A condition that occurs in an electric power system when the total real or reactive power of the power plants in the system is insufficient to supply all consumers with electric power of the required quality. A shortage of real power can result in a lowering of frequency throughout the power system and can ultimately lead to a breakdown condition. The breakdown condition can be prevented by connecting additional (spare) generators to the system or by disconnecting some of the consumers. A shortage of reactive power causes a voltage drop in the system. In extreme cases a so-called voltage avalanche can develop, resulting in emergency disconnection of all consumers. A voltage avalanche is best prevented by boosting or regulation of the excitation of the generators and synchronous compensators connected to the system, as well as by proper selection of the compensating equipment used in the system. Will There Be Power?
Who remembers when you got into your car, turned on the radio and let it warm up? Back in those days' radios had tubes in them and instant on was only a dream. Today we have global positioning systems, satellite radio and Onstar. The only thing that stays the same is that things change. Look at how much cars have changed in the past fifty years. We have computer controlled engines, computer controlled transmissions and computers that make individual climate changes for you and your passengers. But one thing hasn't changed much. That is the charging system and batteries. The last time the charging system and batteries changed was in the mid-50s when cars went from a 6-volt system to a 12-volt system. The last domestic carmaker to switch to the 12-volt system was Ford in 1955. Volkswagen went to 12 volts a few years later. There are so many demands on the electrical system and with what is planned for the near future, the electrical system is barely holding it's own. It is estimated that in the near future there will be over 300 sensors built into cars in the next few years. The capability of the charging system and batteries is being taxed to the limit and soon won't be able to keep up. In simple terms, there is a power shortage in modern cars.
New Electrical System
Some of you might have heard about the emerging 42-volt system scheduled for production in the next few years. Developers are working with carmakers to develop systems that will be considered for use. As of now there are two different 42-volt systems, a single 42-volt system and a 14/42-volt system. Both systems will provide solutions to the increasing demand for power and allow for added electrical loads as well as open the door for new technologies. The 42-volt system will probably make its first appearance as a 14/42-volt system. The dual system is better in that it will allow the conversion to the new system to happen gradually and minimize the cost of the conversion. Some of the systems already in the car won't change for quite awhile. Certain systems actually work better at the lower voltage. Things like spark plugs and certain sensors won't really benefit from the increased voltage, and standard automotive incandescent lighting works best in the 12 to 14-volt range. There are several possibilities for the generation and storage of the single and dual systems. The most common will have an air or liquid cooled generator that will produce a voltage of 42 volts and about 5 to 10 kilowatts of electricity at the center. From that point there may be a DC-to-DC converter to convert 42-volts to 14-volts and two batteries, a 36-volt battery and a 12-volt battery. The vehicle systems will be tied to the appropriate battery. In another proposed system there is a 12/36 dual voltage battery. Now you're probably confused about the 36 and 42-volt relationship. We know that in the 12 volt system the nominal voltage is 14 volts. The 42-volt system is increased by a factor of three. So 12-volts x 3 +36-volts, 14-volts x 3 = 42-volts. No matter...