Building Off the Grid: Rocky Mountains is the 4th spin-off from the original DIY series "Building Off The Grid". What do you get when a talented architect and a group of daring mountain bike enthusiasts come together to build an off-the-grid Oculus and tree house in the side of a mountain? We follow along as Colorado native Steve Novy and his friends from the Stomparillaz Creative Cycling Collective put the rugged Rocky Mountain terrain to the test in an area known for unpredictable mudslides, snowstorms, and mountain lions.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Building Off the Grid: Rocky Mountains - Electrical grid - Netflix
An electrical grid is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from producers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electrical power, high voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers, and distribution lines that connect individual customers. Power stations may be located near a fuel source, at a dam site, or to take advantage of renewable energy sources, and are often located away from heavily populated areas. The electric power which is generated is stepped up to a higher voltage at which it connects to the electric power transmission net. The bulk power transmission network will move the power long distances, sometimes across international boundaries, until it reaches its wholesale customer (usually the company that owns the local electric power distribution network). On arrival at a substation, the power will be stepped down from a transmission level voltage to a distribution level voltage. As it exits the substation, it enters the distribution wiring. Finally, upon arrival at the service location, the power is stepped down again from the distribution voltage to the required service voltage(s). Electrical grids vary in size from covering a single building through national grids which cover whole countries, to transnational grids which can cross continents. Although electrical grids are wide spread, 1.4 billion people are not connected to an electricity grid.
Building Off the Grid: Rocky Mountains - Frequency - Netflix
An entire synchronous grid runs at the same frequency. Where interconnection to a neighboring grid, operating at a different frequency, is required, a frequency converter is required. High voltage direct current links can connect two grids that operate at different frequencies or that are not maintaining synchronism. In a synchronous grid all the generators must run at the same frequency, and must stay very nearly in phase with each other and the grid. For rotating generators, a local governor regulates the driving torque, maintaining constant speed as loading changes. Droop speed control ensures that multiple parallel generators share load changes in proportion to their rating. Generation and consumption must be balanced across the entire grid, because energy is consumed as it is produced. Energy is stored in the immediate short term by the rotational kinetic energy of the generators. Small deviations from the nominal system frequency are very important in regulating individual generators and assessing the equilibrium of the grid as a whole. When the grid is heavily loaded, the frequency slows, and governors adjust their generators so that more power is output (droop speed control). When the grid is lightly loaded the grid frequency runs above the nominal frequency, and this is taken as an indication by Automatic Generation Control systems across the network that generators should reduce their output. In addition, there's often central control, which can change the parameters of the AGC systems over timescales of a minute or longer to further adjust the regional network flows and the operating frequency of the grid. For timekeeping purposes, over the course of a day the nominal frequency will be allowed to vary so as to balance out momentary deviations and to prevent line-operated clocks from gaining or losing significant time. High-voltage direct current lines or variable-frequency transformers can be used to connect two alternating current interconnection networks which are not necessarily synchronized with each other. This provides the benefit of interconnection without the need to synchronize an even wider area. For example, compare the wide area synchronous grid map of Europe (above left) with the map of HVDC lines (below right).
Building Off the Grid: Rocky Mountains - References - Netflix