5 minutes behind

5 minutes behind

Due to political differences, clocks in microwaves across Europe began to lag behind by 5 minutes. How did that happen?

Residents of 25 countries in Europe were surprised to find that the clock in their household appliances, powered by electricity, began to be delayed from real time. For some strange reason, microwaves, radios and alarm clocks installed in homes from Portugal to Poland began to show time with a delay of 5-6 minutes.

It turns out that the fact is that electricity in most European countries and in some adjacent states like Turkey is controlled from a single network, and a serious imbalance in the flow of energy from one of the local operators can lead to a change in frequency throughout the continental network.

Domestic appliances, which are constantly operated from the mains, the same microwaves, count time using the frequency of the alternating current coming from the grid, and thus the exact time count on these devices depends on the 50 hertz value. Unlike such devices, watches count down time using the built-in generatorelectromagnetic waves, which autonomously produces the desired frequency and therefore does not depend on changes in the electrical network.

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On March 3, the European network of system operators for the transmission of electricity ENTSO-E announced that deviations were observed in the power grid from mid-winter, which caused the average frequency to fall to 49.996 Hz instead of the required 50. And on March 6, the agency’s website said that the failure occurred occurred on the territory of Kosovo. It turns out that much more energy was used in Kosovo than was produced, and the Serbian government, responsible for maintaining the balance of the local grid, refused to fulfill its obligations. Thus, 113 gigawatt-hours of energy was lost.

The European Electricity Agency believes that political differences between the governments of Kosovo and Serbia have led to a breakdown. While ENTSO-E is exploring all the technical possibilities for solving the problem, the agency turned to the EU countries for help, as it will take political steps to reconstruct the necessary frequency to resolve the conflict between the two countries.

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Connection map of network operators in Europe

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