. This is why I like my phones dumb.
Funny you should ask that.
MetricT's comment above.
We installed solar panels a couple of years ago, and
they've been a Good Deal. (Like, zero electricity bills four
months a year. In New England.
The base problem is you have to avoid putting juice on the grid when a lineman's up there thinking everything's dead. Not good. There are ways to avoid this (ask anyone who has a gasoline generator hooked to their breaker box), but presumably the vendors want to keep the cost down so far as is possible.
So there are two aspects that may come to bear. First, the inverter (takes DC from solar panels and converts it to AC for the grid) is rigged to shut down immediately if there's no grid power (and wait five minutes after it comes back to resume operations). Second, it must synchronize its AC waveform to accurately match what's coming in. (Things get wasteful if it's a little out of phase, and dangerous if it's a lot out.)
So what I'm going to ask the inverter manufacturer come Monday is whether the incoming waveform is used to decide whether we've got kosher grid power. If so, will these experiments cause the frequency to depart from 60.00 Hz enough to cause the inverter to turn itself off? If so, there'll be a lot of people with solar panels who'll be very upset with these changes.
Probably with the vast increase in small generators, wind, solar and hydro etc coming on to the grid, there is much more variation than with the old large base load generators.
Don't bet on it. Our solar panels' inverter reads the grid waveform and shapes its own to match, very closely.
Think about it—any variance between the two is, at a minimum, a pure waste of power, and if it's big enough it's real danger (as that wasted power starts to generate more heat than the inverter's heat sink can dispose of.)
The patent's abstract (a bit long to quote here) sounds like Akamai's business plan.
The patent was filed in October 1997. According to the company's history Akamai's founders were finalists in a 1998 MIT competition. Given that these things don't take shape instantaneously, there's a fighting chance they've got some documentation of prior art that would shoot down this claim forthwith.
Back before the Internet was ubiquitous, when the War on Terror was in its salad days, a colleague was demonstrating how easy it was to find dodgy content. He found bomb-making instructions and printed them out.
Unfortunately, he didn't pick up the printout right away, someone else visited the printer and went non-linear. He was cleaning out his desk shortly thereafter.
Just goes to show that irrationality has attended the WoT from the start.
There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx