Differences between Brownout, Power Interruption and Blackout

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  • is an intentional or unintentional drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. Intentional brownouts are used for load reduction in an emergency. The reduction lasts for minutes or hours, as opposed to short-term voltage sag (or dip). The term brownout comes from the dimming experienced by incandescent lighting when the voltage sags.
  • a period of time when the electricity supply is not strong enough to supply all the power that is needed.
  • high demand in electricity = reduced voltage.
Power Interruption
  • loss of electric power in a specific area. May be scheduled for service improvements, or unscheduled due to emergencies.
  •  there are many causes of power failures in an electricity network. Examples of these causes include faults at power stations, damage to electric transmission linessubstations or other parts of the distribution system, a short circuitcascading failurefuse or circuit breaker operation.
  • total or partial system collapse in the power grid = loss of electric power.
  • total loss of power to an area and is the most severe form of power outage that can occur. Blackouts which result from or result in power stations tripping are particularly difficult to recover from quickly. Outages may last from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on the nature of the blackout and the configuration of the electrical network.
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Common Causes of Brownouts 
  • Thunderstorms may cause an interference with the electric power distribution.
  • Overloads on an electrical system.
  • Faulty circuit design, like a corroded circuit breaker, bad main terminals, or faulty neutral wires, etc.
Common Causes of Power Outage/Interruption/Blackout
Here are some of the most common causes of Power Outage/Interruption;

1. Storms/Typhoons
  • Most common causes of widespread power outages. 
2.  Lightning Strikes
  • When lightning strikes electrical equipment, transmission towers, wires and poles, Power Interruption can occur. 
3. Earthquakes 
  • Quakes of all sizes can damage electrical facilities and power lines. 
4. Vehicles 
  • A vehicle collision with a utility pole can cause a power outage. 
5. Animals 
  • Wildlife animals, mouse, birds, snakes and other small animals may still cause a short circuit.
6. Trees
  • During high winds, Clearing operations or trimming of trees can come into contact with power lines and cause interruptions. 
7. High Demand of Power
  • During summer and other times of unusually high power demand, overburdened electric cables, transformers, and other electrical equipment can may fail.
8. Service Improvements, or Emergency Repair
  • Electric utility companies may improve their services or repair on power stations, electric transmission lines and distribution lines.
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