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Re: [announce-all] NAC Maintenance this weekend (fwd)

  • From: Forrest W. Christian
  • Date: Mon Dec 13 01:08:48 1999

On Sat, 11 Dec 1999, Greg A. Woods wrote:

> I've also heard a story second hand (from someone at the site) of a
> backup generator (or buffer generator) that failed (it was three-phase,
> something about one phase not switching over I think) which similarly
> blew the side of a building out when it failed.  This was back in the
> early 80's or maybe even late 70's, and I believe it was a mainframe
> datacentre (or factory powerplant), also somewhere in Ontario.

I've heard a story about a generating plant in South/Central Utah or
Northern Arizona which somehow someone succeeded in screwing up the wiring
in such a way that when they went to put a generator online, the phase
detectors thought everything was in sync and then when they put the
generator on line they discovered that it was, in fact, not wired
correctly (one of the phases reversed or something).  The resulting
"torque reversal" caused the majority of the generator to promptly exit
the building and they found pieces/parts not a trivial distance away. 

I heard this enough times from enough different sources (many of which I
trust as reliable) that I consider this factual. Of course, I DIDN'T see
it myself (thank god.).

If this did, in fact occur, the instantaneous potential between the
generator and the line could very well cause a transformer to fail,
especially if a breaker failed to open.

(not trying to add any credibility to the original story).

- Forrest W. Christian (forrestc@imach.com) KD7EHZ
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