Electrical engineer blames design flaw for Super Bowl outage

5:44 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN - While officials in New Orleans work to discover the reason for a power outage during the Super Bowl, a professor of electrical engineering with 45 years of experience knows one thing: the 34 minute outage is inexcusable.

"I'm just sitting there laughing," P.K. Sen Said.

Sen was watching the game on television when the lights went out. The fact that there was an outage didn't surprise him. That fact that it went on for 34 minutes did.

"The first thing I was thinking was that it should come up within probably minutes if it was a properly designed system," Sen said.

Sen has been involved in the design of electrical systems for nuclear power plants. He says any facility that is designed with public safety in mind, like hospitals and stadiums, needs to be designed with multiple power feeds and emergency power.

"The multiple feeds should work literally within seconds if it is properly designed. If that fails then the emergency power should come within minutes," Sen explained.

Sen also questions the frequency with which the electrical system at the Super Dome was tested. He says it is important for those systems to be tested every six months to a year by recreating a power failure.

"Failures could happen anytime and we should be prepared for that kind of failure," Sen said. "I'm not 100 percent sure they are regularly tested for this kind of failure. It is Murphy's Law."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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