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Home Electricity & Costs - what are you doing?

WelshGas

WelshGas

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WG’s fourth post about imagining me in the bath, and now he wants photos.

No means no.
Ones enough. The stuff of nightmares, on the WWW for all to see . Heaven knows the effect on the younger generation.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

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The trouble is @clarinetbcn that you can map almost any subject to the climate debate, pick it apart and point fingers. For example:

“The total emissions from London theatres (excluding pre-production and audience travel) are approximately 50,000 tonnes a year. This is roughly equivalent to driving a car 1.5 million times round the M25.”

So, for the sake of the planet maybe we should stop going to the theatre and concerts?
I’m not suggesting giving up (stop going to concerts), I’m suggesting recognizing the necessity of using our current knowledge and dedicating future research to reducing the damage we are doing to our own nest (lowering the carbon footprint of concerts and theaters). Do you think this can’t be done? Right now it’s 16C outside, was 10C last night. I didn’t need heat because my flat gets full sun during the day, some of which falls on tiles that keep warm well into the evening. That doesn’t happen every day, which is why this is only one of many design solutions which reduce energy consumption. It’s a question of recognizing and acting on priorities, which is why 20 years ago I moved to 15 minutes walking to work. Many of the solutions are right in front of us, we’re just too lazy to use them because we still believe “it won’t happen here.”
 
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The Tall Luthier

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This reminds me of @WelshGas, someone who spent his professional life in healthcare, saying that smoking doesn’t cause cancer (arguing that since no one knows which 180 will self immolate, they are all healthy as opposed to all suspect.) It must be exhausting to expend the effort to deny the obvious, even though it has been extensively documented.


Drilling for oil using public subsidies, and then shipping it around the world, with all the disasters that this has caused, and then burning it in public when we would never tolerate burning it openly in our own homes, is only second in immorality to building a nuclear power plant to heat OUR homes for 40-50 years, while producing as a "waste" product (another lie, since this was all planned in order to produce nuclear warheads from supposedly innocent "civil" activity) the most toxic substance known to man with a half-life of 100 times the years since the birth of Christ. Fortunately our descendants will not have to deal with this since the human race will be extinct due to fouling its own nest. Good news, 250,000,000 years after the extinction of humans, the earth will be fine.

We really need to become a little more aware of what being egotistical means, namely, protecting our legacy by ensuring the continuity of the human race. Nature (God) couldn’t care less for those who don’t have the courage and generosity to protect not just themselves, but their children and their children's children.
I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written. All I said is that the statistics showing that it has a positive carbon affect are really difficult to find.

It’s a bit like e-cars, a great idea but the carbon cost of production is so high that they have to be driven for 50,000 miles just to match the carbon savings of making an ICE car. For me, that’s a realistic benefit although smaller than we would hope for.
 
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The Tall Luthier

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“Young people are more likely to vote for a socialist/liberal parties, oldies for a more illiberal conservative style of government.”

Has always been the way :)

“If the whole world depends on today’s youth, I can’t see the world lasting another 100 years.”
Socrates 399
Quotations are great fun

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” ~ Socrates 399. Perhaps he didn’t have a good argument for the young being useless.

It’s been my observation, through teaching, that young adults are their childhood selves, taller! Great kids become great young adults. Fearless, generous, empathic and loving.
 
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Lambeth Cali

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Anyway.
I’ve gone and bought a truckload of LED lightbulbs. Incredible hassle working out what’s 60W or 100W, needs to be small, bayonet or screw, and does or doesn’t need to dim!

My Nest thermostat has a great schedule App, BUT the minimum time you can put between temperatures - effectively On and Off - is 60 minutes! Effing useless if you want to put the heating on for 15 minutes in the morning. Unbelievable that it hasn’t been sorted. Must be costing millions a fortune.
 
sidepod

sidepod

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Anyone burning candles? CHL. Combined Heat and Light with a nice ambiance thrown in for free. Win win.
 
chockswahay

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Anyway.
I’ve gone and bought a truckload of LED lightbulbs. Incredible hassle working out what’s 60W or 100W, needs to be small, bayonet or screw, and does or doesn’t need to dim!

My Nest thermostat has a great schedule App, BUT the minimum time you can put between temperatures - effectively On and Off - is 60 minutes! Effing useless if you want to put the heating on for 15 minutes in the morning. Unbelievable that it hasn’t been sorted. Must be costing millions a fortune.
Shouldn’t worry too much about that, surely the radiators would barely get hot in 15 minutes?
 
larrylamb

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Re smart stats and boiler controls, i am very happy with the Wiser (by Drayton) system I've been using the last 2 years. Very controllable.
 
Velma's Dad

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I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written. All I said is that the statistics showing that it has a positive carbon affect are really difficult to find.
I think you can find plenty of such statistics, but there are two problems. First, all "cradle-to-grave" analysis is massively dependent on what you scope in, and on a huge set of assumptions (just one being where you assume the solar panels or whatever are produced). Second, some of the factors are shifting very fast (eg the carbon intensity of grid electricity), so do you try to look at past/current variables, or make assumptions about say 10 years' time (the mid-point of the lifespan of solar panels that you install today)? Over that period, the carbon intensity of the UK grid electricity that your panels are 'competing' against is projected to fall by more than 50%.

With all that, there's always bound to be a big inclination for people to cherry pick their evidence according to their pro- or anti- starting bias.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

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Ones enough. The stuff of nightmares, on the WWW for all to see . Heaven knows the effect on the younger generation.
Posting a fantasy about solitary, guilt-ridden ("the stuff of nightmares") searches for certain images on the internet, and then contemplating the effects of sharing those images with children, is a red flag anywhere, but on a campervan forum? Someone who cares about WG should check in on him.
 
Velma's Dad

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Posting a fantasy about solitary, guilt-ridden ("the stuff of nightmares") searches for certain images on the internet, and then contemplating the effects of sharing those images with children, is a red flag anywhere, but on a campervan forum? Someone who cares about WG should check in on him.
Well I've certainly just spent two hours poring over online data - from our heat pump, put in last May but now starting to do serious work as it gets colder. So... back onto topic?

If anyone is contemplating heat pumps, all I can say is that (apart from not actually saving you any money, but we knew that) you'd better be in full geek mode to get your head around the operating parameters and data streams, to get the best out of the system.

In our case we've retained the gas boiler as a top-up to the HP but actually so far it hasn't kicked in at all while the HP has taken the full load of heating and hot water. BUT its performance efficiency (Coefficient of Performance, CoP) dances around with various permutations of flow temperature and demand patterns, still working out eg whether it's best to keep some heat going through the UFH overnight, so reduce the morning ramp-up (at lower CoP), yada yada yada.

Meanwhile my other running experiment, exploring Mrs VD's tolerance of various thermostat settings, is giving me an invaluable flow of (mainly verbal) data.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

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One of the things I've learned from living in an 1880 flat updated to be energy efficient is to turn the heat pump down at night but not off, because of the morning ramp-up effect. I generally wait until the sun is up before turning the heat up, so the solar panels cover the ramp-up. If I go away for more than a day, I turn the heat off. Once the walls fully cool, it takes about a day to get them back up to temperature, but since the panels have been feeding electricity into the network while I'm away, that credit, even though it's only compensated at wholesale prices, covers the cost of the ramp-up.
 
andyinluton

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Posting a fantasy about solitary, guilt-ridden ("the stuff of nightmares") searches for certain images on the internet, and then contemplating the effects of sharing those images with children, is a red flag anywhere, but on a campervan forum? Someone who cares about WG should check in on him.
Give it a rest please.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

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One of the things I've learned from living in an 1880 flat updated to be energy efficient is to turn the heat pump down at night but not off, because of the morning ramp-up effect. I generally wait until the sun is up before turning the heat up, so the solar panels cover the ramp-up. If I go away for more than a day, I turn the heat off. Once the walls fully cool, it takes about a day to get them back up to temperature, but since the panels have been feeding electricity into the network while I'm away, that credit, even though it's only compensated at wholesale prices, covers the cost of the ramp-up.
In the user info area of my electric company provider, a co-op which sources 100% renewable energy (not gas and nuclear, which the EU has been lobbied into including in their list of green energy!), I get a daily graph in 3 min. data points about my daily usage. This is a great help because it turns out it is more efficient for me to use the sun input to run appliances like dishwasher and washing machine, and avoid network consumption, than to compensate night time low tariff consumption from the network with excess produced during the day. The exception is aircon/heat pump, which obviously also runs at night, but by watching my usage during the day I usually manage to have enough day credit to cover my night usage.

Yes, I am a geek.
 
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johnyboy

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Well I've certainly just spent two hours poring over online data - from our heat pump, put in last May but now starting to do serious work as it gets colder. So... back onto topic?

If anyone is contemplating heat pumps, all I can say is that (apart from not actually saving you any money, but we knew that) you'd better be in full geek mode to get your head around the operating parameters and data streams, to get the best out of the system.

In our case we've retained the gas boiler as a top-up to the HP but actually so far it hasn't kicked in at all while the HP has taken the full load of heating and hot water. BUT its performance efficiency (Coefficient of Performance, CoP) dances around with various permutations of flow temperature and demand patterns, still working out eg whether it's best to keep some heat going through the UFH overnight, so reduce the morning ramp-up (at lower CoP), yada yada yada.

Meanwhile my other running experiment, exploring Mrs VD's tolerance of various thermostat settings, is giving me an invaluable flow of (mainly verbal) data.
I just leave ours as the installer set it up... not really been a problem
 
Amarillo

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I found this offshore wind farm map fascinating.

Only the pale green sections are fully oppositional wind farms, with other parts in various stages of construction, planning or licensing.

We already get about 25% of Britain’s electricity needs from wind (onshore plus offshore). But my guesstimate from this map is a potential 20 fold increase in generation from wind. That potentially is an awful lot of spare capacity on windy days to either export or convert into green hydrogen.

0e34c0fd2d4376234719c4f07d5fb928.png
 
willwander

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Well I've certainly just spent two hours poring over online data - from our heat pump, put in last May but now starting to do serious work as it gets colder. So... back onto topic?

If anyone is contemplating heat pumps, all I can say is that (apart from not actually saving you any money, but we knew that) you'd better be in full geek mode to get your head around the operating parameters and data streams, to get the best out of the system.

In our case we've retained the gas boiler as a top-up to the HP but actually so far it hasn't kicked in at all while the HP has taken the full load of heating and hot water. BUT its performance efficiency (Coefficient of Performance, CoP) dances around with various permutations of flow temperature and demand patterns, still working out eg whether it's best to keep some heat going through the UFH overnight, so reduce the morning ramp-up (at lower CoP), yada yada yada.

Meanwhile my other running experiment, exploring Mrs VD's tolerance of various thermostat settings, is giving me an invaluable flow of (mainly verbal) data.
Been looking at the settings for our boiler on the phone app.
I have to choose between the Hysteresis or the Proportional-Integral-Derivative algorithm and adjust the heating curve between 0.4 and 2.6 ?

I've no idea. Personally I think this is bad app design. Would prefer just two settings. On and off.
 
Velma's Dad

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I found this offshore wind farm map fascinating.

Only the pale green sections are fully oppositional wind farms, with other parts in various stages of construction, planning or licensing.

We already get about 25% of Britain’s electricity needs from wind (onshore plus offshore). But my guesstimate from this map is a potential 20 fold increase in generation from wind. That potentially is an awful lot of spare capacity on windy days to either export or convert into green hydrogen.
Very interesting. I'm not sure a 20-fold increase is on the cards in the foreseeable future, at the moment a major "headwind" (ha ha) seems to be the consenting process which can take years.

Still, UK Renewables says that "The total pipeline of UK wind projects which are either operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system or at an early stage of development now extends to 129GW. (93.3GW offshore and 36GW onshore)." That's versus about 25GW operational right now, so that would be a four-fold increase which would take wind power alone to the same scale as the whole of the UK's current generating capacity from all technologies - although that total will have to rise with the switch to electricity for home heating and EVs: total needs are estimated to be about 200GW by 2040.

To me, it highlights how, while a bunch of people have been bleating on about how pointlessly impracticable it would be to switch to wind power for the bulk of our electricity needs, the wind energy industry has just quietly got on with doing it.
 
clarinetbcn

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Very interesting. I'm not sure a 20-fold increase is on the cards in the foreseeable future, at the moment a major "headwind" (ha ha) seems to be the consenting process which can take years.

Still, UK Renewables says that "The total pipeline of UK wind projects which are either operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system or at an early stage of development now extends to 129GW. (93.3GW offshore and 36GW onshore)." That's versus about 25GW operational right now, so that would be a four-fold increase which would take wind power alone to the same scale as the whole of the UK's current generating capacity from all technologies - although that total will have to rise with the switch to electricity for home heating and EVs: total needs are estimated to be about 200GW by 2040.

To me, it highlights how, while a bunch of people have been bleating on about how pointlessly impracticable it would be to switch to wind power for the bulk of our electricity needs, the wind energy industry has just quietly got on with doing it.
The situation you’ve described is similar to the situation in Spain.



“Spain is the fifth country in the world with the most installed capacity of wind power, after China, the United States of America, Germany and India, and the second in Europe behind Germany.”

This is in addition to Spain’s rapidly growing solar installations.

One of the advantages of my solar system is that it has been up and running for four years already, and had paid for itself after the first two. This was due in part to a sizable subsidy from the City of Barcelona. The city paid for the program by cancelling the multi-million euro yearly subsidy that the previous city administration had been paying to the Montmeló F1 race track, located about a 40 min. drive outside the city limits.
 
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WelshGas

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At 8 pm on November 28 wind was providing only 1 per cent of electricity generation. It was backed up by gas, providing 63 per cent.

On a windless, winters evening, if won’t matter how many GW of Wind Power Generation there is No Wind - No Power.

Solar would be of no use No Sun - No Power no matter how many GW of solar panels are installed.

Nuclear can provide 100% power 24/7, as can gas and coal or biomass, independent of weather or time of day.

What is really required is some form of Mass Energy Storage or massive increase in Nuclear Power Generation that is switchable to cope with the significant variation in Wind/Solar power production.

At the moment Gas, Oil, Coal or Biomass or the only switchable forms of power generation as there are virtually no Mass Energy Storage systems apart from

Dinorwig Power Station or similar installations.

 
Amarillo

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Very interesting. I'm not sure a 20-fold increase is on the cards in the foreseeable future, at the moment a major "headwind" (ha ha) seems to be the consenting process which can take years.

Still, UK Renewables says that "The total pipeline of UK wind projects which are either operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system or at an early stage of development now extends to 129GW. (93.3GW offshore and 36GW onshore)." That's versus about 25GW operational right now, so that would be a four-fold increase which would take wind power alone to the same scale as the whole of the UK's current generating capacity from all technologies - although that total will have to rise with the switch to electricity for home heating and EVs: total needs are estimated to be about 200GW by 2040.

To me, it highlights how, while a bunch of people have been bleating on about how pointlessly impracticable it would be to switch to wind power for the bulk of our electricity needs, the wind energy industry has just quietly got on with doing it.
My 20-fold guesstimate came from looking at the pale green areas of the map will ALL other areas including the huge Scottish county sized regions.

Of course, not all those areas might end up as wind farms, and the timescale will be decades not years.

But the potential is there and with spare capacity for bubbling out green hydrogen from water without huge electricity losses in transmission.

And there are also huge new nuclear plants in the pipeline.
 
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