with Peter Sinclair
Rachel Maddow interviews Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy on Sandy’s impact.
Burying power lines is a great idea… until some idiot with a backhoe digs one up!
Another difficult problem to solve is America’s use of 117V vs the 220-240V used in Europe.
Transmitting a unit of power in America with half the voltage requires twice the current and hence twice the copper.
Skimping on this wastes energy by heating the conductors and increases risk of fires.
Now that appliances are increasingly becoming voltage-agnostic, perhaps it may become viable to incrementally upgrade the electricity infrastructure?
Actually, in Europe, as far as I know, almost all local mains distribution is underground. The only transmission lines I can remember seeing are grid types, carrying >132kV and these are kept well above and away from trees.
Burying cables is much more sensible, safer and lower maintenance, even if installation is more expensive, and conduit can be shared with fibreoptic cables for Net and cable TV.
I’d like to learn more about this, if you can suggest a good primer.
Yes, here in Holland almost all local power mains is burried. For medium voltage lines (110kV and 150 kV) this is about 50/50. High voltage lines are almost all above ground (220 and 380kV), but even these seem to be going underground because new powerlines encounter great resistance by the locals in this densely packed country. A first 20 km underground 380 kV cable is being constructed now. More info on this revolutionary project on the website of the grid operator.
In Sweden there is a lot of electricity lines in the air. Electricity was out three months for some after the big storm Gudrun
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