Power plants have to anticipate power surges during TV ad breaks


When a large number of people watching the same TV show take advantage of commercial breaks to use toilets and operate electrical appliances, the national power grid experiences a large synchronized surge which can overwhelm the power plants. In the United Kingdom, this phenomenon is known as “TV pickup” and is the reason why TV schedules have to be taken into account by the power grids. The largest ever pickup was on 4 July 1990, when a 2800 MW demand was imposed by the ending of the penalty shootout in the England v West Germany FIFA World Cup semi-final.

Source: Wikipedia

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