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Why the Power Went Out at the Super Bowl

When the power went out after the half time show at the Super Bowl, it was easy to jokingly place the blame on Beyonce’s lit-up song and dance routine complete with holographs. And while it’s possible that her powerful performance caused the power to go out, putting the grid on overload just like when too many appliances run in the same room at once, experts predict that it’s unlikely.

Though the cause of the blackout at the Super Bowl is still being investigated, many believe it has to do with a piece of equipment failing and thereby causing a short circuit, which in turn lead to a circuit breaker opening and disconnecting power to a part of the stadium circuits.

The Superdome’s energy provider, Entergy, quickly released a statement during the Super Bowl blackout saying that it was still servicing the area and that the problem was related to an electricity abnormality. Later, both the Superdome and Entergy issued a joint statement revealing that the equipment that monitored electrical load “sensed an abnormality in the system” (Source). Once the irregularity was detected, the circuit breaker, as is standard, opened a breaker to cut power to part of the Superdome – this is meant to prevent fires caused by overheated wires.

Though Entergy cannot reveal how much electricity was being used at the time of the blackout during the Super Bowl, what we do know is that prior to the event, Entergy agreed to donate carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from the high-energy use. Including NFL hotels, the Morial Convention Center, and the Superdome during the week of the game, an anticipated 3.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions were expected to be produced. So while you’re cheering on your favorite team and chowing down on chips next year during the Super Bowl, take a moment to remember exactly how much energy is being used so the game can go on.

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What Caused the Super Bowl Blackout at the Superdome?

This entry was posted on Friday, February 15th, 2013 at 9:29 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.