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Japan Power

Legacy From the 1800s Leaves Tokyo In the Dark 322

itwbennett writes "East Japan entered its fifth day of power rationing on Friday, with no end to the planned blackouts in sight. The local electrical utility can't make up the shortfall by importing power from another region, though, because Japan lacks a national power grid, a consequence of a decision made in the late 1800s."
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Legacy From the 1800s Leaves Tokyo In the Dark

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  • I'll bet ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @01:59PM (#35533420)

    ... this situation changes. And Japan will leap to the forefront of HVDC transmission gear manufacturing.

  • by Iphtashu Fitz ( 263795 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @02:04PM (#35533530)
    Very interesting article. I had no idea that Japan was effectively split in half thanks to 50Hz and 60Hz power grids. So does every home that is hooked up to 50Hz have a converter to switch it to 60Hz or vice versa since some electronic devices are rather dependent on the AC frequency? What happens when somebody decides to move across the country from one power source to the other? Do you just throw out all your old clocks that relied on the AC frequency for its timing source and buy new ones? I also wonder if the disaster unfolding there might encourage them to try to migrate the entire country to a single standard, whether 50 or 60. It has certainly demonstrated a major problem with their current infrastructure...
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @02:43PM (#35534164) Homepage

    TV's used to sync to the power line until well into the 1960's. The tolerances needed for color put an end to that,

  • by nido ( 102070 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {65odin}> on Friday March 18, 2011 @02:55PM (#35534368) Homepage

    If the USS Ronald Reagan had a couple Mighty Pumps in its inventory, these could be attached to the catapult steam lines. An electrical generator could be attached to the pump's drive shaft, generating power. Then they'd just run a cable to the shore to power the cities affected by the disaster.

    The USS Enterprise [sendtheenterprise.org] has 310 megawatts of thermal power. I don't know how much of this could be sent to the catapult lines... Nimitz-class carriers [wikipedia.org] have 2 reactors instead of 8, and generate ~190 MW of thermal power.

    There is some historical legacy for using an aircraft carrier to power a city:

    ... Each of Lexington’s four electrical generators could produce 35,200 kilowatts. All together, the generators were powerful enough to fulfill the electricity requirements of a decent sized city. And, for 30 days that is exactly what she did. ...

    -When USS Lexington Powered A City [conflicthealth.com]

    Lots of people have found my site this week (/. post on Sunday [slashdot.org], google, etc), and the link about the MYT engine was one of the more-commonly followed links. This page has better information about the MYT pump/engine:

    The MYT [Massive Yet Tiny] Engine as a pump/compressor purportedly exceeds existing pumps/compressors in providing massive pressure, volume, and flow -- all in one unit. This attribute makes it ideal for geothermal energy, among many other such applications.

    -Angel Labs eyes geothermal for MYT Engine application [pesn.com]

    When Disaster Strikes, Send the Enterprise [sendtheenterprise.org]. I just did my first newspaper interview this morning. :)

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