Our region (Shenzhen, Baoan district) had recently no power supply for 10 seconds. Was this a power failure or a short interruption?
Actually, the users don’t care about the term.
But there is a definition:
Short interruption means a power supply interruption from 20 ms to 3 min. The 3 minutes are not confirmed by IEC standards, but practically used. Energy meters are tested with 5 seconds and 5 % of the nominal voltage. For poly-phase systems, a supply interruption occurs when the voltage drops below 10 % of the nominal voltage on all phases. Otherwise, it is considered to be a voltage dip or sag.
So, to use the right wording, we had a short interruption or according to IEC a power failure.
Whatever takes longer than 3 minutes is a Power failure. To overcome these definitions, power companies are using the term Outage.
Within this 10 seconds outage and after, the power company customer service was understandable very busy. Without a proper outage management system, utilities are lost.
Within 15 minutes after the event, we’ve seen the first pictures of the power companies debugging activities in predefined communication channels. China is using primary WeChat, other countries post e.g. on Twitter.
In outage cases, our Distribution Management Software helps to reroute and restore the power supply in a short time.
Thank you for reading. May the power will always be with you.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in June 2022 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.