Problems with electricity supply

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buksida
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Problems with electricity supply

Post by buksida »

We have a major problem in our area with power supply, the existing transformer is seriously overloaded and goes bang at least once a week resulting in a 3-4 hour power outage.

That would be tolerable but the power dips and surges have caused a number of household appliances also to go bang including computers and my thirty thousand baht Yamaha amp. :cuss:

The electricity board will do nothing about it, UPS units do not help, I have two 8 breaker consumer units with RCBOs but they dont help - is there anything that can be done?
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

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buksida wrote:We have a major problem in our area with power supply, the existing transformer is seriously overloaded and goes bang at least once a week resulting in a 3-4 hour power outage.

That would be tolerable but the power dips and surges have caused a number of household appliances also to go bang including computers and my thirty thousand baht Yamaha amp. :cuss:
The electricity board will do nothing about it, UPS units do not help, I have two 8 breaker consumer units with RCBOs but they dont help - is there anything that can be done?
I guess what you are calling RCBOs are RCD safety devices. These are just to protect people from getting zapped, and do not prevent surges.
UPS units are the only thing that will protect equipment from surges and spikes. The problem is that you are getting what is termed a "brown out" and the set point of low voltage switch over is too low. SOME better commercial type UPS supplies have adjustable set points. They should also filter out over voltage spikes, but again, cheaper "household" types may not have sufficient, or quality, filtering components built into them. They should also be connected to a GOOD ground / earthing point.
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STEVE G
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by STEVE G »

I wonder if it's possible that if the system is overloaded completely, the frequency is starting to drop which will potentially cause damage to some electrics. If that is the case, I imagine that it's hard to protect against short of doing something like installing a large pure sine wave inverter similar to what you have with a solar power set up.
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by chopsticks »

You need something called a voltage stabiliser to keep the voltage within determined limits for the more voltage sensitive appliances. A small cheap UPS is not really suitable.


www.voltagestabilizersindia.com
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

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STEVE G wrote:I wonder if it's possible that if the system is overloaded completely, the frequency is starting to drop which will potentially cause damage to some electrics. If that is the case, I imagine that it's hard to protect against short of doing something like installing a large pure sine wave inverter similar to what you have with a solar power set up.
The frequency of a power grid is closely maintained, it will not fluctuate more than about 0.1%. It is a combination of voltage drop and subsequent spikes and surges that is causung the damage.
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by chopsticks »

Nereus is correct about electricity suppliers ensuring the 50 or 60 Hz frequency does not drift too much.
As an example, electric clocks (non-quartz) which use the mains frequency as a reference would gain/lose time if there was any variation.
Over a 24 hour period there are usually adjusments made to ensure any seconds 'lost' are 'gained' later in the day or night by slight adjustments to the frequency.
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by STEVE G »

Yes, I agree that the frequency should be fixed in a perfect world, as should the voltage:

Experience on Stability Limit Enhancement in Thailand Power Grid
http://www.cigre-thailand.org/tncf/even ... cement.pdf

A list of severe phenomena which may occur and can cause wide-area
interruption or total system black-out are as follows:
– Cascade line tripping
– Voltage instability or collapse
– Overloading
– Large frequency deviations (under-frequency and over-frequency)
– Un-damped power swing (Oscillation)
– Loss of synchronism
– Network splitting
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by Nereus »

Yes, I agree that the frequency should be fixed in a perfect world, as should the voltage:
The voltage stability in any supply system is influenced mainly by the fluctuating load. At the lower voltage distribution point transformers have a limited range of self regulation. Grid supply transformers have automatic tap changing equipment to help maintain their output under varying load conditions. The problem being asked about here comes down to inadequately sized local street transformers, in addition to undersized and excessively long conductor runs. Therefore, it is not unusual, or unexpected, to find small changes in voltage levels, as the load is constantly changing, even in well designed systems.

A frequency change of just 1 Hz is considered a large change, and cannot really occur where there are multiple generators connected to a grid. Every generator connected to a grid HAS to run at the grid frequency, one cannot run at even a small different frequency to the rest of them as they are all effectively connected in parallel, and locked together in phase. (synchronized). If sudden load shedding occurs with one power station, then the whole grid might see a momentary fluctuation, but it is very unusual with modern systems, and the system would have to be near or at maximum capacity for any affect to be a problem. If one generator or power station starts to slow down, then all that happens is: it produces less total KVAR`s or output.
A list of severe phenomena which may occur and can cause wide-area
interruption or total system black-out are as follows:
Yes, the operative words here being: MAY OCCUR. And some of those are dependent on some of the others! :cheers:
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by PeteC »

The electricity board may listen if a group goes in and and says...."how much does an additional transformer cost.....we could possibly help with that....". Yes an extreme step but money talks here as we know. In the long run it may be less expensive than replacing all your damaged electronics and buying gizmos to try to counteract the problem. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by buksida »

Still finding fried appliances this morning. :roll:

I knew there would be no easy or cheap solution to this, buying a UPS/voltage regulator for each device that's plugged in isn't practical, unplugging them all every time is a royal pain.

Looks like I'll have to round up the neighbours and give hell to the EB.
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

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buksida wrote:Still finding fried appliances this morning. :roll:
I knew there would be no easy or cheap solution to this, buying a UPS/voltage regulator for each device that's plugged in isn't practical, unplugging them all every time is a royal pain.
Looks like I'll have to round up the neighbours and give hell to the EB.
Even with a big transformer on a pole right outside your front gate, there is is still the possibility of spikes that are sufficient to damage sensitive equipment. The only way around having some form of UPS combined with filtering equipment, is to completely isolate the sensitive equipment from the mains and have a dedicated source just for that equipment. This would have to be either a solar system, or a small motor driven generator, which is not really practical. Rather than a multitude of small UPS units it may be better to consider just one commercial type with sufficient capacity for your electronic gear.

What other appliances have been fried? Is there any close by industrial type loads, such as a freezer factory or similar, that may be causing spikes while switching equipment on?
AC power systems produce and carry all types of harmonics and "glitches" that are not related to the supply transformer. These spikes can be caused by a multitude of other factors, but can and will be reflected across a wide area of a supply grid.

The PEA supply authority can and should be forced to at least provide a recording instrument to try and isolate the actual conditions over a period of time. But I guess this is akin to asking the motor bikes riders to ride on the correct side of the road!

Just be aware that even if you are able to convince them to upgrade the transformer, it may not cure the problem. :cheers:
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by STEVE G »

Is there any close by industrial type loads, such as a freezer factory or similar, that may be causing spikes while switching equipment on?
There's a large steel mill at Ban Saphan Yaia:http://www.ssi-steel.com/en/abt/abts.htm
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by buksida »

We are 20km away from the steel plant - the problem is the transformer getting overloaded (too many houses on it) and exploding at frequent intervals (every 3-4 days).

Fried items so far: Yamaha amplifier, DVD player, computer speakers, computer mainboard, ceiling fan in kids room. Toaster and microwave are cranky now but still work.

Spoke to neigbours and the only solution seems to be buying our own one.
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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by chaspul »

Not looked for them here as I have many, but in Saudi it was almost mandatory to run all computers and electronic gear through a transformer box called a STAC (stabilised AC), to protect the equipment from spikes, causing total destruction.

Electrical supply there was amazing, with one house I had both 110v and 200v same design counter top sockets in the kitchen! The stove although 220v was still live with 110v when switched off at the wall and overloaded if oven, all plates on and we ran one of the livingroom ACs....... I digress.

Quite alarming to hear the STACs motoring and the needles flick at times.
Understand some UPS have a similar system.

STACs are 110/240 in and out dependant on supply and settings, most popular was 500w to run computers. Wattage is halved if mixing input/output voltage.

Have also brought with me a couple of 2Kw and a 3Kw which up to now have only used as transformers to power 110v American manufactured tools. Maybe I should re-think my setup.

Search on web has nothing immediately available for supply in Thailand except adverts from China import companies, but a UK firm (Watford Electronics) has just supplied a 46Mw monster to a customer so they must be out there.

If you can find one it will at least protect the expensive electronics and are much cheaper and less bulky than UPS.

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Re: Problems with electricity supply

Post by buksida »

This is right up my alley ... and it seems I'm not the only one ...

Ways sought to appease irate householders
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is conducting a study concerning how to compensate people who work at home for the impact of blackouts and an unstable power supply on their business.

The move follows legal complaints lodged against the government by many households after problems of this nature damaged their business.

The complainants sought compensation from the state agencies responsible for providing the electricity supply, but most have failed to win such cases because the relevant laws do not clearly stipulate the punishments should such a conflict between households and electricity authorities come to light, said Worawit Srianunraksa, a member of the ERC board.

The aim is to treat both households and the state power agencies fairly.

The ERC has joined hands with two other state agencies to work on these claimant and compensation issues, he said.

The Thailand Development Research Institute is looking for ways to calculate the compensation claimed by households in the 2024 fiscal year, which began on Oct 1, 2023 and continues through Sept 30 this year, while the state-run National Electronics and Computer Technology Center is developing a new application to facilitate people who want to make a claim for compensation.

In Mr Worawit's opinion, the compensation should be paid in the form of discounts on monthly electricity bills.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/ge ... useholders
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