical potential. For instance, vitality flows from areas of excessive voltage to areas of low voltage if it flows by a single energy line at 35,000 volts it should proceed alongside the trail of least resistance meaning it will bypass Birds as a result of there isn't any distinction in the electrical potential. It could be an extraordinary story if a chicken touched the bottom whereas sitting on the wire that will trigger it to get shocked this is able to additionally occur if a chicken touched one other cable with a particular voltage in these circumstances the chicken's physique would develop into a path for electrical energy it could transfer by the chicken to succeed in both the bottom or one other place with a particular voltage because of this energy traces are typically excessive within the air with loads of area between the wires.


#2 Massive fire in Madison, Wisconsin:

Update: Power restored Downtown after Friday morning explosion ...
Credit: Photograph:

The transformer explosion and fire at a central power center in Madison Wisconsin, shut down the realm as crews responded to the scene a witness to the blast stated flames shot 150 feet in the air but luckily there were no reported injuries from the chaotic scene. About 13000 customers and the utility were without power as a result of the explosion. It isn't known what came first during the main incident the fire or the explosion, but the electric substation involved had to be completely shut off before any emergency services could attend to the scene to douse the flames. Madison's fire chief said it took about 15 to 20 minutes to get the substation de-energized then five to ten minutes to put the fire out with fire smothering foam. 


#1 Montreal ice storm disaster: 

Hard lessons learned are part of Ice Storm's enduring legacy | CTV ...
Credit: Photograph: CTV News

During an ice storm in 2014, Montreal errors were subjected to several days stretches without power and frigid temperatures plunging well below 15 degrees Celsius. One nasty side effect of the cold weather was due to the icing over trees, roads, doors and most importantly electrical infrastructure this transformer exploded as the compartments were frozen over and short-circuited who knew cold weather could cause something to overheat.

That's all we have for you today everybody and thank you all for reading, let us know in the comments down below what you think the worst transformer failure was and if you enjoyed this post, don't forget to subscribe to our blog, so that you don't miss out on all of our latest content.
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