Claims that power fluctuations on the National Grid will create havoc on Unix-based systems in the South of England were dismissed by the provider as spurious today.
UPS company Chloride claimed the Grid had admitted drops and voltage variations were more frequent because of an increase in demand, with blackouts over the past few months. Chloride claimed the Grid said it had to use emergency measures to maintain supplies.
Chloride had claimed fluctuations could drop from a 240Volts AC supply to as little as 220V, leading to glitches in systems, and said these problems could lead to "the sudden destruction of vital information and the loss of complete corporate networks". That, said a representative, dwarfed the Year 2000 problem.
But John Washburn, a representative for the National Grid in Coventry, totally dismissed the reports. He said: "We?ve admitted no such thing. We here firmly set parameters on what we must operate." He said Chloride had its own axe to grind selling UPS backup systems. "In the whole of 1995-96 there were no voltage excursions," he said.
Eddie Souza, group software marketing manager at Chloride, said: "We?ve tried to support the Grid. When you come to Unix environments, these variations can cause havoc with the memory. From North to South the voltage becomes unclean."
He cited an admission from NG power systems production manager, John Scott, earlier this year, as the reason for his concern. He had admitted the system was working harder than before and said that surges from the South of England had put pressure on the generation of supplies in the North. Quoted in Electrical Review, Scott had said the power flow was exacerbated because gas-fixed stations have displaced more expensive baseload generation capacity.
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