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Legacy From the 1800s Leaves Tokyo In the Dark

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can-we-pin-this-on-lincoln dept.

Japan 322

itwbennett writes "East Japan entered its fifth day of power rationing on Friday, with no end to the planned blackouts in sight. The local electrical utility can't make up the shortfall by importing power from another region, though, because Japan lacks a national power grid, a consequence of a decision made in the late 1800s."

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Time to get out those telescopes! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533348)

Dark (and hopefully) clear skies...

Re:Time to get out those telescopes! (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534082)

The ground is still a little wobbly at times.

Time to build big extension cords (5, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534368)

If the USS Ronald Reagan had a couple Mighty Pumps in its inventory, these could be attached to the catapult steam lines. An electrical generator could be attached to the pump's drive shaft, generating power. Then they'd just run a cable to the shore to power the cities affected by the disaster.

The USS Enterprise [sendtheenterprise.org] has 310 megawatts of thermal power. I don't know how much of this could be sent to the catapult lines... Nimitz-class carriers [wikipedia.org] have 2 reactors instead of 8, and generate ~190 MW of thermal power.

There is some historical legacy for using an aircraft carrier to power a city:

... Each of Lexington’s four electrical generators could produce 35,200 kilowatts. All together, the generators were powerful enough to fulfill the electricity requirements of a decent sized city. And, for 30 days that is exactly what she did. ...

-When USS Lexington Powered A City [conflicthealth.com]

Lots of people have found my site this week (/. post on Sunday [slashdot.org] , google, etc), and the link about the MYT engine was one of the more-commonly followed links. This page has better information about the MYT pump/engine:

The MYT [Massive Yet Tiny] Engine as a pump/compressor purportedly exceeds existing pumps/compressors in providing massive pressure, volume, and flow -- all in one unit. This attribute makes it ideal for geothermal energy, among many other such applications.

-Angel Labs eyes geothermal for MYT Engine application [pesn.com]

When Disaster Strikes, Send the Enterprise [sendtheenterprise.org] . I just did my first newspaper interview this morning. :)

Japan Does Have a National Power Grid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533360)

They have several frequency converter stations.

Re:Japan Does Have a National Power Grid (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533388)

They should just be linked up with HVDC lines anyway, but eh. Same problem.

Re:Japan Does Have a National Power Grid (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533934)

This earthquake/tsunami/meltdown/etc could be a Catastrotunity in that regard -- finally providing the impetus to modernize their grid. Laying new power lines should be far faster than building new power plants, and since we're talking high power/long distance and they'll need to match frequencies, I would expect that they'll be HVDC.

Another thing that they should be able to do faster than building new thermal power plants is to build power storage facilities to buffer day/night demand (battery storage, mini pumped-hydro, etc). China already uses these for demand buffering quite extensively. But they have a nice side effect of also helping support more intermittent power generation as well, because there is little difference between buffering supply and buffering demand. Which is great, because installing new photovoltaic capacity is also much faster than building new centralized thermal power plants (at least if global solar production can keep up).

If speed of getting new power into the region is of the essence, they may well end up with a very modern, very green grid purely as a side effect.

Re:Japan Does Have a National Power Grid (4, Informative)

Heian-794 (834234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533584)

They do, but they don't have the capacity to convert the amounts of power that the Kanto side suddenly needs. It's unfortunate that they didn't invest in more conversion capacity before this disaster, but then again, it probably would have been viewed as a waste of money, as few people could have imagined a power shortage of this scale before.

A few years ago the government began urging offices to keep their indoor temperatures at 28 degrees C (82 F) to save energy; there are doubts as to its efficacy as the increased sweat and lethargy bring greater water usage (more laundry) and lowered productivity.

I despised this program but could certainly endure it this year when there are so many people suffering from a lot more than an overheated working environment, but the silver lining is that when power capacity does finally get back up -- the Fukushima reactors were nearing end-of-life and new ones were already scheduled for 2013 -- regular folks might be able to work in air-conditioned offices again. After what we've been through, it sure will feel like a luxury.

if we get to 88Hz can we go back in time to fix th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533376)

if we get to 88Hz can we go back in time to fix this?

Re:if we get to 88Hz can we go back in time to fix (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533522)

if we get to 88Hz can we go back in time to fix this?

Boy, imagine how we'd laugh if the punchline was funny!

Re:if we get to 88Hz can we go back in time to fix (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533534)

Hey, just because they did things differently doesn't mean you should call people from Coventry England [wikipedia.org] backwards.

I'll save you from reading TFA (5, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533404)

Half of Japan used 50Hz and the other side uses 60Hz. They have three conversion stations with a combined capacity of just 1GW, so power from one side can't power the other.

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533490)

Half of Japan used 50Hz and the other side uses 60Hz. They have three conversion stations with a combined capacity of just 1GW, so power from one side can't power the other.

Side note: the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533546)

Half of Japan used 50Hz and the other side uses 60Hz. They have three conversion stations with a combined capacity of just 1GW, so power from one side can't power the other.

Side note: the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.

In 1955, sure.

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (1)

Heian-794 (834234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533622)

Or plutonium. You probably think that here in high-tech Japan, we can just walk into the corner drugstore and buy plutonium. Unfortunately, even here it's a little hard to come by.

^_^;

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533874)

They have 40 tons of plutonium. Its not as rare as you might think in japan. but it is well guarded.

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533962)

plutonium isn't hard to come by.
In japan, plutonium grows on trees and rains from thin air!

I'm going to hell now aren't I.

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533594)

Gigawatts? I think you mean jiggawatts...

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533706)

Gigawatts? I think you mean jiggawatts...

jigga what?

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533832)

jigga who?

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (2)

Ja'Achan (827610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533868)

jigga, please

just push it to 88HZ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533730)

just push it to 88HZ

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (1)

firewrought (36952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534118)

Side note: the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.

Japan has two ABWR's at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa [wikipedia.org] that output 1.3 GW's each. Of course, it's not individual power sources that matter but the fleet as a whole, and, if I interpret DOE 2009 figures [doe.gov] correctly, Japan's fleet has a generation capacity of 280 GW and an average load of 112 GW. I have no idea what peak capacity is this time of year or how load/generation are distributed geographically, but it's easy to see how the 1.21 GW conversion capability is a mere straw through which to sip power (~equivalent to 1 large reactor).

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534000)

"It's like incompatible warp-plasma".

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534090)

Whoa, a reverse Star Trek :P

They should have made a joke like that in one of the episodes/movies where they visited the past or a more primitive culture.

Scotty when using a keyboard: "I get it now, it's just like the backup diagnostic console on the warp reactor control unit!"

Re:I'll save you from reading TFA (0)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534348)

They have three conversion stations with a combined capacity of just 1GW, so power from one side can't power the other.

Well, all they need is 21% more power and they could go back to 1885 to rectify this problem.

I'll bet ... (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533420)

... this situation changes. And Japan will leap to the forefront of HVDC transmission gear manufacturing.

Re:I'll bet ... (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533820)

Since they need the ability they might work on HVDC transmission gear, but what market is there for this technology elsewhere? Just standardize national grids and you don't need to worry about it.

Re:I'll bet ... (4, Informative)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534202)

Anywhere you need to transmit power a long distance - you get less power loss over the distance. In Canada a decent portion of our power generation is from hydroelectric dams in the north - 1000 km from the main demands for that power. We have 450,000-volt DC lines [wikipedia.org] running that distance. Any tech that makes that transmission more efficient, or reduces maintenance costs at either end would be snapped up quickly.

Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533444)

They can't really change it now, can they?

Re:Well.... (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533604)

it's changeable, but costly. Transformers are designed around the frequency of the power they handle. To standardize would require a lot of big expensive multimillion dollar monster transformers to be replaced. And if you do some research on the big scare of a nasty magnetic storm damaging transformers, they lay out the gory details of just how few of these can get manufactured a year.

Even if Japan had unlimited money and immediately ordered all the units they'd need, it would probably be at least 10 years before they got most of them manufactured. Cost was probably the big factor for them not standardizing 100 yrs ago, but now it's more a matter of calendar time required. And then you have to replace smaller units all over the place - at the substations, and the trashcans up on the poles too. It's a huge undertaking.
 

Re:Well.... (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533746)

Can you actually cite some sources on this? Transformers are all about voltage changing. It is not immediately clear that the difference between 50hz and 60hz would affect them all that much.

I would guess that the larger problem would be with motors and other devices that rely on the power frequency to determine their performance characteristics.

Re:Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534122)

"I would guess that the larger problem would be with motors and other devices that rely on the power frequency to determine their performance characteristics."
But not transformers. They're magic.

Re:Well.... (2)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533870)

Actually, the 50 Hz transformers would work just fine on 60 Hz (but they would be heavier than necessary). It's when you run a transformer on a lower-than-rated frequency that you need to derate its power-handling capacity.

Of course, there would be plenty of other problems with a frequency switch, especially changes in motor speeds. A whole lot of equipment would need to be replaced, or remotored and regeared. The logistics of switching half of Japan would dwarf that of Ontario's 1950s-era switch from 25 Hz to 60 Hz.

Re:Well.... (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534128)

Where do you get that? I just did a search for HVDC link construction times, and ran into this [google.com] , which cites the time to build the whole Cross-Sound Cable (CSC) project, which involved two terminals and a 40km submarine cable to transmit 330MW HVDC, at nine months. Sure as heck beats building a new nuclear power plant or whatnot.

I imagine the limiting factor will be global high-power thyristor production and stocks.

Re:Well.... (4, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533638)

They can't really change it now, can they?

The wire doesn't care very much. In the areas that are destroyed, they have to buy all new equipment anyway. Seems like a good time to standardize.

Re:Well.... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534234)

Most of the power generation and distribution hardware on each side is just fine still. However, perhaps this will be the impetus for them to start a slow project of national standardization, migrating the dividing line a bit in one direction or the other every year.

Free market (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533452)

The local electrical utility can't make up the shortfall by importing power from another region, though, because Japan lacks a national power grid, a consequence of a decision made in the late 1800s.

Pfft, we don't need no national power grids! That's socialism! The free market will sort it out!

Re:Free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533630)

RTFA first?

Re:Free market (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534112)

Pfft, we don't need no national power grids! That's socialism! The free market will sort it out!

Actually the electric companies are typically for improved transfer capacity, as long as they're not paying too much for it. That allows them to sell the power some other place where prices are higher then turn around and demand higher prices locally too because reserves are low.

What they don't build is emergency capacity, because to a corporation they typically don't have to care about the consequences except to their bottom line. You saw it a lot in the financial crisis, if it's not profitable to lend money we'll simply stop. That it's choking the rest of the economy doesn't matter. Nor would they ever get to charge the costs either, imagine if in this crisis they said "Finally we ended up using those expensive converters, now to pay them off on this crisis we'll increase prices 10x" and you'd see a lynch mob with torches and pitchforks even in overly polite Japan. It's something people want to have, but they're not willing to pay for it. "The government" has to step in and be the collective responsibility that the country has emergency systems, because the consumers failed to make those demands to the producers.

Ah, the beauty of standards... (3, Funny)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533470)

...so many to choose from.

Satellite photos (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533472)

It's time to get some new nighttime satellite photos. The ones that show the lights from space. It would be intresting to compare the before/after images.

Re:Satellite photos (1)

asher09 (1684758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533564)

What you're envisioning would be cool looking, but from what I've heard, the blackouts happen during the day...

Re:Satellite photos (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533640)

Rolling blackouts to keep peak power usage within their current capacity - just like California had, only this time not due to greed and incompetence.

Re:Satellite photos (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534426)

Depends on the region, the rolling blackouts are in fact just that, rolling. The government divided up the entire Kantou region into 5 different sections and each section has different blackout hours.

So how does TV work? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533484)

Japan uses NTSC, which is based on 60 hertz. How does it work in East Japan's 50 hertz zone? Hmmm.

I guess this also means electronic manufacturers have to design their products to work with either 50 or 60 hertz.

Re:So how does TV work? (4, Informative)

localroger (258128) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533572)

TV's don't sync to the power line. They convert incoming power to DC then work from that.

Re:So how does TV work? (3, Interesting)

stox (131684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534164)

TV's used to sync to the power line until well into the 1960's. The tolerances needed for color put an end to that,

Re:So how does TV work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534250)

I'll bet that East Japan was PAL back then. Then when the television frequencies decoupled from the powerlines, they seized on that to standardize everybody on NTSC.

Re:So how does TV work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534230)

That is true today, on the age of electronics, but until 3 or 4 dacades ago TVs did sync to the power lines. Why do you think nearly every country has its TV standard frequency as the same as the power lines?

So I guess I have to repeat the question: Japan uses NTSC, which is based on 60 hertz. How did that worked in East Japan's 50 hertz zone a few decades ago (before modern electronics)?

Re:So how does TV work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533692)

It works very well, thanks to the ~59.97 Hz vertical sync pulses conveniently included in the NTSC video signal which allow the vertical deflection oscillator in the television receiver to acquire and maintain phase lock with the video being transmitted, regardless of the power main phase or frequency.

Re:So how does TV work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533836)

Yep . All the electronics I have that I purchased while in Japan all say: "100VAC 50/60Hz"

Though, now reading that, I've just realised that I'm giving them too much voltage with the US 110V _;

Re:So how does TV work? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534150)

Well, there are places in Canada that operate on 50hz and use the same electronics as you do, you insensitive clod

What's it like in Japan? Will this cause changes? (3, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533530)

Very interesting article. I had no idea that Japan was effectively split in half thanks to 50Hz and 60Hz power grids. So does every home that is hooked up to 50Hz have a converter to switch it to 60Hz or vice versa since some electronic devices are rather dependent on the AC frequency? What happens when somebody decides to move across the country from one power source to the other? Do you just throw out all your old clocks that relied on the AC frequency for its timing source and buy new ones? I also wonder if the disaster unfolding there might encourage them to try to migrate the entire country to a single standard, whether 50 or 60. It has certainly demonstrated a major problem with their current infrastructure...

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533676)

Other than poorly designed clocks, what other devices actually care about the power line frequency? My parents in Virginia have very bad 60Hz power, they have a few clocks that are often off by 10 minutes or more each way, so it's not a good idea to base your clock frequency source on the power line in the first place. Most devices not either don't care (light bulbs) or put their power through an AC/DC conversion step anyway. So what would really need to be thrown out if you switched from 50Hz to 60Hz standard? And wouldn't now be an excellent time to make the change?

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (3, Informative)

xleeko (551231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533830)

Other than poorly designed clocks, what other devices actually care about the power line frequency?

Motors. Big motors, like the kind you find in your furnace, A/C compressor, elevators, and other places. Nobody cares about the consumer electronics because all that stuff either auto-ranges or can be manually switched. But big industrial equipment is everywhere and lasts a long time.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533904)

The motors I deal with in my job (manufacturing automation) are all DC motors and stepper motors driven by controllers which are performing an AC/DC conversion, so this is only a problem with constant speed AC motors. But granted, climate control is a HUGE installed base.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533866)

AC electric motors. Especially Three-Phase industrial motors.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534046)

The bigest problem for changing from 50->60 or 60->50 are electric motors. (fans, vaccums, elevators, FACTORIES, power tools, water pumps, and generaly changing factories is propably very expensive, you may not complain when vaccuming will give you 20%more or less power, but when conveyor belts, mixing machines, crains, and lot of other stuff gets faster or slower you get into trouble. And I am not even considering that in one or other way the efficiency got worse/better and things get stronger/weaker. In home you get some problems. ( like refiregerator(pump is Hz fixed, kitchen/toilet Fan, vaccuming, food processors and other spinning things.
TV, clock, radio, PC, chrgers: (is generaly not huge problem)

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (2)

ericpi (780324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534108)

Other than poorly designed clocks, what other devices actually care about the power line frequency?

Actually, mains power should normally be a very good frequency source for a clock. Utilities periodically adjust the frequency such that the long term clock drift is near zero. From wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Network operators will regulate the daily average frequency so that clocks stay within a few seconds of correct time. In practice the nominal frequency is raised or lowered by a specific percentage to maintain synchronization. Over the course of a day, the average frequency is maintained at the nominal value within a few hundred parts per million.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533712)

US gear is very much 60Hz, 110V. But electronics in Europe and Asia tends to be more flexible.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534080)

117, not 110, although it varies around from maybe 112-125 depending on where and when you are

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534240)

It varies. Most of my recent wall warts and my 4 year old laptop power supply all say something like 100-240V.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533738)

Do you just throw out all your old clocks that relied on the AC frequency for its timing source

Clocks don't use the AC frequency as a timing source. The AC frequency is nowhere near accurate enough for that - I have lots of UPS logs showing how much it varies over time.

Clocks running on AC (or battery) use a cheap & accurate quartz crystal oscillator to keep track of time.

Now, AC motors on the other hand...

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534262)

Most clocks don't use the AC frequency as a timing source. Plenty of older mains powered clocks do, you can often come across them in lecture theatres in older institutions. You can usually tell because the second hand will move continuously rather than ticking.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

Kalidor (94097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534454)

I wonder if this is how my school did it. In grade school we had rather simple looking analogue clocks that essentially mimicked the clock on the control panel for the PA system. If there was a power outage the clocks would stop, and when the power came back we would see them run quick to catch up.

Same with DST, if we got in early enough we would see the clocks run fast to spring 1 hour ahead or run really fast to "fall" 11 hours ahead. (Never ran backwards)

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534332)

Nope.

Electric wall clocks that you plug in use the AC line for accuracy.

The 60Hz out of the wall socket is very accurate. Accurate to within a minute or so a month. They use something called a synchronous motor. It's only in the past 40 years that quartz crystal controlled clocks were even mass marketed.

"Single phase synchronous motors are available in small sizes for applications requiring precise timing such as time keeping, (clocks) and tape players. Though battery powered quartz regulated clocks are widely available, the AC line operated variety has better long term accuracy-- over a period of months. This is due to power plant operators purposely maintaining the long term accuracy of the frequency of the AC distribution system. If it falls behind by a few cycles, they will make up the lost cycles of AC so that clocks lose no time."

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_2/chpt_13/2.html [allaboutcircuits.com]

Even plug-in alarm clocks don't use a crystal oscillator - they simply count pulses from the AC line.

When Southern California Edison went from 50 to 60Hz in 1948, people had to throw out their old electric wall clocks and get new ones.

--
BMO

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534386)

Dammit, I should have edited that. Ignore the "minute or so a month" because it's more accurate than that. I wrote that before finding the All About Circuits page.

--
BMO

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533928)

All electronics that I have seen in Japan are all standardised to "100VAC 50/60Hz"
But since this was the case there since the advent of the electronic revolutions, the pretty well always sold frequency tolerant hardware to be used anywhere in the country.

Bringing those Japanese electronics back to the US has the benefit of running them at 10% over their preferred voltage (at the US 110V). So, that's something to keep in mind when importing electronics from over there.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534026)

If you look at electronics sold for Asian markets or manufactured by Japanese manufacturers for other world markets, it is usually labeled 50-60 Hz, and either 100-240V or 220-240V AC.

You can design for the worst case: Higher currents of the lower frequency and lower voltage, and then just run AC motors a little faster for the higher frequency. A combination of auto-switching transformer networks or DC-DC switching supplies handle the other issues.

Re:What's it like in Japan? Will this cause change (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534296)

For kicks pick any 5 power bricks and look at the label. I bet most of them will say 100-240V, 50-60hz. Will work in most of the world if you have a simple plug adapter, no need for a voltage or frequency change.

What can we say? (1)

JeddyH (1429067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533548)

They are screwed, this decision has fucked both parties.

Re:What can we say? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533762)

They are screwed, this decision has fucked both parties.

At first I couldn't tell what you mean at all; then the staggering depths of this comment's cluelessness hit me. Japan was a feudal monarchy in the 1800's. There were no political parties then as known now. And now they have a bunch of political parties, not 'both', because it's a parliamentary system.

Re:What can we say? (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534072)

Parties doesn't necessarily mean formal organizations.

In this case, the parties are "eastern Japan" and "western Japan".

Re:What can we say? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534278)

That interpretation doesn't work in the context of the GP's text because the side that still has power isn't screwed at all, they just can't help their countrymen.

GOOD NIGHT TOKYO !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533670)

Sighonara !! Spend less time trying to take over the Pacific and more time sterilizing your women and you too Japan could be living the American Dream !!

Re:GOOD NIGHT TOKYO !! (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534200)

Who is "Sighonara"?

Free Market (3, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533672)

FTA: "Japan's electricity system got its start in 1883 with the founding of Tokyo Electric Light Co. Demand quickly grew and in 1895 the company bought electricity generation equipment from Germany's AEG. In west Japan the same evolution was taking place, and Osaka Electric Lamp imported equipment from General Electric."

Wait: I thought the free market solved all problems and never needed government intervention.

Re:Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533800)

Government intervention exist just for this reason, to make sure that in case of a disaster the infrastructure doesn't crumble. How would you like if water wasn't regulated by the government? No, you're an American obviously and take such things for granted. Pray you never find out, it's an experience you likely won't survive.

Re:Free Market (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533854)

Whoooooosh

Re:Free Market (2)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533862)

Wait: I thought the free market solved all problems and never needed government intervention.

You seem to have a stunning amount of faith in government, including 1800's feudal Japan, to accurately plan for catastrophes 130 years in advance.

Re:Free Market (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533948)

I think the point was about the needless division of the country into 50Hz and 60Hz zones, thus inhibiting the growth of an efficient nation-wide power grid.

Re:Free Market (2)

dwye (1127395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534058)

You seem to have a stunning amount of faith in government, including 1800's feudal Japan, to accurately plan for catastrophes 130 years in advance.

1890's Japan was very well post-feudal. Remember, it was only ten years after they bought the incompatible GE equipment (I should make a nasty comment here, since my family worked for Westinghouse) to where they defeating the Russians in 1905.

Also, this dual grid prevents countrywide cascade failures :-)

Why don't they go to Tachi Station? (5, Funny)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533722)

Tachi Station sells power converters.

Re:Why don't they go to Tachi Station? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533996)

Tachi Station sells power converters.

Toshi station is on Tatooine, where is Tachi?

Re:Why don't they go to Tachi Station? (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534038)

Actually we're both wrong. It's Tosche

Re:Why don't they go to Tachi Station? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534054)

they can waste time with their friends when their chores are done

The Positron Rifle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533846)

The real serious question raised here is that in Evangelion they hook up the entire Japanese power grid to the positron rifle. How is that supposed to work if the power grids are incompatible?

Re:The Positron Rifle (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533970)

Does this make it fiction now?

Re:The Positron Rifle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534350)

"As the first episode opens in the year 2015, Tokyo-3 is being attacked by the third Angel."

Obviously they will now build Tokyo-2 and fix the power grid issue. Don't know when they will have time to build Tokyo-3.

Re:The Positron Rifle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534360)

It was after the Second Impact [evageeks.org] . Maybe they finally standardized?

When it Hertz, it hurts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533878)

that is all.

100 VAC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533902)

What about the parts of Japan that use 100VAC?

Re:100 VAC? (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534206)

All of Japan is 100 VAC.

The US electrical is far from the "gold standard" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533910)

Slashdot reported last summer that the US grid is not ready to accept "green power" sources (wind/solar) and redistribute to consumers. The Slashdot story stated that wind energy created surges (gusts?) on the grid, especially when the wind was blowing too hard. The grid was designed for point source generation, not distributed generation.

Luckily, I see this story [npr.org] is still online. Check the interactive graphic of the US grid.

GeorgiaStoneMasons to leave US depopulated (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533972)

checking their #s, that's exactly what their 'legacy' is. .5 billion. that leaves 4.something billion too many of us. 'god' help us (count better).

no matter. when evile is exposed to the truth, it flees.

rumor is that some genetically, chemically, & spiritually altered corepirate nazi mutants (aka; eugenatics, weapons peddlers, kings, minions, hired goons etc..), have been seen flying out of windows, with rats in their mouths, & flames coming out of their butts. chariots? honestly?

"at that point, they lay down their arms, stand hand in hand, & gaze into the....." see you there.

humanity nondetachable, interconnected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35534288)

when one cries, another one sheds a tear in some way. hurt one... it's even much bigger than that. the lights are coming up all over now.

Off the grid and little solar lighting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35533980)

Yes its more expensive, but wouldn't independent solar power installations even at the local residential level seem attractive at this time?

Doesn't the US have the same problem? (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35533986)

The US has mostly unconnected power grids too.
Two major and three minor grids, the grid I'm on, Alaska isn't connected to anything else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Interconnection [wikipedia.org] - has more information

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=110997398 [npr.org]

But theres a plan to connect the Eastern and Western Interconnections at Clovis NM in the next couple years.

XE (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35534264)

In the 1800's, Japan was just practicing eXtreme Engineering (XE) and employing the principle of YAGNI. It was deemed more important to electrify the country and then iterate the solution later, than it was to design for future expansion, let alone consider the risks of human life dependence upon the early choices.
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