[time-nuts] Power lines and time

Chuck Harris cfharris at erols.com
Mon Aug 22 11:42:57 EDT 2005

John Day wrote:

>> I have never seen a power meter made by Ferranti in the US.
> Try Siemens or ABB then, Ferranti has been taken over if I recall.

The term is actually Ferraris, after Galileo Ferraris, the inventer of
the AC induction motor.  As far as I can tell, he had nothing to do with
watt-hour meters, as they weren't invented until 3 years after his death.

> You do? Are you sure? 

Pretty sure. we have at least 1 per household,  and a whole pile for
commercial establishments, and they are salted all over the place on
traffic lights, billboards, street signs, ...  Surely no place else in the
world could be as stupid about such things as we are!

> And herein lies a serious problem for electricity suppliers. With the 
> problems of inadequate generating capacity and ever increasing demand, 
> particularly in North America, regulators are directing distributors on 
> occasions to drop nominal voltages to 100V in controlled brown-outs. 
> Induction meters then, apparently, tend to read even lower, thus 
> depriving the distributors of yet more income.

During a brownout, the power company is providing substandard power,
and should be paid accordingly!  100V brownouts blow induction motors
right and left.  An induction motor will draw whatever current is necessary
to meet its load requirements, regardless (to a point) of its supply

> In that case the US will be playing catch up with parts of Canada, 
> Europe, most of Asia and Oceania where solid state meters, often with 
> remote reading are the norm rather than the exception - and synchronised 
> mains frequency has become a fond memory.

There are plenty of remote reading meters in the US, but they all seem to be
of the Ferraris type in their measurement transducers.

-Chuck Harris

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