Energy conservation

The usage of electric energy is increasing. But there is no any conservation methods. I think that lack of awareness is the main reason of the high usage. Factories, houses are wasting the electrical energy. If we can develop any alternative solution for the energy needs we can conserve the electric energy for the coming generation.

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    It's been very obvious to me for decades that we in North America, in general, have from birth lived a life of waste, excessive and unnecessary use of electricity to the point where most of us consider this way of living and wasting is not waste, but perfectly normal and our right. Anyone who seriously conserves is seen as a an extremist wacko job who needs psychological help. North America needs a major fundamental change in mindset, but it's not going to happen any time soon. Even drastically upping the cost of electricity won't help reduce energy use other than with the poor among us. The rich will continue to waste. It could however lead to an upset in government.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 957 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    Maybe throttling back available power for the wastefull users? Like your internet service will throttle you back if you're using too much bandwidth, or using to quickly.

    That would require some planning and thought. The profligate wasters probably have friends in high places.
  • Ken MarshKen Marsh Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    The increase in electric usage bottomed out two years ago in the USA.
    Since then it even decreased a little.
    When you look at the charts use care to see that it is actual usage, not predicted usage.
    They are still predicting large increases in usage.

    As a solar advocate I feel it is important to actually reduce usage, not just transfer to something else.
    To often going off grid means just shifting loads to LP or wood that usually are less efficient.
    I feel and have largely demonstrated that we can live an abundant life and still reduce usage to something like one third of average.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Maybe throttling back available power for the wastefull users?
    The profligate wasters probably have friends in high places.

    Don't forget the multimillionaire ex Vice Prez, who, when asked about the (excessive) electrical use at his mansion responded,

    "I will have the wife make sure the lights are turned off."

    He somehow conveniently forgot about the pool and other energy hogs in the 'house'... or does he really understand, lights are not really the problem.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    Two things:

    1). Let's not go wandering down the political path as it is well-known that there are incredibly stupid people who do not understand issues but make policy on them anyway in every political party in the world.

    2). You all know the OP was a spammer, right? Bill chose to leave the initial posts up because they are harmless enough, but the intent was to leave an "opening" to come back and insert the spam later. Me, I would have deleted the whole thing as it isn't any new discussion we haven't had before nor won't have again under legitimate circumstances.

    But then I also think spammers should all be nailed up by their toes. :D
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    Sorry Marc, did try to stay away from that vein, just wanted to point out that the problems are not just at the bottom off the consumer chain but run right to the top... stupidity knows no boundaries...
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,226 admin
    Re: Energy conservation
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Maybe throttling back available power for the wasteful users? Like your internet service will throttle you back if you're using too much bandwidth, or using to quickly.

    That would require some planning and thought. The profligate wasters probably have friends in high places.
    The Internet analogy is still a difficult one to make (in my humble opinion).

    I ran for years on a dial-up line and compression (and had home calls forwarded to my cell phone). 30-56 kBaud download--Weee!

    By the time I was not too cheap to buy cable at ~5 mBit/s -- I had 4x the down load speed of many companies (~1.2 Mbit T1 lines from the phone company were still very expensive).

    Now--On the same cable I am ~25 Mbit/s for about 2x the amount I was paying for dialup with 1/500th the capacity.

    And the original reason for going to Cable was because Windows 95 updates would take 24-48 hours to download via dial-up.

    We are sort of approaching this here--My refrigerator uses 1/3rd the power of two decades ago--But now I have three of them. :blush: (happy wife--happy home; as somebody else here has typed).

    My kids now need computers for school (I really only used a computer at work for decades)... And my 1x windows 3.1 desktop 200 watt computer has been replaced by 4x 30 watt computers+cable modem+router+IP Phone+IP Radio+IP TV+Ipod+Android+etc... So, add 30+ kWH per month for something that did not even exist (home computing, Internet, video streaming) a couple decades ago.

    At best, I have been keeping even with my power usage... I still have "extra" GT Power that I originally slotted for use with some sort of electric vehicle (~10 years ago for the install).

    I don't know the answers--But available energy is going to probably remain static for the near future... The infrastructure is too physically large, expensive, and complex to just drop down more of it...

    For example, because of changes in Mexico (allowing non-Mexican oil companies to explore/pump Mexican oil)--We may be "swimming" in oil (possibly in more ways than one :cry:)--And yet, the refining capacity of the US is just about at maximum (and refineries are shutting down in some cases for a multitude of reasons)--And we may not see much change in our local energy costs (again for a multitude of reasons).

    I do believe that conservation is the #1 thing people can do to reduce energy usage and costs (both financially and environmentally). But make no mistake, "cheap & plentaful energy" has been what first world growth was based on... I have not seen any good models were dramatic reduction in energy consumption/availability has increased prosperity.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    Maybe I'm not supposed to mention this, but the "throttle back" (something like a controlled 'brown out') concept Ralph mentioned for the grid has been considered. It was rejected at the initial stage for being to expensive to implement. But who knows? That might be reconsidered in future.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    Is it achievable via the smart meters? possible I guess...:confused:
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation
    westbranch wrote: »
    Is it achievable via the smart meters? possible I guess...:confused:

    The utility can disconnect via smart meters. However, when most people talk about peak load shaving, they talk about things like setback thermostats, refrigeration pause and throttling water heaters - shedding or reducing less critical loads for the period of the peak. This avoids having to run peakers, which are our least efficient power plants.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,226 admin
    Re: Energy conservation

    The "brown out" method of limiting power usage was tried decades ago in the old USSR... They ended up needing a whole bunch of rewound/new electric motors after that experiment. :roll:

    And "brown outs" used to be sort of common when I was a kid (early 1960's as I recall). Very quickly everyone learned to go around and unplug their refrigerators as they quickly burnt out the compressors. Later, the utilities learned it was better for everyone if they just switched off power instead (to conserve, equipment failure, etc.).

    Today's "throttling" will be either a smart meter shutting off, a remote controlled relay (such as for turning off A/C for ~20-30 minutes in rotating blocks--And I read somewhere there was already a firmware problem found in one utility/home system that cut off A/C to several thousand homes by mistake). And there is the roll back grid frequency by 5-10%... What that would do to appliances? Refrigerator compressors may not like 10% (motors can start drawing more current at lower frequencies). And any industrial production lines (like a conveyor in a bakery or 60 Hz process timers) will be hit too (computerized equipment--probably not so much).

    California did a little rotating neighborhood outages around ~2000 (Eron/Electrical "deregulation" crisis)--That seemed to be the only one that worked (and a lot of companies had gensets parked outback to keep running if the outages ever became common/wide spread).

    Afternoon power outages are common in many parts of the world. A few of our posters here can speak to that--Does not make life any easier (and probably does not save energy usage/reduce pollution much either).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    I know that in England that the water heaters can be shut off if needed as well they use TOD functionality to load manage , ie DHW is on during the night so hot in the AM but DHW heater is actually off, as night use is at lowest rate. Not sure of the hardware used though.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Energy conservation

    In order to control the total current a given household uses you need to be able to switch individual circuits on/off, not just lower the Voltage 'til something fails (brown outs). As such you can either put in automated timers on things like water heaters so that they are only on at the best time for energy management, or you need complicated remote-controlled switching so that the utility can manage your active circuits. Not many people would be keen on that.

    You can of course do the latter yourself if it becomes to your economic advantage to do so. Hence TOU rate structures putting financial burden on at peak demand time to encourage people to cut back. However too many people would rather pay the bill and complain than make an effort to save.

    It's pretty easy to conserve energy, but it requires effort. Turning the job over to the utility doesn't. How much control are you willing to give up in the name of social betterment?
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