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Research Paper on line frequency and timekeeping

ElectricTime

NAWCC Business
Sep 28, 2002
274
45
28
Research paper on Time and Frequency from electrical power lines from the NIST

ABSTRACT
Due to the efforts of Henry Warren, inventor of the Telechron electric clock, electric power companies have been a source of time and frequency reference for the public for over a hundred years. However, advances in technology and changes in the electric power industry have generated a movement within the industry to end the time-reference service. Power systems in the U.S. operate at a nominal 60 Hz, but in actual operation they accumulate significant phase error. It must be deliberately backed out to keep synchronous clocks on time—a procedure known as Time Error Correction (TEC). Today, many electric clocks still depend on the power system as the reference oscillator—that is, are synchronous—while others use other time references, such as local quartz oscillators and networked time servers—a benefit of the Internet of Things. Little is known about the overall impact of TEC on timekeeping in modern times. The Blackout of 2003 spawned a new regulatory structure for the electric power industry to improve reliability, and as an unanticipated side effect, a decision process that would most likely eliminate TECs was set in motion. The specific proposal is to retire regulatory standards designated BAL-004 and WEQ-006. We review the relevant structure and governing bodies of the U.S. power grids, and report on the current procedural status of these standards. In addition, we review possible scenarios for the future of the power system as an elapsed-time reference absent TEC. For this, we include analysis of the electric power at USNO, as measured over five years. The TECs appear in the data; an analysis with the industry-supplied record of the TECs indicates that without them a time deviation of about 7 ½ minutes would have occurred on the Eastern Interconnection (grid) between the daylight saving time switches of March 2016 and November 2016. 1640865679073.png
 

Attachments

Toughtool

Newbie
Aug 12, 2016
327
47
28
Panama City, FL
Country
Well, I'm not surprised! A few months ago Twigby sent me a notice that my phone would stop working December 31, 2021, as Sprint shuts down their CDMA services and making my equipment obsolete. New phone required, of course, at my cost.

I don't see an option for a cost effect 60 Hz (or 50 Hz) alternative to keep the millions of synchronous clocks running and on time.
 

mxfrank

Registered User
Oct 27, 2011
187
25
28
I suspect that regardless of what is done in the backbone grid, the widespread use of net metering would eventually create enough noise in the local distribution network to consign synchronous clocks to the history pile.
 

Cheezhead

Registered User
Dec 30, 2010
268
34
28
Wisconsin
Country
Region
7-1/2 minutes max. error between daylight savings resets is tolerable to me but I will keep a small atomic alarm clock next to our bedroom- located fluorescent display clocks that can be seen in the dark of night. Both are always on time so they are assumed as using the 60 HZ sine wave for a reference.

Perhaps others will not be as tolerant. It's easy to believe that there are tens of millions of similar clocks and clock radios in use.
 

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