brownout experience...can someone help explain please?

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hello all,

i'm just dropping in here in the hope one of you might be able to
explain something for me.

last night here in west ryde (sydney) we had a blackout. well, at first
i thought it was a blackout...then after my eyes adjusted i noticed
that, although most of my appliances had gone off, the lights in the
house were still emitting a very faint red light. i thought it might
have been residual heat but, sure enough, when i turned on lights in
other rooms they all had the same faint output.

so, would this be because there was still a small voltage powering the
lights? what sort of grid malfunction might have caused this?

while i was wondering such things, i reached over to switch off my
bedside lamp. this lamp has one of those fluoroscent power saving bulbs
which can go in a regular light socket. now, when i placed my hand on
the lamp to switch it off, the bulb became much brighter. when i
actually touched the glass tubing of the fluoroscent bulb the light in
one of the 3 loops of glass tubing actually came up to a bright white
output. as long as i was touching it the light was bright.

now i'm truly at a loss for explanations. i wasn't charged up with
static electricity at all. i was lying on a mattress so i can't see how
my body could have been completing any circuit. can someone help
explain why my touch was brightening the fluorescent lamp? and why only
1 of the three loops of the glass tube?

many thanks in advance,

aanon


Re: brownout experience...can someone help explain please?



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how much do you know about three-phase electricity?


--

Bye.
   Jasen

Re: brownout experience...can someone help explain please?


hi jasen,

i'm glad to have gotten some response on the question...thank you.

the answer to your question is: next to nothing. my knowledge of
electricity goes no further than year 12 physics.

what if i skip the question of what happened in the grid to cause the
brownout...can you help me with what was happening with the fluoroscent
lamp?

all the best, aanon


jasen wrote:
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Re: brownout experience...can someone help explain please?


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That makes it kind of hard to explain,  have a look at the wikipedia page on
three-phase electricity, actually the wikipedia page while technically
acurate was pretty confusing last time I looked, if you've got another
reference that'd be worth a look too.

Then consider this,

When one of the phase supplies gets disconnected from the local electricity
grid, the whole system becomes unbalanced some electriftiy will flow through
three-phase devices into the "unpowered" phase putting a small voltage on it,
at the same time the two other phases also drop to a lower voltage as third
phase isn't there to balance everything.

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It's a capacitance effect, the presence of your hand effects the electric
field iniside the glass tube making it easier  for the tube to "fire".

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oh yeah, "top posting" (with edits) is reccomended in most of usenet.

Bye.
   Jasen

Re: brownout experience...can someone help explain please?



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Now that's something that's had me for a whilst, the low power during
blackouts. What you've said re 3phase appliances makes a bit of sense and
would explain why each time it happens around here, there is only 50v or so
coming out of the point. We have a fair whack of 3phase gear around here,
dairys, the pub etc etc.



Re: brownout experience...can someone help explain please?



"Tsunami Australia"

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**  Imagine the phase outage is PRIOR to the transformer serving your home
with 240 volts.

Ever notice a 3 phase tranny has only one core.




.......  Phil




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