(Alternate words: Opinions. Also Odin, but I can’t do anything with that one because, sorry, wrong universe. I’ll let one of my many hypothetical panting fanfic writers do the crossover with The Mighty Thor…)
Local Grid Duty Expediter BAVK-41 was running another satisfactory self-check when the transformer exploded.
The first steps were simple, and automatic in response to the parameter exceptions flashing back from sensors on either side of the failed unit. Isolation breakers separated, isolating the failed device from the grid. Preempting the inevitable voltage spike, BAVK-41 brought resistor banks on-line, dumping excess power into them until Ironfang Mesa Fusion Plant Number Five (owned by Dawnisle Reliable Electrical, ICC; note to contracts department) could spin down its output to match the shedding of Baryvekar Power District 413. With another part of its mind, BAVK-41 issued orders to have a repair crew swap out the transformer, and bring the failed unit in for a detailed post-mortem.
The checklist response dealt with the immediate problem.
But the grid voltage was dropping precipitately all over Baryvekar Power District 413, now thrown back solely on its own cogeneration resources. That was a much more complex problem to solve.
Option trees bloomed within BAVK-41’s cognition space, a catalog of potential responses arranging themselves in patterns and combinations, weighted by effectiveness, sustainable duration, and other factors. Some could be vetoed by Central Grid Operations, if they affected the balance of the power distribution network entire. Some required dealing with outside contractors. And others were marked as contractual violations – while load shedding or voltage reductions were permitted to avoid damage to the grid infrastructure, either would invoke painful penalty clauses.
BAVK-41 ran through its options, computing probability-versus-efficacy logs for the precise decision time it could permit itself, and chose. Orders radiated out: demand-reduction requests were broadcast to all house brains and building managers in BPD-413. After quick negotiation with its counterparts in nearby power districts, cross-link switches closed, spreading the remaining demand across the region as a temporary measure. A recheck confirmed that total cogeneration and cross-link capacity now would support projected energy demand until the expected mid-afternoon peak.
And so BAVK-41 settled in for a leisurely contemplation of the best longer-term options to obtain more power: whether to call upon Ironfang #5 via a more complex – and thus more lossy – bypass routing, to purchase microwave power from the nearby Orbital Light and Power rectenna farm, or to place an urgent meteorological request – with its own penalties for invalidating the weather schedule – for more sunlight on its solar arrays…
* * *
Silver Oaks Arcology, Baryvekar
Power Control logs
7923-10-2/10+22:62.113: [EXT] UNDERVOLT TRANSIENT
7923-10-2/10+22:62.121: [EXT] UNDERVOLT TRANSIENT END: duration = 8 ms, magnitude = 4.1V; no action taken, no alarm