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Thread: Ice Storm outages in Texas

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    Ice Storm outages in Texas

    Seems T-Mobile not having back-up generators at most of their sites is a big part of these outages in Texas since Monday

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cne...massive-storm/

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    My Rural South Texas County lost every T-Mobile Site Monday, ATT & Verizon were/are still up

    The site closest to my house has a permanent back-up generator, but the “hub” fiber fed site that provides microwave backhaul to this site and two others doesn’t, so when the batteries died at this “hub” site it took “my” site and the others with it

    T-Mobile turned on ATT 4G Roaming Yesterday, at least we could make calls

    “My” TMO site sporadically came up twice yesterday, I assume because the “hub” site got power from the “Rolling Blackouts” going on here in Texas

    Today its stayed up longer, three of the other main sites in the county are still DOA, they don’t have generators

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    When the Derecho came through here (eastern Iowa), the Verizon signal stayed up but service didn't. A bunch of Iowa City has the poles with power, phone, HFC (fiber/cable coax), fiber where that's rolled out so probably power and backhaul both went out at quite a few sites. As far as I know the microcells have a few hours battery backup; the macrocells then kept service up technically, but with too large an area running off too few sites with wired backhaul, I had sub-1kbps data and no voice service until later the next day when they got some stuff fixed, and it was rather slow for a good week or two after that.

    I'll have to post in VZW forum, I mean a rolling blackout the sites might have rolling backhaul blackouts, interesting to see how that holds up.

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    Ice Storm outages in Texas

    Yeah I heard at one point there were 3 million residents without power. Downdetector reported lots of mobile outages across the three main mobile providers.

    I have family in both Victoria and Houston. Thankfully their respective neighborhoods didn’t bear the brunt of electrical or mobile outages (according to them) as others did throughout the state.

    Whoever manages the local grid and whatever (if any) regulations were ignored or cut to save time or money is going to have some real explaining to do.

    The bigger picture to me is that even as technologically advanced as we think we are there are still huge vulnerabilities in our power grids waiting to be exploited. And yes all carriers including T-Mobile could use this opportunity to beef up critical infrastructure where possible.

    Hopefully this Texas crisis can start a larger national conversation on this topic that is desperately needed.

    I know not everyone likes added regulations that inhabit business owners or tax payers (raises hand) but sometimes they are born out of necessity in times like these. I’m not sure how enforceable this is but my state the CPUC voted unanimously to require cell towers to have 72 hours of backup power in emergency situations last year.

    https://energycentral.com/c/ec/manda...fornians-enjoy






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    Keep in mind that T-Mobile is committed to using 100% "green" energy and Texas lost half of their windfarms. Maybe nasty, propane-burning backup generators don't fit with T-Mobile's "green" vision. Having service is overrated.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Keep in mind that T-Mobile is committed to using 100% "green" energy and Texas lost half of their windfarms. Maybe nasty, propane-burning backup generators don't fit with T-Mobile's "green" vision. Having service is overrated.
    I should note that i did read that a sizeable chunk of the wind farms were "turned off" long before the storm. According to what i read, they were turned down due to lower winter energy demands. The majority of the grid failures were from thermal. The gas lines were "freezing" up.

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    Somebody should tell Texans where the South Pole research stations get their power. Hint: it’s wind power!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmccull View Post
    Somebody should tell Texans where the South Pole research stations get their power. Hint: it’s wind power!
    Its no help that since this is normally the lull in TX energy demands, quite a few wind farms were shut down for routine maintenance before the storm hit.

    If the turbines aren't running, the internal deicing system wont work.

    But we need to also take into account that TX gets only 17% of its energy from wind, and most of it from thermal-the burning of fossil fuels.

    Even if half those wind farms were down, it wouldn't be enough to cause the major blackouts being reported unless other sources were failing too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    But we need to also take into account that TX gets only 17% of its energy from wind, and most of it from thermal-the burning of fossil fuels.

    Even if half those wind farms were down, it wouldn't be enough to cause the major blackouts being reported unless other sources were failing too.
    Yes, the natural gas production and distribution system froze. Most places generate power from NG, but are better set up to deal with freezing conditions than Texas is. Renewable energy sources will never have near enough capacity to meet the need. More non-fossil fuel energy is going to require using modern nuclear generation. Something the "greenies" don't understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Keep in mind that T-Mobile is committed to using 100% "green" energy and Texas lost half of their windfarms. Maybe nasty, propane-burning backup generators don't fit with T-Mobile's "green" vision. Having service is overrated.
    The Generators at most of the South Texas Coastal TMO sites near me are Diesel powered

    When they finally got the nearby TMO sites up after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a truck with a diesel “trailer” came by every morning to fuel them up

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Yes, the natural gas production and distribution system froze. Most places generate power from NG, but are better set up to deal with freezing conditions than Texas is. Renewable energy sources will never have near enough capacity to meet the need. More non-fossil fuel energy is going to require using modern nuclear generation. Something the "greenies" don't understand.
    WA gets most of its energy from _one_ hydro dam, with ng being our second source. We also have wind farms on the eastern foothills.

    We even export a lot of energy to CA.

    We have never had energy issues like this and that dam has been operating since before i was born.

    WA also stopped using nuclear after the issues of storage and disposal of nuclear waste, and other areas regarding usage, led to some studies showing increases in birth defects - namely autism and down syndrome.

    SC is seeing those same increases now that the majority of their power is nuclear - also, lived in SC during the ice storms several years back and had similar power issues to TX.

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    When I used to live in NW Ontario, Canada, it exported a lot of power to places like NY. Massive amounts.of hydro electric including Niagara Falls. Of course Ontario still has a lot of nuclear. Places like California are shutting down its last nuclear plant and relies a lot of solar/wind... And of course shuts down power on windy days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEDIX1011 View Post
    The Generators at most of the South Texas Coastal TMO sites near me are Diesel powered
    Even nastier. All the backup generators I see around here are propane.

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    Whoever manages the local grid and whatever (if any) regulations were ignored or cut to save time or money is going to have some real explaining to do.
    Hopefully this Texas crisis can start a larger national conversation on this topic that is desperately needed.
    Well, that's the thing though, Texas is not on the eastern or western power grids, it's operated as it's own grid. There's a federal agency NERC (National Electric Reliability Council) but they don't really have any say over Texas' grid since it is not interstate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    Well, that's the thing though, Texas is not on the eastern or western power grids, it's operated as it's own grid. There's a federal agency NERC (National Electric Reliability Council) but they don't really have any say over Texas' grid since it is not interstate.
    The lack of interstate connections and being the "lone star" "we can do this without anyone's help, including Sweden who offered to help winterize our systems" is a big reason why everything failed to a point where nearly the whole state went dark. If they had the interstate setup, they could have easily leased energy from other states that have a surplus, and perhaps the whole grid would not have gone dark.

    It has nothing to do with how reliable Green or Fossil fuels are, the entire system was not designed to withstand such weather and so the entire system failed, including the natural gas production and distribution system that froze. (Dude, even the nuclear reactors froze up and failed.)

    But at the same time, the fact that not every cell tower had backups, or even they were affected, means that cell service was going out. So far, the only carrier that hasn't had reports of outages was ATT this time. But, this sort of thing could have easily knocked out all of them.

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