Chapter 14

Power Grid and Blackouts

Electric power systems are probably the most complex systems ever built by man. In the United States, the power system contains several thousands of major generating units, tens of thousands of transmission lines, millions of transformers, and hundreds of millions of protection and control devices. Figure 14.1 shows the electric energy produced in the United States and worldwide. The power systems in 2009 produced over 20 PWh (20 × 1015 Wh) of electrical energy worldwide and over 4.0 PWh in the United States. The worldwide consumption, although already overwhelming, is expected to increase even more, primarily because of the rapid industrial development in Asia. To match the ever-growing demand for electrical ...

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