Impact of Space Weather on Power Grids

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Uploaded on June 18, 2015

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Impact of Space Weather on Power Grids

2015-06-18 - Electric power is critical to our modern society. Yet electrical grids are particularly vulnerable to space weather. Geomagnetically induced currents can damage power grids, increase corrosion of pipelines and cause electrical transformer failures. In 1989, a solar storm knocked out Hydro Quebec's electrical grid, causing a nine-hour blackout for six million people in the province of Quebec, Canada, and multi-million-dollar losses.

A better understanding of space weather would allow power companies to make timely adjustments to their electricity grids. The Canadian Space Agency supports the universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Waterloo to study space weather and develop applications to increase the resilience of Canadian infrastructure.

(Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

Transcript

Solar storms are powerful and shoot out particles and radiation into the solar system. When directed towards Earth, geomagnetically induced currents can damage power grids, increase corrosion of pipelines, cause electrical transformer failures and blackouts.

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