U.K. Power Cuts

Fake news. What about fake weather ?
I was under the presumption that this afternoons weather had a risk of life warning.
Seems quite nice out.

Nice in the north, except for electic storms, wet and windy in the south.

Well over in the east it is very windy now, but no rain. Quite sunny earlier, but now grey and overcast.

The latest from Ipswich Hospital…

Neill Moloney, Managing Director at East Suffolk and North East Essex Foundation Trust, said: “Yesterday evening the major power cut across parts of England and Wales also affected Ipswich Hospital, where we experienced a small power issue on site.

[i assume to be mains frequency violation, that prompted the UPS/generators to kick in for the campus]

“The emergency generators at the hospital all worked, but a circuit breaker in our outpatients department did not.

“This briefly cut the electrical supply to our outpatients and x-ray department.

“We activated our business continuity plans and this was quickly resolved.

Reports from the BBC say the interruptions on the campus ranged from less than 10 seconds to 15 minutes depending on who you spoke to and where they were in the hospital.

When you do n’t get to count to 2 after the flash its time to power down and listen to the sash windows rattle instead of music!


Hi Mike,
I downloaded the National Grid frequency stats from the grid watch web site

2019-08-09 15:50:37 50.02
2019-08-09 15:55:37 48.889
2019-08-09 16:00:34 50.07

And it snap shot your stated frequency violation, which appears recovered within 5 mins, no doubt helped by shutting off some of the grid network

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Well at least you don’t have a power cut…

Lol rather too much electricity!

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I think you are confusing cause and effect here Simon. The reason the mains frequency didn’t go outside the allowed tolerance when the two generators went off-stream is because the network shed load to match supply and demand.

And of course rural Suffolk in summer is not much of a load, so didn’t get shed, because it would make no appreciable difference. Which is why it didn’t effect you, I suspect.

David no confusion here at all buddy… yes as I said there infrastructure controls in the distribution and national grid to protect the power distribution network and protections in certain sensitive locations such as hospitals seemingly and data centres where a frequency violation may invoke UPS/Generators as well as in response to substations automatically or be manually switched off.
BTW I was at a commercial site near Cambridge yesterday … no impact there either luckily.
As far as I can ascertain the only site affected in Ipswich in Suffolk was the hospital…

still we have found no one on the forum whose power was removed despite the one million households across the country affected… which is curious…

Yes Simon, I agree, it’s surprising that reports state that one million people had their electricity supply cut, ie about 1 in 70 people, yet nobody on the forum.

However, with the rail network affected, hundreds of thousands of travellers were also affected and this also added to the news headlines. Network Rail needs to investigate why its system was so badly affected and how it could be better protected from similar events in future. They appear to be remarkably silent ?

Don I agree… it kind of feels this hasn’t been worked out properly. If it was classed as Critical National Infrastructure I expect it would be different, but I assume the railways and regional airports are not classed as that.

Actually I think they are referring to households, and there are around 27 million households in the U.K., so that is about 3.7% of households were impacted … relatively few… which perhaps explains why we haven’t had a hit… but then 3.7% is hardly vast swathes of the country as I saw it described in one paper.

I was in Northampton yesterday and there were quite a few traffic lights with no power.

And then, this morning in Birmingham, we had a power cut for around 5 minutes!

Cropredy village in Oxfordshire was out for about an hour yesterday the locals told us, the festival was unaffected as it runs on its own generators,

BBC is reporting that the Government has ordered an investigation into Friday’s power cut.

The BBC report includes this map:

It looks as if the National Grid handed the load shedding instruction to the DNOs and they each implemented it in a different way.

Had one down here in Crantock, just outside Newquay Cornwall. Power went out just before 5:00pm and lasted for about 30mins. Not sure if it was because of the storm or part of the reported UK wide ones… Saturday’s Daily Mail did have a map of the outages and Fistral Beach was mentioned.

Hi, yes the under supply issue appeared to cause power cuts at around 4pm (according to public domain measurement logs of the national grid) on Friday, and apparently slowly power was restored following from around 4.15pm to affected sites and locations by the various electricity Distribution Network Operators … the organisations responsible for the more local network and who actually deliver the electricity to you from the national grid. The national transmission are now only responsible for what often used to be referred to as the super grid, which is mostly the 275kV (two cable) and 400kV (four cable) transmission systems. Any transmission grid network smaller such as 132kV, 33kV, 11kV or 230V is usually the DNO responsibility.

As an aside right now at 08.46 wind power is the largest source of power on the UK grid, at 38.7% … coal is at 0%, and nuclear at 28%… that is pretty impressive progress.

Very interesting - could it be down to all those electric kettles and toasters being switched on at the same time for tea?