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    Electricity in BrazilPart 2 [History]

    Magalhães, G. ; Tomiyoshi, L.
    Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE

    Volume: 17 , Issue: 3
    DOI: 10.1109/MIAS.2011.940432
    Publication Year: 2011 , Page(s): 8 - 69

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    The period following World War II (WWII) saw a considerable increase in demand for electrical power throughout Brazil, particularly in the industrialized states. After WWII, the regions of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro faced a serious shortage of electric energy. For many reasons, power companies did not meet this demand. The problems were pervasive: the depression years of the 1930s had seen a low investment in electrical generation; the international turmoil in manufacturing during WWII made it very difficult to import equipment. Power failures symbolized and reflected the exhaustion of the previous model of coexistence between a smaller local national capital and larger foreign companies. Together, these companies constituted isolated systems in terms of technique and planning, which resulted in the business being unable to meet an increase in demand that was beyond the ability or willingness to expand. View full abstract»

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    Electricity in Brazil-Part 1 [History]

    Hesla, E.
    Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE

    Volume: 17 , Issue: 2
    DOI: 10.1109/MIAS.2010.939808
    Publication Year: 2011 , Page(s): 8 - 12

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    The history of electricity in Brazil is a history of interlocking political, social, and technical forces. Although there was a public debate about industrializing the country when Brazil declared its independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822 and Dom Pedro I abdicated the Portuguese throne to move to Brazil as the first emperor, the majority of the 19th century politicians and large landowners considered the absence of significant industry as a result of some natural order. God had endowed the country with an exuber ant nature that supported a strong agricultural economy with lucrative exports, especially sugar and cotton; exports could be traded for manufactured goods; industrialization was of little interest; and without industrialization, there was little demand for electrical power. However, times changed. Dom Pedro's son, Dom Pedro II, became the second emperor, and with him begins the history of electricity in Brazil. View full abstract»

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    The evolution of Maxwell's equations through a brief critical examination of the history and background of the man and his times - Part 2

    Scully, B.
    Electromagnetic Compatibility Magazine, IEEE

    Volume: 2 , Issue: 3
    DOI: 10.1109/MEMC.2013.6623302
    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 83 - 86

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    Maxwell's first published effort to describe electromagnetic phenomena was his paper "On Faraday's Lines of Force", published in 1855. In this first of four papers leading up to his Treatise, Maxwell opens his two-part presentation by stating in his introductory remarks that although much is known about the present state of electricity, areas still remain where knowledge is sparse and clear relationships have not been established. He goes on to say that it is necessary in any successful electrical theory to clearly show the connection between electricity at rest and current (moving) electricity, and the attractions and inductive effects of electricity in both states. Maxwell then asserts that in order to become familiar with the requirements of the science of electricity, one must become familiar with a large body of intricate mathematics, and that this in itself presents a significant hindrance to any progress. He goes on to express his desire to establish a method of investigation that would allow the grasp of a physical conception without creating a theory of the phenomena under study that relied on abstruse and purely analytical reasoning or that relied on a physical hypothesis before fully comprehending the various aspects of phenomena. Maxwell draws on his familiarity with Thomson's mathematical work to develop an analogical relationship between the flow of heat and the theory of action at a distance governed by an inverse square law. View full abstract»

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    History of electricity network control and distributed generation in the UK and western Denmark

    Lehtonen, M. ; Nye, S.
    Infrastructure Systems and Services: Building Networks for a Brighter Future (INFRA), 2008 First International Conference on

    DOI: 10.1109/INFRA.2008.5439615
    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 1 - 6

    IEEE Conference Publications

    Providing distributed electricity within today's liberalized markets will require new innovations in intelligent IT-based network control. This paper draws on research on Large Technological Systems and control in other sectors in order to analyze the evolution of electricity network control in western Denmark and the UK during the post-War period. It concludes that network control has not yet been the kind of `reverse salient' preventing the development of the LTS. The western Danish example highlights the role of the `human factor' in control development, and the need for pragmatism in fostering innovation. Finally, while new intelligent control may help distribute risk more evenly among network participants, it may likewise produce new, systemic risks with unforeseeable impacts. View full abstract»

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    History of Electricity at the Smithsonian

    Finn, Bernard S. ; Molella, Arthur P.
    Education, IEEE Transactions on

    Volume: 27 , Issue: 4
    DOI: 10.1109/TE.1984.4321706
    Publication Year: 1984 , Page(s): 218 - 225

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    The Division of Electricity at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is the national repository for objects significant to the history of electrical science and technology. Although the Division has operated as a separate unit for less than three decades, activities at the Institution have contributed to the study of electrical history since the middle of the 19th century. This paper describes how collecting and exhibition policies have evolved; it also indicates how the artifacts, together with supporting documents and photographs, have supplied material for a variety of research projects. View full abstract»

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    In the Berkshires, Part 2: Stanley??s Early Work Expanded [History]

    Blalock, T.
    Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE

    Volume: 10 , Issue: 5
    DOI: 10.1109/MPE.2012.2203193
    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 80 - 88

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    Our examination of significant developments in the introduction and expansion of electric power in southern Berkshire County, Massachusetts, began in the July/August 2012 issue of this magazine. We now continue that discussion with an account of further important advances leading to the comprehensive electrification of all of western Massachusetts. View full abstract»

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    Historical and theoretical approach of Europoean market: How does electricity investment decision evolve with historical context?

    Tehrani, B.S. ; Attias, D. ; De Lavergne, J.-G.D.
    European Energy Market (EEM), 2013 10th International Conference on the

    DOI: 10.1109/EEM.2013.6607340
    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1 - 7

    IEEE Conference Publications

    In a context of electricity market liberalization in Europe, this paper addresses the issue of investment in electricity generation capacities using a historical approach. Our purpose is to identify past drivers for investors' decisions on the European electricity market, regarding investments in power generation capacities, and understand how they evolved. We focus on France, in comparison with Germany, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. The considered period ranges from 1945 up to now. The analysis focuses on two major processes: the constitution of the generation mix (past investment choices), and the European market liberalization (economic context for today's investors). Major economic theories of the time are confronted to the decisions that were made, analyzing the existence of a gap between rational behavior described by the theory and actual behaviors of investors. In the end, the drivers identified as key are state policy, availability of the resource or technology, and market structure. View full abstract»

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    Empirical Analysis of the Impact of 2003 Blackout on Security Values of U.S. Utilities and Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Firms

    Sung-Kwan Joo ; Jang-Chul Kim ; Chen-Ching Liu
    Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on

    Volume: 22 , Issue: 3
    DOI: 10.1109/TPWRS.2007.901278
    Publication Year: 2007 , Page(s): 1012 - 1018
    Cited by:  Papers (7)

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    On August 14, 2003, the U.S. faced the largest blackout in history, which left over 50 million people without electricity in eight U.S. states and part of Canada. This paper investigates the effects of the blackout on the security values of the U.S. electric utilities and manufacturing firms in the electric power equipment industry, using an event study method. The results of this empirical study show that the electric utilities were negatively affected, but the electrical equipment manufacturing firms were significantly, positively affected. View full abstract»

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    EDF customized approach of power quality, an opportunity to meet customer's expectations

    Degand, C. ; Fauquembergue, P. ; Regnier, M. ; Levillain, C. ; Serres, E.
    Harmonics and Quality of Power Proceedings, 1998. Proceedings. 8th International Conference On

    Volume: 1
    DOI: 10.1109/ICHQP.1998.759884
    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 190 - 196 vol.1
    Cited by:  Papers (1)

    IEEE Conference Publications

    The emerging electricity market in Europe has accelerated the move towards the customer with its emphasis on his needs. In that “new” competitive world, is power quality, known to be needed, still a prior concern and how will utilities deal with it ? This paper presents EDF's policy in that matter. The history of power quality policy shows that, after a period devoted to nationwide improvements, EDF turned to more customized approaches. Regular surveys are conducted and used both for marketing studies and for measuring the effectiveness of the policy. Services have gone a step forward with custom power, as described in the experiment. In the future, power quality contracts might become more risk-management oriented. “Electricity as a product” is evolving to a complex combination of systems. The organization of the electric field has an impact on the sharing of responsibilities about delivered power quality. These responsibilities shares will have to be formalized View full abstract»

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    Research activities of Spanish antenna groups

    Sierra-Perez, M.
    Antennas and Propagation (ISAP), 2012 International Symposium on

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 235 - 238

    IEEE Conference Publications

    When we look at the history of electricity and electromagnetism in Spain we discover that the most important Spanish researchers are generally out of the official institutions or stable research groups until the 20th century [1] [2]. In the 20th century most of the scientific research is done in stable research institutions and universities and the most important electromagnetism research centres in Spain are located in the Faculty of Physics of the most important universities, the National Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and the School for Telecommunication Engineering created in 1923. But the greatest impulse of research in the antenna and radiowave propagation field is done after 1960 reaching the first national URSI conference in 1980. After that year, the relation between groups and the number of research groups is continuously growing and the relation to industry is also increasing. When Spain joins the European research organizations (COST, ERC...) and the European Union in 1985 the research support experience a fast growing and the participation in the European research structures. View full abstract»

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    Index

    de Weck, O. ; Roos, D. ; Magee, C. ; Vest, C.
    Engineering Systems:Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World

    Page(s): 207 - 213
    Copyright Year: 2011

    MIT Press eBook Chapters

    Engineering, for much of the twentieth century, was mainly about artifacts and inventions. Now, it's increasingly about complex systems. As the airplane taxis to the gate, you access the Internet and check email with your PDA, linking the communication and transportation systems. At home, you recharge your plug-in hybrid vehicle, linking transportation to the electricity grid. Today's large-scale, highly complex sociotechnical systems converge, interact, and depend on each other in ways engineers of old could barely have imagined. As scale, scope, and complexity increase, engineers consider technical and social issues together in a highly integrated way as they design flexible, adaptable, robust systems that can be easily modified and reconfigured to satisfy changing requirements and new technological opportunities.Engineering Systems offers a comprehensive examination of such systems and the associated emerging field of study. Through scholarly discussion, concrete examples, and history, the authors consider the engineer's changing role, new ways to model and analyze these systems, the impacts on engineering education, and the future challenges of meeting human needs through the technologically enabled systems of today and tomorrow. View full abstract»

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    Voltage stability analysis of electricity networks with DFIG-based wind power plants

    Ntshangase, M. ; Kariuki, S.K. ; Chowdhury, S. ; Chowdhury, S.P.
    Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2012 IEEE

    DOI: 10.1109/PESGM.2012.6344794
    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 8
    Cited by:  Papers (2)

    IEEE Conference Publications

    In recent times there has been a drive for renewable energies like wind, solar, bio fuels, geothermal and wave to be researched and developed as the next generation forms of electricity generation. Amongst these renewable energies wind has shown considerable promise and as result the amount of electric power generated by wind has grown considerably in recent history. This increase in wind power can have adverse effects on the power systems on which these wind power systems are connected to. This is due to the limited reactive power compensation of the DFIG which is widely used to generate electricity from wind resources as well as the stochastic nature of wind. In this paper a DFIG wind turbine model is developed. To test for the expected voltage stability as well as the expected power imported from the grid two algorithms are used that use the Weibull distribution to get the expected values. The two algorithms are then combined to form the wind integration factor (WIF) algorithm which is a method developed in this paper to determine the best points of integration as well as the levels of penetration without causing a loss of voltage stability. Simulations show that the algorithm is able to determine the optimum point of integration correctly but has limited capabilities in determining the optimum levels of penetration. View full abstract»

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    High voltage automatic transfer switch. Going beyond normal distribution solutions

    Simmons, R.A. ; Salem, F.J.
    Harmonics and Quality of Power, 2000. Proceedings. Ninth International Conference on

    Volume: 3
    DOI: 10.1109/ICHQP.2000.896845
    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 882 - 886 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (1)

    IEEE Conference Publications

    This paper details the history of a 2.5 MW customer, and how the electric utility worked with that customer to define “outage” from the customer's perspective. It shows how the customer reduced their sensitivity to poor power quality (PQ), while the utility improved PQ. It also shows the projected transfer time of a high voltage high-speed vacuum automatic transfer switch (ATS) View full abstract»

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    Short-term load forecasting using regression based moving windows with adjustable window-sizes

    Vu, D.H. ; Muttaqi, K.M. ; Agalgaonkar, A.P.
    Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, 2014 IEEE

    DOI: 10.1109/IAS.2014.6978380
    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 1 - 8

    IEEE Conference Publications

    This paper presents a regression based moving window model for solving the short-term electricity forecasting problem. Moving window approach is employed to trace the demand pattern based on the past history of load and weather data. Regression equation is then formed and least square method is used to determine the parameters of the model. In this paper, a new concept associated with cooling and heating degree is used to establish the relationship between electricity demand and temperature, which is one of the key climatic variables. In addition, Pearson's correlation has been employed to investigate the interdependency of electricity demand between different time periods. These analyses together with the data in the holiday period provide the supportive information for the appropriate selection of the window size. A case study has been reported in this paper by acquiring the relevant data for the state of New South Wales, Australia. The results are then compared with a neural network based model. The comparison shows that the proposed moving window approach with the different window sizes outperforms conventional neural network technique in small time scales i.e., from 30 minutes to 1 day ahead. View full abstract»

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    Some servo mechanisms used by the Royal Navy

    Gairdner, J.O.H.
    Electrical Engineers - Part IIA: Automatic Regulators and Servo Mechanisms, Journal of the Institution of

    Volume: 94 , Issue: 2
    DOI: 10.1049/ji-2a.1947.0028
    Publication Year: 1947 , Page(s): 208 - 221

    IET Journals & Magazines

    In naval gunnery, especially in anti-aircraft systems, it is necessary 1br the gun to be kept continuously laid upon the target, regardless of the ships movements, with a high degree of accuracy. The paper discusses the implications of this requirement in terms of the angular movements to be imparted to a normal 2-axis gun, and shows the necessity for complete automatic power operation of the gun from the calculating position. It also shows that automatic operation is likewise necessary in every link of the complex system that constitutes a modern fire-control arrangement. From this introduction the paper describes the history of early efforts at automatic control, leading up to methods used in H.M. Ships during the war. The relative merits of electricity and hydraulics for these large position-control servos are discussed, and the difficulties of adapting the earlier designs of mountings for automatic control are presented. The paper ends with a summary of the somewhat stringent requirements which naval servos must satisfy. View full abstract»

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    Challenges for special protection systems in the Chilean electricity market

    De La Quintana, A. ; Palma-Behnke, R.
    Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PES), 2013 IEEE

    DOI: 10.1109/PESMG.2013.6672673
    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1 - 5

    IEEE Conference Publications

    The Chilean electricity market, formally established in 1982, has a classical Pool type structure, with auditable costs and centralized operations. During its history, the Chilean electricity system has faced high growth rates in energy demands, transmission congestions, this along with a system expansion based on probabilistic criteria incorporated in its economic assessments. In this context, economic opportunities have been created in order to introduce levels of flexibility, by means of special protection schemes (SPS). This paper presents the development of these SPSs, distinguishing economic motivations and technical design criteria. A classification of the different types of SPSs is proposed. Also, the advantages and disadvantages of the different solutions are being presented through application examples. Finally, the future challenges in this field are presented. View full abstract»

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    Feature selection using C4.5 algorithm for electricity price prediction

    Hehui Qian ; Zhiwei Qiu
    Machine Learning and Cybernetics (ICMLC), 2014 International Conference on

    Volume: 1
    DOI: 10.1109/ICMLC.2014.7009113
    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 175 - 180

    IEEE Conference Publications

    The electricity price forecasting is important in our daily life. It does not only benefit to the customers but also the providers since the pressure of the load station in the rush hours can be reduced. As there are a lot of history information can be adopted, one of the problems for the electricity price forecasting is how to select the useful features in order to increase the accuracy of the forecasting and also reduce the time complexity. This paper we apply the decision tree c4.5 to select the relevant features for electricity price forecasting. We show the performance of C4.5 is better than the ID3 in terms of accuracy experientially. View full abstract»

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    A Hybrid System-Econometric Model for Electricity Spot Prices: Considering Spike Sensitivity to Forced Outage Distributions

    Anderson, C.L. ; Davison, M.
    Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on

    Volume: 23 , Issue: 3
    DOI: 10.1109/TPWRS.2008.922625
    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 927 - 937
    Cited by:  Papers (8)

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    With the current trend in deregulation, all electricity markets have been subject to volatile electricity prices, typically in peak season. As markets mature, new financial and operational risk management instruments are becoming available. In order to price such instruments, a model for the underlying price process is required. In this paper a hybrid model is described that contains aspects of the power system, as well as the historical time-series of spot prices observed in the market. By including both aspects of the problem, a model with both economic and system-based aspects is created. Its modular design allows easy adaptation to different markets based on generating system reliability, load patterns, and price histories. The spot price histories are manifest in two probability distributions for these prices, whereas the system specifics are included via load and generation models which are calibrated to the climate and system of interest. View full abstract»

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    Demand response prospects in the South Korean power system

    Sang-Seung Lee ; Ho-Chul Lee ; Tae-Hyun Yoo ; Jun-Woo Noh ; Young-Jun Na ; Jong-Keun Park ; Yong Tae Yoon
    Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2010 IEEE

    DOI: 10.1109/PES.2010.5588177
    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 - 6
    Cited by:  Papers (6)

    IEEE Conference Publications

    This paper describes demand response prospects for South Korea. To manage the increasing electric power demand, the way to increase power generation has reached a limit becoming a social, economic and environmental problem. To solve this problem by managing the supply side, demand response (DR) has become an important solution. As seen in other countries, the Korean electricity community plans to improve the DR in order to solve the generation problem. But the conventional DR program in Korea has a history of contracts being conducted over the transom, so the DR program has many disadvantages. This is one of the more important problems in the Korean DR program. Because of this, this paper proposes a more effective DR program than the conventional one to protect the participant returns. This paper also designs a DR the information and control structure suitable for the electrical environment. View full abstract»

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    Agent-based modelling as a tool for testing electric power market designs

    Maenhoudt, M. ; Deconinck, G.
    Energy Market (EEM), 2010 7th International Conference on the European

    DOI: 10.1109/EEM.2010.5558780
    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 - 5

    IEEE Conference Publications

    Although agent-based modelling history can be traced back until the 1960's in computer sciences, the technology still slowly trickles down from theoretical abstraction to practical application. Interesting study areas have been using agent-based models to assess their research questions for a long time while other fields of study which are interesting from an agent-based technology perspective - such as management sciences - only recently recognised this technology. This paper sets an overview on the benefits and criticism of agent-based models and shows how this tool can be employed to gain better insights in complex market designs, policies and principles with respect to the more traditional tools. Especially in the field of wholesale electric power markets, agent-based models gleam as a promising market design deliberation tool anterior to the actual real world market implementation. An introduction to the latest electricity market models is given to illustrate how national and international policy makers embrace agent-based simulations as a framework to base their decisions upon. View full abstract»

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    An Amp-hour based electricity cost model for economic dispatch of batteries in microgrids

    Asghari, Babak ; Hooshmand, Ali ; Sharma, Ratnesh
    T&D Conference and Exposition, 2014 IEEE PES

    DOI: 10.1109/TDC.2014.6863465
    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 1 - 5

    IEEE Conference Publications

    This paper presents a novel model to calculate the unit price of electricity stored in a battery at each time instant based on charging resources and battery characteristics. When multiple sources of energy contribute in charging a battery either simultaneously or during different time periods, this model keeps track of the battery charging history and calculates an overall cost of energy from the battery. It also updates the unit price of electricity from a battery based on the required discharge power in order to consider the changes in battery capacity at different discharge rates. Calculating an accurate unit price of energy for a battery helps system operators and energy management systems in economic dispatch applications for microgrids with energy storage units. Simulation and experimental results are presented in order to show effectiveness of the proposed cost model. View full abstract»

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    The development of asset management within top energy — A New Zealand perspective

    Gilby, K.
    Asset Management Conference 2012, IET & IAM

    DOI: 10.1049/cp.2012.1925
    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4

    IET Conference Publications

    Top Energy distributes electricity to 32,000 consumers in New Zealand. This paper covers the history of AM within Top Energy, NZ regulation and the effects of short term decision making compared with solid strategy and strong leadership. View full abstract»

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    Progress in the Electric Power Industry

    Moultrop, I.E. ; Orrok, G.A.
    American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Transactions of the

    Volume: 70 , Issue: 2
    DOI: 10.1109/T-AIEE.1951.5060677
    Publication Year: 1951 , Page(s): 2059 - 2071

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    The subject of this paper concerns the progress that has been made in the generation of electricity by steam and its distribution. It is significant that the two authors selected by your committee to discuss this subject are both power plant designers, and that their two working lifetimes cover the whole history of electric power generation since its beginning. That there has been progress in the electric power industry during this brief span of years is well illustrated by Figure 1, which shows that electrical residential rates on a national basis have a history of continuously lowering during the past 50 years while, at the same time, the cost index has been continuously rising. Where else than in the electric power industry can such a record of progress be shown? View full abstract»

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    Harmonizing AC and DC: A Hybrid AC/DC Future Grid Solution

    Peng Wang ; Goel, L. ; Xiong Liu ; Fook Hoong Choo
    Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE

    Volume: 11 , Issue: 3
    DOI: 10.1109/MPE.2013.2245587
    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 76 - 83
    Cited by:  Papers (3)

    IEEE Journals & Magazines

    It has been over 100 years since Thomas Edison built the first direct current (dc) electricity supply system on 4 September 1882, at Pearl Street in New York City. Many prominent events occurred in the electricity supply industry after that. The first one, ?the war of currents,? started in 1888. Thomas Edison and his dc distribution system were on one side, and George Westinghouse and Nikolai Tesla with the alternating current (ac) system were on other side. The war ?ended? in about 1891 when ac won as the dominant power supply medium. The key behind the ac win was the invention of the transformer that could easily step up medium voltage to high and extra-high voltage for long-distance power transfer from a remote ac generation station to load centers hundreds of kilometers away with lower transmission losses. Transformers can also step down high voltage back to low voltage at load stations to supply the low-voltage equipment. Since the end of the war, ac power systems have been developed and expanded at a tremendous speed from the initial small isolated networks, with each supplying only lighting and motor loads with a few hundreds of customers, to its current scale of super interconnected networks each supplying billions of customers over large geographic areas in one or several countries. The voltage levels and capacities of transmission networks have increased from the first commercialized three-phase ac system with only 2.4 kV, 250 kW in the town of Redlands, California, United States, to the first commercial long-distance, ultra-high-voltage, ac transmission line in China with 1,000 kV, 2,000 MW. Transmission distance has been increased from several miles to over thousands of kilometers (miles). With such major achievements, it is little wonder that the ac power system became the top engineering achievement of the 20th century. Does this mean that dc is gone? The answer is an unambiguous no. What has happened in the past 50 years, such as applications of adva- ced control technologies in conventional power system loads, the power electronics based high-voltage dc (HVdc) transmission, and the additional renewable power sources in low-voltage distribution system, calls for a rethink about dc and ac in electricity supply systems. View full abstract»

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    Index

    Dalzell, F. ; Carlson, W. ; Sprague, J.
    Engineering Invention:Frank J. Sprague and the U.S. Electrical Industry

    Page(s): 263 - 288
    Copyright Year: 2010

    MIT Press eBook Chapters

    Over the course of a little less than twenty years, inventor Frank J. Sprague (1857-1934) achieved an astonishing series of technological breakthroughs--from pioneering work in self-governing motors to developing the first full-scale operational electric railway system--all while commercializing his inventions and promoting them (and himself as their inventor) to financial backers and the public. In Engineering Invention, Frederick Dalzell tells Sprague's story, setting it against the backdrop of one of the most dynamic periods in the history of technology. In a burst of innovation during these years, Sprague and his contemporaries--Thomas Edison, Nicolas Tesla, Elmer Sperry, George Westinghouse, and others--transformed the technologies of electricity and reshaped modern life. After working briefly for Edison, Sprague started the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company; designed and built an electric railroad system for Richmond, Virginia; sold his company to Edison and went into the field of electric elevators; almost accidentally discovered a multiple-control system that could equip electric train systems for mass transit; started a third company to commercialize this; then sold this company to Edison and retired (temporarily). Throughout his career, Dalzell tells us, Sprague framed technology as invention, cast himself as hero, and staged his technologies as dramas. He toiled against the odds, scraped together resources to found companies, bet those companies on technical feats--and pulled it off, multiple times. The idea of the "heroic inventor" is not, of course, the only way to frame the history of technology. Nevertheless, as Dalzell shows, Sprague, Edison, and others crafted the role consciously and actively, using it to generate vital impetus behind the process of innovation. View full abstract»

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