Power Outage Recipe -How & Why

Discussion in 'News And Current Events' started by fraudelection, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. I've explained this 140 characters at a time, but here in more detail, is a basic recipe and how it works, for bringing down the entire power grid.

    Electricity cannot be easily stored, and the vezaret barg (electric co) continuously monitors usage to transmit power in the grid. The grid is equipped with capacitors that allow some limited power to be stored to smooth out transmission needs. Basically, they are pushing electrons through wires, too much or too little unexpected causes blackouts and possibly lasting multi-days.

    Because power usage varies according to time of day and other variables, such as holidays, most power is generated from three different types of generating plants:

    1) Base loads (typically hydro, nuclear (not in Iran), large coal/gas plants). These are very difficult to turn on/off. A well planned power outage protest that disrupts base load plants will be very disruptive for the government.

    2) Intermediate. Basically, a step between the Base plants and Peak Plants (follows).

    3) Peak Plants. These are less efficient but easily turn on/off to accommodate spikes and drops in usage (air conditions on/off, etc.). A poorly planned protest only disrupts at this level


    1) Agree on "ON" time (5-10 minute range)
    2) Agree on "OFF" time (1-2 minute range)
    3) Agree on "RE-ON" time (1-2 minute range)

    To bring down the entire grid, you have to first increase usage to a level that requires intermediate and Peak plants to be operational. That means:

    1) turn on lights and appliances, one at a time, over the course of 5-10 minutes.
    2) go slowly to not blow fuses in your own home.

    Next, you have to stop using completely. The easiest is to go to your fuse box and turn it off from there.

    Next you turn everything on within 1-2 minutes.

    We need enough participants to reduce usage to below BASE LOAD. If that occurs, they have to shut off things they don't want to.

    • This protest works because participating in it is anonymous. No one will be beat, shot at, detained.

    • It can be coordinate to coincide with important broadcasts, such as an Ahmadi or Khamenei speech/prayer, news, meeting of Majlis, military drills, etc.

    • It creates a window of opportunity to shout Allah-o-Akbar at nights in pitch black skikes

    • If done during day, it interrupts merchants, factories and bazaar who have not been supportive.
  2. Ray Murphy Member

    Also, if anyone overloads their powerpoints or their whole household electrical system, they get only their own power cut off (until the fuse is reset) and contribute nothing to the project, so it pays to do a trial run.
  3. Machiavelli Member

    I agree with all of this.

    I even think the phone system idea, this and organized traffic jams (flashmobs in cars) would have synergies.

    Taken together it comes close to psychological warfare. You are creating attacks that the regime cannot counter, proving its helplessness. Followers will be disillusioned, demonstrators will be heartened.

    The big question is: How to coordinate and communicate?

    If there are enough Iranians on this board, they could debate the exact times here in the forums. Or are there better channels?

    And how to spread the news?
  4. a desert Member

    Coordination would have to be passed on to trusted Iranians in Iran, probably (if regrettably) via Twitter, or some other system with potentially private services. From there, the Iranians will have to spread the word in the way they see fit, which is probably mostly word of mouth.

    Obviously it would be bad on our part to pre-plan everything for them- they would need to choose the time and the place (for example you might not want to do it during the day when it gets scorching, as there are people who might need their fans or fridges or whatever). But passing along a coherent plan would be best, with plenty of fill-in-the-blanks left for them. That leaves some element of surprise.
  5. Machiavelli Member

    @fraudelection: Do you speak Farsi?

    We should put together all intelligent action ideas (power outage, telephone, Basij radio jam, organized traffic jams, possibly more) into one document, written in Farsi, probably PDF.

    Anonymous can provide the server for downloads, the Green Brief can distribute the download link.
  6. pdf? PDF? dude, just go plain text, easier to get their hands on and open, and who cares if the iranian government gets their hands on it, just make sure theres a lot of that fill in the blanks, hell a general suggestion, the kernel of the idea, would be fine enough

    definitely leave the date and time to them, though they wont do this anytime soon
  7. Srpska Member

    This shit needs to be spread as far and wide as possible. Man the Twittercannons!

    EDIT: /r/ing moar info about the organised traffic jams. Is there potential to organise them better?
  8. twittercannons? more like a shotgun
  9. seaward Dumler

    Srpska, don't dismiss my other post on phone outage. You accusing me on being on their side without reading my posts, without reading the tweets that brought me here, without following the facebook link on my twitter......don't aim from the hip please. I'll leave it at that.

    I'd appreciate if using your own name, you'd amend or add to your other post.
  10. Srpska Member

    OK, I apologise for that. In the light of your other posts, it certainly doesn't look like you're pro-Ahmadi. However, on practical grounds I still don't think your phone outage plan will actually work.
  11. Machiavelli Member

    All actions depend on circumstances.

    The phone action is perfect during normal working hours in business districts. Actually ist's a killer plan, if targeted correctly. It shouldn't be done when there are large demonstrations announced.
  12. I've been wondering about this. Help me out.

    I think there should be a tweet blitz thread.

    Trouble is there has to be a way not to see that thread spammed with silliness and irrelevancies. And not to have misinformation tweeted out.

    So maybe there should be a tweet blitz moderator. We can discuss projects as usual in the threads and when we are ready, maybe even polls folks for agreement on safety/accuracy, then pm the moderator to have the latest tweet blitz put on the tweet blitz thread.

    That thread would basically be a central place for tweeters to go to get the news out. Thoughts?
  13. Oh, Machi, you are cool. This is a great idea. In fact we can have a tweet blitz sticky, a PDF in Farsi, and a link in Green Brief. You are thinking, man. I like that.

    I can do editorial, so subject areas are easy to find.

    For the tweet blitz sticky we will need translators in more than Farsi. Involving tweeters from different countries is a way to expand the network, so Iranians are harder to trace.

    And yeah, this can include ideas we have not yet thought of. The phone outage is good. Also we need to start acting on the China/Russia/Dubai/India boycott. That's an easy thing to get out. Just tweet it out and issue a press release so the MSM spread the news too. There are a lot of good ideas on self-defence and tactical manoevers elsewhere on this forum too; stuff on anti-teargas; first aid.
  14. Oh soon is happening. Either they have been thinking the same thoughts we are. Or they are reading what we are posting, discussing it among themselves and acting on our suggestions.
  15. btw, the tweet blitz sticky should be on the news forum because this forum gets way more views than the protest advice forum.
  16. FreedomAgent Member

    To get word out you should utilize Mohsen Sazegara


    Mohsen Sazegara is an Iranian journalist and political activist. Dr. Sazegara held several high ranking positions during the early years of the Iranian Revolution, such as deputy prime minister in political affairs, deputy minister for heavy industry, deputy chairman of the budget and planning department and many more before becoming disillusioned with the government in 1989 and pushing for reforms. He applied to become a candidate for President of Iran in the 2001 election and was refused.
    His reformist policies clashed with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, eventually resulting in his arrest in early-2003. Following his release in August 2003, he moved to the United Kingdom for medical attention. He currently resides in the United States.

    Mohsen is also an authority on non violent protests and produces a 10 minute nightly video which is shared through tweets, blogs and youtube to the protesters around Iran

    I have been following the videos on youtube and his advice seems to become reality on the pictures and videos sent back

    He was the first person I heard talking about blackouts and the Alah o akbar chants and the timings

    You can forward your comments and advice to him and be sure if sound it will be shared to the opposition

    Contact info:

    Youtube: YouTube - adminsazegara's Channel
    Google groups:
    email: and

    He is also a regular on VOA (Voice of America Satellite TV Station)
  17. FraudElection Member

    Chera, hammeh inaro be farsi neveshtiem va yek meghdar kuchaki dar daneshgah paksh kardim, valie agar har kassio ba in kaghazha begirand, bedooneh shak ya dar evin khahand raft, you koshteh khahannd shod. pakhsh by email khatarnak tareh.
  18. Machiavelli Member

    A question to technically savvy types:

    As far as I understand the biggest effect comes from well timed switch-on and also switch-off, because of load balancing difficulties.

    Is this correct?

    What would be a perfect rhythm? 15 minutes?
  19. a desert Member

    Maybe it would be better to vary from time to time? I dunno if there's a magical number. :/
  20. Machiavelli Member

    We're not talking about smart grids here. So reaction time becomes important.

    Grid management might expect a peak at 9pm, but they can't know how large this peak will be. That means they have to react with a certain delay.

    Optimally the switch-on, switch-off rhythm should fully hit their reaction to the preceding action.

    If noone can estimate that reaction delay, it's up for experimentation.
  21. Daily non violent ways to protest


    I had been thinking for a while to write a blog and count all the ways the people of Iran can protest peacefully and anonymously. Once I had finished writing, I searched the net and found this thread (there is two links from my page to this thread). There is some suggestions here that we should start spreading the word. Well, I have. Please help in promoting the page and come forward with your suggestions to augment the list of ways to protest peacefully.

    Daily Protest � Revolution in Iran
  22. Machiavelli Member

    Technical Aspects

    I finally found somebody, who claimed to know something about the topic.

    His advice:
    Most damaging should be a delay between 30s and 1 minute between ons and offs.

    That would need to be coordinated by exact time (internet time). Every computer has essentially access to exact time and the countdown for the evening news is probably exact time as well (maybe manipulated).

    That leaves us with the most damaging scenario:
    21:00 all electric applications on
    21:01 all off
    21:02 all on
    21:03 all off

    Power grid management is used to dealing with expected single peaks. They will have a hard time with unexpected peaks and they will have a very hard time with this.
  23. tweet the formula out there

    Machi: cool. Thanks for your research on this. Let's tweet it out there.
  24. Dro Member


    I tried to post this earlier, but somehow it didn't post. Hopefully it will now.

    As I see it, the power outage idea works on two levels:

    1. If enough people turn on their high consumption appliances at the same time, the demand for power will exceed the generating capacity of the power company, forcing them to take some circuits offline, and we have partial blackouts.

    2. If people switch their appliances on and off at the same time, we have a series of brownouts and power surges. If the power company does not react quickly enough, the surges in particular can damage upstream equipment (power stations, transformers and other parts of the grid). This makes the grid more fragile in the future, and can cause some extended outages. To avoid that, the power company will probably want to shut off more circuits when the action begins, and we get more widespread outages.

    #1 is easy to do, but has limited effect. #2 has potentially larger effects, but requires very good synchronization. If a good fraction of the population for some reason falls out of synch, #2 will not work, and #1 will only be partially effective compared to what would happen if you just tell everyone to plug in their irons and air conditioners and keep them plugged in.

    So my suggestion is to try this action with unequal amounts of time for "all on" and "all off". For instance four minutes on, followed by one minute off, four minutes on, one minute off, etc. (or two minutes on, thirty seconds off, or some other combination). This way, you will still get almost the maximum effect under #1, even if the synchronization is poor.
  25. Ray Murphy Member

    All appliances cannot be turned on at the same time in homes. It would take a minute to rush around the house throwing switches. People could of course turn everything on beforehand (without overloading the fuses) and then switch everything off at the meter until the correct time arrived - but without a PC they wouldn't know the precise time - and in most cases the PC would be inside the house - possibly switched off anyway.
  26. Dro Member

    You could use your cell phone to synchronize. Of course, the government controls the cell phone time, and might decide to shift it back and forth by a minute across a city. Another option is an old-fashioned watch (you know, with hands that actually physically move :) )

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