Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Continent Wide Frequency Monitoring Network

Right Float Photo[Metafilter readers: Wondering Star is focused on planet sized sensor networks, if you have other examples please let me know. Thanks!]

From Min Kao's site here is The Frequency Monitoring network (FNET)

FNET is a low-cost, GPS-synchronized wide-area power system frequency measurement network. Highly accurate Frequency Disturbance Recorders (FDRs) developed at Virginia Tech are used to measure the frequency, phase angle, and voltage of the power signal found at ordinary 120-V electrical outlets. The measurement data are continuously transmitted over the Internet to the FNET server housed at the University of Tennessee.

Several applications have been developed which utilize the FNET data. These include:

    * Event detection and location
    * Oscillation detection
    * Animations of frequency and angle pertubations
    * Integration of renewables into the power grid
    * Detection of system breakup or islanding
    * Prediction of grid instability and reduction of blackouts
    * Providing grid control input signals

FDR CloseupCurrently, FNET collects data from approximately 80 FDRs located across the continent and around the world.  Additional FDRs are constantly being installed so as to provide better observation of the power system.

wikipedia entry on FNET.

One can also watch live the gradient map here:

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