Friday, December 09, 2005

Life is a Power System

Today, I had one of the most gruelling lab sessions ever in my life. Some of you might say, "Whats the problem dude? Labs, classes are all part of a student's life." What if I were to tell you that the semester ended a few days back? I know, you would consider me crazy.

Whatever you may feel, this blog is not about what should be happening in my life or what i want. This is about how one has to fight for every inch in life (in my case for every deci-Hertz). Let me explain for the uninitiated. I had to perform what is known as an Open Circuit Test on a transformer by varying the frequency in steps of 0.1 Hz over a 4 Hz range. "Whats in that?", you might ask. Well, try doing that on an Indian grid. You will face a multitude of problems

1. The grid itself is coming out of what can be best termed as a joke. So, to expect a frequency variation like that of a dead person's ECG is tantamount to expecting the impossible.

2. The frequency variation is done by using an AC Commutator motor, which obviously obeys Newton's 1st Law of Motion and also tends to ever so slowly vary its speed.

3. The instruments themselves.....

Although it was a struggle to get those darned 40 values, it was great fun, running from the motor to the meter; from the analyser called Chroma (No, you come nowhere near my comp whom I call 'Laetitia') to the autotransformer.....Also managed to coin in a few analogies...

1. Frequency never stays steady at one value. It ever so subtly changes. So is the case with life. The dynamism is what makes it challenging just as frequency control is easily the most challenging problem in power system control.

2. Sometimes, the frequency change can be good as i discovered. The drift sometimes used to get me the next required value which I most definitely would have struggled to obtain with the gear arrangement that was present. So, my dear readers, lesson number two is losing control of life is sometimes a good thing. Dont be like Sarah of Sweet November who cannot bear losing control.

3. Mechanical control can be much better than electronic control in some ways. Similarly, if u have someone to hug/kiss, please do that. Don't rely on the phone/email to exchange ur love. (of course, if its feasible only)

4. 'Plain Jane' power analysers have better accuracy than sexy, sleek analysers. So, my last message is, please don't go by extravagance. Sometimes the plain janes or jacks are the ones made for you. As one of my profs said, "Unity power factor need not be the best power factor. The best power factor is one which is 'economical' to both the utility and the cosumer"....Make suitable changes and apply to your lives.

1 comment:

ಸ್ವರೂಪ್ ಭೂಷಣ್ said...

True true! we also learnt that instruments might not always readily work at the best power factors. If that were to happen, all compensators and p.f. correction manufacturers would go out of business.