Author Topic: Power system reliability?  (Read 290 times)

Beta

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Power system reliability?
« on: (10:56:06/07-26-17) »
That low lifestyle and below deals with frequent power outages has long been part of SR lore.  Just wondering if better neighborhoods and corporate offices, etc are actually better served by the grid, or if they just all have a lot of (short-medium term) battery back-ups and (longer term) generators -- just sort of a matter-of-course and cost-of-doing-business sort of thing?

Reaver

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #1 on: (14:04:52/07-26-17) »
From my understanding of the situation, Its the public grid that is the problem.

Private/corp facilities were generally supplied by fission reactors, making power very cheap after initial costs of construction. (Course, it takes several dump trucks of money to build to start with!)

For example, it was the reactors in the Renraku Arcology that brought the UCAS into the Deus incident. They didn't care that the Arcology was out of control... They DID care about the reactors going into meltdown and taking most of Seattle with it!

And there are other examples from SR history of fission plants being the target of eco terrorists as well...


So all said, I think it's  a case of public utilities not being able to keep up with demand and the poor guy getting squeezed. (The US has had an energy problem for decades, and originally SR built on this....for example Californa pays for power generated by B.C. Hydro dams.... because it is cheaper then building their own power stations.)
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #2 on: (14:59:24/07-26-17) »
Considering the advances in battery technology, total black outs are a bit of an anachronism from the early days of SR.
You can expect that every decently run apartment building will have batteries in the cellar to keep services running. Which means Middle and higher lifestyles.
The slum lords will probably be to cheap for an investment like this. 
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Beta

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #3 on: (15:31:42/07-26-17) »
To refine the wording of my original question:  Given that we 'know' that lower class areas have unreliable power while better off ones seldom see the same issues, I can see two basic scenarios:

- the reliability of power delivery varies between areas, mostly based on 'quality' of the area ('better' areas just don't get brown-outs and black-outs very often)
- the reliability is pretty bad everywhere, so those with the resources have back up plans (batteries, generators, their own power plant, etc)

Note that the problems could really come from two sources:  inadequate power supply (leading to brown-outs and black-outs when supply doesn't meet demand), or weak grid infrastructure (leading to localized black-outs when lines fall down or get dug up, transformers explode, etc).  Either source could well be an issue mostly in poorer areas, but could also be more grid-wide.

Anyway, sounds like there probably isn't anything canon on this, so I can feel free to run a mission focused around the importance of sabotaging back-up power to create a later window of opportunity.


Sphinx

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #4 on: (16:14:33/07-26-17) »
Gaeatronics has a fusion plant on the Olympic peninsula; solar and wind generators in the Cascades; and geothermal taps along Mt. Rainier (Seattle 2072, p.168). Shiawase operates a fusion plant in Redmond (S72, p.79). There are fusion reactors in the basement of the ACHE (S72, p.42). Modern buildings probably have solar cells embedded in windows and roof tiles (see solarwindow.com and tesla.com/solarroof). So long as the infrastructure is maintained, clean power would be relatively abundant for those who can afford it. I'd say High and Luxury lifestyles never have any trouble, and Medium lifestyles probably get prompt attention from their utility companies whenever there's an outage. Low lifestyles on the fringes might have to deal with rolling brownouts and occasional outages lasting up to a few days.

The canonical power and water problems in actual barrens areas (Squatter and Street lifestyles) are the result of crumbling infrastructure, neglected grids, illegal hookups, vandalism, and so on. And good luck getting utility crews to respond without a police escort. Major utility corridors probably get routine maintenance every few months with heavy security coverage, like an armored convoy checking the lines, but the rest of the Z-zones are on their own.
« Last Edit: (16:18:05/07-26-17) by Sphinx »

The Dyslexic Won

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #5 on: (18:11:04/07-26-17) »
also you have low lifers doing 'free hook-up' on the grid.  and that can mess up the line too

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #6 on: (02:02:14/07-27-17) »
So the short answer is 'mostly dependent on area', that a higher lifestyle is subject to fewer / no utility issues, as Sphinx says.

The question could be raised, 'well, what about places that have everything from Medium to Luxury++ lifestyles in them?'  My answer is 'prioritization'.  You pay a ton of money every month, you get priority to whatever power exists.  In general the grid in whatever city within which you hang your hat is going to have power generally sufficient for the people who live there, just like today; theoretically, with their extensive use of nuclear power as well as green technologies, they may technically be more power-sufficient for their population - GridGuide power transmission (not to mention traffic control) for electric vehicles, remember?  But there are constant assaults, at one point or another, on the grid infrastructure.  That might be a high-speed t-bird chase slamming into a high-voltage power transmission tower, taking down the entire structure and the lines connected to it, requiring the system to re-route the power; it may be like Dyslexic says, Yet Another Illegal Hook-Up, to power a house, or an apartment complex, or an illegal medical facility, and the tap screws with the grid itself in that area.

Sphinx again gives a great rundown of the local power-generation things; I'd suggest that Gaeatronics is trying to tap tidal power in and out of the Sound, maybe in the Straight of Juan de Fuca.  But last I knew, most nuclear power plants are not servicing just one arcology; AFAIK, the Seattle Aztechnology pyramid buys power from Gaeatronics.  Four nuclear power plants operating, plus various extras, create a HUGE amount of power, so should feed not only Seattle but people for tens, even hundreds of miles around - all of the SSC, I'd say, as well as possibly some of the other nearby nations.  So _availability_ of power really isn't an issue.

The grid, however, whether that's locally (blow a couple of lines, whether overhead or underground, kill a sub-station) or Seattle-wide (get into the servers with a virus - see 'Brainscan' for the execution of just that), can be mucked with.  It might be a very difficult target, just because, but it's certainly run-worthy - especially since it's likely to be a setup / trigger for some OTHER shadow-action.
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Crimsondude

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #7 on: (04:52:36/07-27-17) »
every decently run apartment building
Whoa whoa whoa. Back up a second there.

Just to throw a monkey into the wrench, I should add that infrastructure in totalitarian regimes, which the megacorps are when it comes to controlling these complexes and enclaves, is not exactly run and managed by top people, especially when the regimes are old enough to have institutional legacies like most AA and AAA megas are. So, that is to say that even within corp complexes the quality of power and resource distribution is correlated to the value of the space to the corporation and sometimes it's just a matter of dumb people half-assedly doing stupid things and cutting corners. And sometimes it's vendor technicians accidentally exposing secure networks to stupid ransomware.
« Last Edit: (04:56:56/07-27-17) by Crimsondude »

Jack_Spade

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #8 on: (05:21:54/07-27-17) »
That depends of course on who runs the apartments and of how much consequence your renters are. As always: The more power and money you have the more people will take care not to offend you.

That a dedicated run can and will disrupt your everyday life is entirely a different story  ;)
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Senko

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Re: Power system reliability?
« Reply #9 on: (00:48:25/08-17-17) »
I'd imagine there's also corporate behind the scenes "cut the power to this neighbourhood we are buying our" going on as well and I agree corporate estates would probably have their own internal power generation options that would be hard to disrupt in normal operation. I've always treated it as. . .

Squatter
What you set up.

Low
Rationed power supply that's sufficient for "normal usage" (as defined by the supplier) but easily disrupted as it comes from outside plants and isn't sufficient for high usage periods e.g. a hot summer or cold winter where you'll get brownouts and shortages.

Medium
Less rationed but otherwise like low except in unusual situation such as extremely hot/cold weather there's a much higher chance more power will be made available to them from the grid (from low income sectors) more quickly.

Medium Corporate
Main difference to medium is they'll often have their own internal power supply options for emergencies either batteries, generators, solar or wind depending on the area that they can tap when needed.

High
Internal generators, first priority for power compared to the lower lifestyles and no rationing of power if they in general use more they get more.

Luxury
Entirely self contained power supplies both for security and luxury reasons. Maybe not per house but per gated community, Arcology (unlikely but could be a space station or the like) or resort.

Basically the more wealthy the client the more power they get and the harder it is to disrupt. Lower and middle tend to rely on grids and lines supplying power from outside plants, corporate and high have their own internal backups if the outside supply gets cut while luxury are entirely self contained for security as much as reliability.