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Old 24.07.2011, 12:35
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Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

If so, how long did it take to recover? I cannot imagin how I survive after a few days without electricity ecpecially in winter.
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Old 24.07.2011, 13:08
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

Yes, there was a Blackout in Kloten, it's now called AlpenRock House.
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Old 24.07.2011, 13:30
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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If so, how long did it take to recover? I cannot imagin how I survive after a few days without electricity ecpecially in winter.
Don't pay attention to the professor; that was an insider joke.

In the course of about 57 years in Switzerland, I experienced one power black-out of almost half an hour (almost exactly two years ago), and two of maybe one or two minutes, plus a few of slightly more than, say, a second.

In the northeastern Midwest of the USA, we have several blackouts of more than an hour -- per year! The first I experienced, on the day of my very first arrival, was three days, caused by a single tree toppled by an ordinary thunderstorm. Those who can afford it have their own emergency generator (diesel) to keep their turkeys from being thawed.
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Old 24.07.2011, 13:39
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

In the 13 years I've lived here there have been several power outages, ranging from minutes to days.

The longest time was 1999 during the Orkan Lothar (26 Dec 1999) - we were holidaying in Berner Oberland - IIRC we were without power for 2 days. Given the immense destruction of the storm (and that we were in a little rather insignificant village), I am actually amazed that power was restored so quickly - kudos to the brilliant Swiss rescue/repair crews.

We were staying in a little chateau equipped with a fireplace and lots of candles. We were not hurt, the house only sustained light damage - can't complain.

There was another storm about 5 years ago that took out our power - again, crews were at work immediately. I think we were back on within 6 hours or so.

Other black-outs: at least once a year some construction crew hits a power line, taking out power to the neighborhood. Usually back on within the hour.

As CG says, if you have to face the power of Mother Nature (or the clumsiness of a guy with a back hoe), I'd rather do so in Switzerland. I, too, have lived through a few black-outs in the US Midwest where things were far, far worse, and recovery operations seemed more concerned about pointing fingers than getting things up and running again.
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Old 24.07.2011, 13:43
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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Don't pay attention to the professor; that was an insider joke.

In the course of about 57 years in Switzerland, I experienced one power black-out of almost half an hour (almost exactly two years ago), and two of maybe one or two minutes, plus a few of slightly more than, say, a second.

In the northeastern Midwest of the USA, we have several blackouts of more than an hour -- per year! The first I experienced, on the day of my very first arrival, was three days, caused by a single tree toppled by an ordinary thunderstorm. Those who can afford it have their own emergency generator (diesel) to keep their turkeys from being thawed.
I visited a friend in the north Chicago suburbs two weeks ago. Had to help him haul a generator home after those miserable storms, and it got me to thinking that Switzerland never seems to have problems like that. Even the power supply is stable here.

To the OP: you can survive without electricity - uncertain upon a time, everyone did. You'd just have to take measures to retain what heat you've got, like not going out very often and bundling up in extra layers even while in bed.
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Old 24.07.2011, 13:54
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

There was this Swiss-Italian incident in 2003. Overpower overtention something in the mountains.
In 2005 (google says 22th june) there was this train full stop after power flop.
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Old 24.07.2011, 14:21
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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If so, how long did it take to recover? I cannot imagin how I survive after a few days without electricity ecpecially in winter.
The only thing you might experience at the beginning of winter here is that the heating system in your building doesn't work ...

A blackout won't last for several days unless something really really really dramatic happened ... you know like, you've got transported to another century or something like that.
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Old 24.07.2011, 14:36
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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If so, how long did it take to recover? I cannot imagin how I survive after a few days without electricity ecpecially in winter.
I experienced a "black out" in Zürich 2 . But you could make phone calls and so I learnt that it might last for more than an hour. But blackouts here are a matter of minutes or hours and NOT days
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Old 24.07.2011, 15:04
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

Not a black out as such, but we've noticed a lot of voltage spikes here. The power supply isn't as stable as I've experienced in other western European nations. We've had lows below 200V and highs of over 250V, or at least that's what the UPC software keeps telling the network.
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Old 24.07.2011, 16:14
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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There was this Swiss-Italian incident in 2003. Overpower overtention something in the mountains.
Correct. That was around 3:20 on September 28, 2003, when a storm damaged the Mettlen - Lavorgo powerline (400 kV) on the Lukmanier Pass. Actually, the layout of the Italian grid was meant to be able to cope with such an incident, but due to bad timing things went haywire.

At that point in time half of Rome was still up because of a huge event, and for reasons still not quite clear (human error or bad computer programming, hence again human error) the routine process of cranking up the supply through two other 400 kV lines from France went into cascading tripping of fuses, leaving about 56 million people in the dark. Many of them didn't even notice it because by the time they got up the power was back, but those stuck in subways and the like had the night of their life. In Switzerland, only a small area around Geneva was affected due to the break-down on the French side.

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Not a black out as such, but we've noticed a lot of voltage spikes here. The power supply isn't as stable as I've experienced in other western European nations. We've had lows below 200V and highs of over 250V, or at least that's what the UPC software keeps telling the network.
That sounds like a local problem, maybe because you're up in the clouds. My grid voltage in my lab here in Heidiland has been continuously monitored for almost 34 years. The biggest deviations were around +8 / -12 V, except, of course, -240 V during one of those very rare black-outs.

We had much bigger dips in our vacation home in the Lower Engadine in the 'seventies and early eighties. It's a hamlet with only two permanently inhabited homes and nine vacation homes in an absolute cul-de-sac situation, as much out in the sticks as it goes in this country. Between X-Mas and New Year, with all homes full of people, all electric water and space heaters on, towards the evening, with lots of lights on too, as soon as the cooking began in eleven kitchens, the voltage could easily drop by 25 V. In the mid 'eighties, a new power line was built and the problem was solved.
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Old 24.07.2011, 17:35
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

In the course of 4 decades in CH (copying Mr Greybeard) we used to have a few blackouts in the Geneva area in the 70s and 80s. Never more than 1 hour though, or not that I can remember.

That's why you're supposed to have a flashlight in your bedroom and one in the kitchen
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Old 27.07.2011, 15:20
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

Thank you for enlightment!
I was looking around my apartment and realized that the only power source in my life here was electricity. It made me a little scared.
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Old 27.07.2011, 15:31
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

We used to get short-term blackouts in Düdingen when I was working there ('95-'99) and was informed that the local supply was a "little dodgy" sometimes.
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Old 27.07.2011, 15:35
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

My apartment power goes out almost daily. Requiring a trip out into the communal hallway, breaking into the breaker closet and flipping my switch back on. Just part of the daily routine.
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Old 27.07.2011, 16:44
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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My apartment power goes out almost daily. Requiring a trip out into the communal hallway, breaking into the breaker closet and flipping my switch back on. Just part of the daily routine.
When the circuit breaker is tripped, that's not a problem with the power supply but with the power consumption inside your apartment. Are you using a heavy duty electric welder and a smelting furnace simultaneously?
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Old 27.07.2011, 16:49
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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When the circuit breaker is tripped, that's not a problem with the power supply but with the power consumption inside your apartment. Are you using a heavy duty electric welder and a smelting furnace simultaneously?
Well definitely too much consumption in my apartment. I run my computer almost 24/7 :P
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Old 27.07.2011, 16:53
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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Well definitely too much consumption in my apartment. I run my computer almost 24/7 :P
In my kitchen, I have a server, three fridges, a freezer, and an ice machine running 24/7, which is why I started using the spare 16A 3-phase circuit there!

Tom
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Old 27.07.2011, 16:58
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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In my kitchen, I have a server, three fridges, a freezer, and an ice machine running 24/7, which is why I started using the spare 16A 3-phase circuit there!

Tom

Yeah that sounds like quite the load---unfortunately I don't think I have the option of using such a set up.
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Old 27.07.2011, 17:10
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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Yeah that sounds like quite the load---unfortunately I don't think I have the option of using such a set up.
I had an unused 3-phase outlet under the sink (I guess for a dishwasher, as the stove is on another circuit), so I went to the local electical supplier and bought the correct plug and a 5m cable, and wired up 3 230V sockets at the other end. No more blown fuses!

Tom
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Old 27.07.2011, 17:16
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Re: Was there ever a black out in Switzerland?

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There was this Swiss-Italian incident in 2003. Overpower overtention something in the mountains.
In 2005 (google says 22th june) there was this train full stop after power flop.
If I remember correctly, that affected the railways mostly. There were no trains running for several hours and lots of people came late for work - which in Switzerland is a serious issue.

It was caused the power line that connects the railways in Ticino with the rest of Switzerland being down to half power due to maintenance work. Due to a power scheduling error and there being fewer trains moving than planned there was way too much power in Ticino and as it tried to find its way North it tripped all the safety mechanisms and like a domino effect all the other regions lost their power as well. With so many things going wrong at the same time it was Murphy's law in action.

SBB own their own power plants by the way, so their electricity network is largely independent of the national one, although they also do buy some power. There's a big converter plant in Seebach for example, which I think is the biggest.
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