Photograph via snooOG

A reddit for the grid. All things grid'ed. From smart ones to dumb ones. From close ones to far ones. From old ones to new ones. The grid and all its glory... and shortcomings is the focus of this guy. Post whatever you feel appropriate. Get connected!

The Grid reddit

The Grid - an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electrical power, high-voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers, and distribution lines that connect individual customers.

Power stations may be located near a fuel source, at a dam site, or to take advantage of renewable energy sources, and are often located away from heavily populated areas. They are usually quite large to take advantage of the economies of scale. The electric power which is generated is stepped up to a higher voltage-at which it connects to the transmission network. The transmission network will move the power long distances, sometimes across international boundaries, until it reaches its wholesale customer (usually the company that owns the local distribution network).

On arrival at a substation, the power will be stepped down from a transmission level voltage to a distribution level voltage. As it exits the substation, it enters the distribution wiring. Finally, upon arrival at the service location, the power is stepped down again from the distribution voltage to the required service voltage(s).

Wikipedia: electrical grid

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1 Comment
10:30 UTC


Should companies be forced to provide EV chargers? PV is increasing but EVs charge at night.

1 Comment
15:38 UTC


Which pays more Transmission Controller or Distribution Controller and what’s the difference?

19:05 UTC


Explain to me like I'm 5

What's the difference between point to point transmission service and network integration services? Which is better? I just don't get it.

18:33 UTC


Fiber Optic sensing applications

Hello Redditors,

I am a graduate student working on a project about fiber optic sensing technology and its potential applications in Oil and Gas and Power grid industries. I was hoping to gather some information regarding the pain points that could be addressed through the adoption of this technology and which companies in North America might be interested in the value proposition.

About Fiber Optic Sensing:

The technology works by sending a pulse through existing fiber optic cables that have been installed along the length of or within the pipelines (for oil and gas) and transmission lines (for power grids). By analyzing the behaviour of the pulse and its backscatter, various parameters with regards to the surroundings can be determined like temperature, pressure, strain, stress etc. Analyzing these parameters further using machine learning and artifical intelligence algorithms can determine many different kinds of intrusions (for example, trees very close to transmission lines or leakages along pipelines). Not only can this technology identify the type of intrusion but also provide precise location of interference. Implementing this technology would require hardware units to be installed every 100km along the infrastructure being monitored but it would be easy as long as there are pre-existing fiber optic cables. If not, the installation will include the cost and effort of installing the cables.

tldr; Fiber optic sensing can help accurately detect and report various kinds of intrusions/failures along with the location.

Some practical applications of this technology:

  1. For oil and gas : Leakage detection, proactive maintenance, detecting aging and corrosion of infrastructure
  2. For power grids : detecting flashovers, lightning strikes, icing, fires, tower instability, suspicious activity near the towers etc.


  1. What is the current technology being used for the above use-cases in each of the two industries (oil and gas and power grids)
  2. What are the drawbacks of the current technology and major pain points? Can replacing the incumbent technology with fiber optic sensing result in major cost savings? How?
  3. Is it safe to assume that there will be pre-existing fiber optic cables along pipelines and transmission lines?
  4. What is the current cost of maintenance and cleanup in case an adverse event occurs? Will that be a good indication of how much a company would be willing to pay if they were to implement fiber optic sensing for monitoring?
  5. Some companies have already adopted this technology. Is it working out well for them?

I am looking for any and all information so if you have something relevant beyond the questions above, please feel free to share.

Thank you very much in advance. The support is much appreciated.

13:45 UTC


Attorney General California

I wrote to the AG in California and got back a form letter. They will not refer to law enforcement unless I can provide proof of fraud. Thy had no information in their files concerning the Grid. This was about two months ago, If enough people contact them they will be forced to launch an investigation for credit card fraud , theft of property etc.

21:13 UTC


Hello, I am trying to understand how the grid works, but getting confused with it all. Could one of you guys explain how the day-ahead market works? Like who is buying and selling the electricity? Anything would help!

22:29 UTC


Where should I send media releases about my new micro inverter if I want to get coverage in California?

I'm looking for publications, blogs, radio/tv stations which report on/cater to technology, or solar in particular in California. If you have contact info for them that's hugely appreciated, but if you just know a name and/or website that's great too. I'm working for a company who wants some coverage for it's new quad capable micro inverter, and specifically in California as that's their primary target market right now. Many thanks in advance :)

15:03 UTC


PG&E took out boosters for my neighborhood

Our neighborhood of ~57 years and ~200 homes has a single grid connection coming into it up a hill. PG&E was working on installing a new connection for one house, when they noticed that another main high voltage line on the power poles was damaged, dangling, with broken switches, and one of those cylinder transformers hanging off of it not attached properly (I might have misunderstood him). Some background: the switches were new since I originally moved here in 1976, but there were always cylinders connected to the lines on the poles (are they called pigs?). Anyway, so they removed the broken switches (they never worked that well) and the two cylinders. I asked what the cylinders did, and if they were no longer in use, and he said that they were an old fashioned setup, and that they were boosters, because apparently the voltage for this area was low. He said for now they just bypassed them and let us have the lower voltage, and that it should be OK for now. I asked if they could come back and fix it, and he said yeah.

More background: from my memory, I always measured 120VAC and 240VAC here, sometimes 122VAC or 123VAC and a range of 239VAC-244VAC. Everyone else including electricians always said that these circuits were called "110" and "220", and several times when I asked these people I asked why the discrepancy, they would say that most neighborhoods the voltage just wasn't the specified 120/240 like it was supposed to be, and basically, our voltages were very good where I live, and that was unusual.

Well, I realized that our privilege must be coming to an end when I witnessed what the PG&E person told me. So, when I got home, I took out my volt meter, and measured it, and sure enough, I got 115VAC out of a socket. This was in a studio, so I don't know if the main house is closer to 120VAC or not. When I turned on my heater for the studio, of course the voltage dropped to 106VAC, to be expected since it's a long run and that's a heavy load. Edit: I just measured inside the house, and it is at a low 115VAC, also (it used to usually be 121VAC).

But, I'm wondering, is it common practice for PG&E to never come back and replace boosters once taken out? Can we expect to live in a 110VAC-115VAC neighborhood from now on?

And, another thing: why is it that our neighborhood needs boosters in the first place? Why can't the big substation step down transformers five blocks from where they removed the boosters just step down less, when they were originally installed? Or, for that matter, since the boosters were step ups for high voltage lines, why can't the next set of step down transformers on all of the neighborhood lines have been stepping down a bit less when they originally installed it, to compensate for the voltage drop?

I'm just curious all around.

Oh, and, part of why I was curious is that tomorrow we are installing solar panels where I live, and I was wondering if that was related at all. The PG&E person said no. I'm thinking the inverter will have to match the voltage being put out by PG&E, meaning the inverter will always operate at a lower voltage. Or, is the inverter dumber than that, and the installer sets the voltage of the inverter to match PG&E, and then when PG&E comes back in a few months to years to re-boost our neighborhood a little bit, our inverter has to be reset? For that matter, what about the dozen or so other solar panel systems in the neighborhood: do they need to be readjusted to the new voltage?

I'm just full of questions.

I did take a picture, but out of respect of privacy, I am leaving it out for now.

04:08 UTC


Which city has the best uptime from The Grid?

Any city with 100%? Thank you in advance. :)

1 Comment
07:55 UTC

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