“In case you missed it, nothing much happened during the Super Bowl after Jacoby Jones ran back the kickoff that started the third quarter. That’s because the electricity in the Super Dome failed, leaving two teams and 100,000 fans mostly in the dark for about half an hour. What caused the failure? I have no specific knowledge of the reason behind the event, but I do know that just a few minutes prior to the failure, Beyonce was rocking the 50 yard line with an impressive array of lighting and video displays. Could the failure be linked to the halftime show? Perhaps.”

So wrote my friend and once-colleague Richard Cadena in his Acadamy of Production Technology newsletter that came out just a couple hours after the game.

“While massive Super Bowl halftime shows are nothing new, what is new is the predominance of LEDs, switch-mode power supplies, and pulse-width modulation. What do all of these have in common? They are all non-linear loads, which produce harmonics that can cause excessive current to flow in the neutral conductor of a 3-phase system. If that’s not taken into account, then it can lead to failures of components like feeder transformers.”

Interesting theory at the least. Check out the rest of it HERE

Originally posted 2013-02-04 06:50:58.