Smart meters (again?)

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squeaker
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby squeaker » 29 Oct 2020, 2:45pm

Graham wrote:* Solar panels on the roof - I worry about :-
1)- The need for roof repairs AFTER the panels fitted. i.e. what chance of finding a roofer who will carefully evaluate a roof BEFORE the panels go on. Is such an evaluation even possible ?
2)- Pidgeons and other flying dinosaurs nesting under the panels.
3)- Lichen, algae, dinosaur droppings and builders careless duststorms requiring manual cleaning of the panels.

1) Panel fitting is not irreversible ;) Fitting does involve an element of lifting tiles / slates though, so any problems should be identified at / prior to installation.
2) Bargeboard edging solved a pigeon problem at our local sailing club - no obvious ill effects due to loss of under-panel breezes.
3) At 18 degrees from the horizontal, the sailing club array has never been cleaned - heavy rain and strong winds do the work.

HTH.
"42"

kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 29 Oct 2020, 2:53pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:I don't agree.
The suppliers could give it for free or for a small amount, something under cost.

I've already answered this.

Your supplier buys this power too and sells it to you. It's what helps keep your prices low - you're buying at an average.

PDQ Mobile wrote:Because people (with these flexible tariffs) would use it anyway.
What alternative do they have?

We'd simply use the power when it suits us rather than when it's good for the grid.
That's the alternative.

PDQ Mobile wrote:That would increase the margins and operating profits of thise companies, because they have saved those negative costs, and we could all enjoy cheaper and more sustainable leccy supplies.

It already increases the margins and profits of your supplier - that you don't take advantage of the lower prices you can get (probably even from the same supplier) is your problem not mine. They rely on inertia from people like you to increase their profits.


You're so hung up on negative tariffs you really can't see the bigger picture.

It doesn't matter whether it's a fixed rate of a tracker we all work on average prices.
Over lockdown my average cost was around 7p, I reckon a realistic average is 10p which is where I think it's heading.

I can get a fixed tariff of 12.5p so the reality is I'm trading a saving of 2.5p for flexibility.
So it wouldn't take much to have me using power when I feel like it rather than when it's good for the grid.

45GW average usage in peak time, you have to decide whether you want to keep it there or not because when all those EV's appear if they find the convenience of plugging in as soon as they get home to charge outweighs any savings then we're gonna need a lot of new power stations and all that extra capacity we'll build will be sat on the grid 24/7 and bills will only go one way and all your reservations about EV's would come true.


Fortunately we've got folk who not only understand how the grid works but understand basic economics making decisions so I'm happy the right choices will be made.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 Oct 2020, 3:03pm

The "basic economics" are that they will use it when its cheapest. If they have a choice. IMV.

So that's simple and easy for everyone to understand.

And if margins are increased by not using negative tariffs then the higher tariffs could be made cheaper.
Keep it simple, keep if safe and reliable.

kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 29 Oct 2020, 3:38pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:The "basic economics" are that they will use it when its cheapest. If they have a choice. IMV.

So that's simple and easy for everyone to understand.

That's only true to a point.
You don't change to a cheaper tariff do you? Why not?
Basic economics aren't making much impact on you so why do you think if there's little incentive (2.5p I reckon in my case per kwh) they'd bother either?

PDQ Mobile wrote:And if margins are increased by not using negative tariffs then the higher tariffs could be made cheaper.
Keep it simple, keep if safe and reliable.

Please understand, it's not a difficult concept.

Your provider is already being paid to use electricity when the tariffs are negative - they pass those savings on to you because the average price is lower.

It works exactly the same for me. The average price is lower.

Seriously, you're getting the savings but you want my savings as well???

kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 29 Oct 2020, 4:46pm

One for PDQ - not a negative price in sight so you can sleep easy.

(Kiln is firing tonight though :wink: ).



rates.PNG

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 Oct 2020, 5:29pm

Cool!
It occurs to me (because I hadn't really thought about it before) that these complex and patently ridiculous tariff structures are brought about by the privatization of leccy supply.
The economics of growth above sustainability. Shareholders above customer value.
Exactly what has caused so many problems in the last 20 years in other areas.

Each different company vying with its competitors for a bigger market share.
And ultimately then some of the older ones going bust- with debts no doubt.
Debts get written off because they are PLCs or whatever. And others suffer.

Along comes another company with a new business "model" and makes loads of tasty offers to gain a customer base.
And another older one with cash flow problems goes under as it hemorrhages customers seeking a cheaper deal.
And so on and so on.

Whether that is beneficial, in the long term, to us all as a nation is very questionable.
This applies particularly to something so vital as the energy supply.

kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 29 Oct 2020, 5:54pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:Cool!
It occurs to me (because I hadn't really thought about it before) that these complex and patently ridiculous tariff structures are brought about by the privatization of leccy supply.

Complex?
I just pay twice what electricity costs - can't be any simpler can it?

On top of that you don't think different rates and grid balancing was an issue pre privatisation?
You think British industry paid the same rates as you did? Or that stuff wasn't shut down on a night?
People who used a lot of electricity have always paid less - same for everything really, cheaper to buy 24 tins of beans instead of 1.

Of course there were different rates and a requirement for grid balancing - such things have existed ever since someone strung up some wire and stuck some voltage at one end.

PDQ Mobile wrote:The economics of growth above sustainability. Shareholders above customer value.

Nothing to do with shareholders or growth and everything to do with sustainability.

You want a grid that can handle what's required of it in 10 years time?
Spreading load out is the only way that can work.

PDQ Mobile wrote:Along comes another company with a new business "model" and makes loads of tasty offers to gain a customer base.
And another older one with cash flow problems goes under as it hemorrhages customers seeking a cheaper deal.

No need to have cash flow problems, simply put everyone on a a tracker tariff, profit is guaranteed and so is sustainability.

Beneficial is simply having an electrical supply system that's fit for purpose.
Using your "one price fits all" obviously isn't - not unless you're happy to build a *lot* of new power stations.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby [XAP]Bob » 29 Oct 2020, 6:26pm

Negative tariffs only exist because it’s cheaper to pay people to use power than to shut down.

Therefore those using a negative tariff are subsidising those on a fixed rate, because it would cost more to stop production than it would to have the power used.
Additionally those who take energy when the rates are negative probably were going to use that energy, so the fact that they have moved it means that peak deman is significantly lower than it otherwise would be - again, saving everyone cash.

The fact that you choose to stick on a tariff that you know is higher because you think that the grid maintenance is in some way tied to your supplier :facepalm:
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 Oct 2020, 7:36pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
The fact that you choose to stick on a tariff that you know is higher because you think that the grid maintenance is in some way tied to your supplier :facepalm:

Well they are the same company and my tariff is one of the lowest available here.

As for negative rates I showed you last night that there was loads of capacity that could be shut down quickly, still generating.
An we were still importing loads of nuclear.
Indeed even pump storage was still operating kwackers then said it was because they could pump it cheaper because it would be windier, maybe? But hey it was already there what could be cheaper than that?
And wind was making 10 gw 40% of total
And so that assumed the reserviors were full?

Looked nuts to me given the short term nature of pumped storage. How long does Dinorwig last at full bore?

I start to reckon there is something of an Alice in Wonderland going on here. A psychosis brought on by new EVs!
Four solar panels on the shed roof and the world is powered and saved all at once, even in winter.
It's going to be a hard landing methinks.

kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 29 Oct 2020, 7:51pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:As for negative rates I showed you last night that there was loads of capacity that could be shut down quickly, still generating.
An we were still importing loads of nuclear.
Indeed even pump storage was still operating kwackers then said it was because they could pump it cheaper because it would be windier, maybe? But hey it was already there what could be cheaper than that?
And wind was making 10 gw 40% of total
And so that assumed the reserviors were full?

Looked nuts to me given the short term nature of pumped storage. How long does Dinorwig last at full bore?

Looks nuts to you but what do you know about the grid?
Lots of things I know nothing about look nuts to me too.

About 5 hours.

PDQ Mobile wrote:I start to reckon there is something of an Alice in Wonderland going on here. A psychosis brought on by new EVs!
Four solar panels on the shed roof and the world is powered and saved all at once, even in winter.
It's going to be a hard landing methinks.

Who said anything about saving the world?
I do what I can within reason.

The real problem imo is most folk think like you, dismiss anything they don't understand and invent reasons why they think it's nonsense.
It's probably the easiest way out there is.
If you don't think you're doing that then consider that I've put loads of numbers and explanations up there and it's interesting that rather than tackle what I've said you dismiss it with generalisations - which petty much always end up at you thinking the way the grid is run in daft.

I'd start by accepting one fact.
The folk that run the grid know far better than you how it works and how to run it.

Once you accept that then everything else just follows.
We need to balance the grid and we need a mechanism to change behaviour that allows us to do that.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 Oct 2020, 7:58pm

Forgive me for above!
Caught me at bad moment. Sciatica!

Go for it matey. Let us know how it pans out.

I reckon I'm not so bad on the eco leccy scale though.
Too late to change now, the direction was taken years ago.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby [XAP]Bob » 29 Oct 2020, 8:41pm

There are multiple issues at play (I’ve done some playing with the grid on a larger scale, but not a huge amount).

- Supply frequency
This is tied to a 50Hz average, any clock that’s plugged in and doesn’t take its clock signal from the mains is seriously missing a trick. The deviation gauges are normally only a few percent of one hertz each way, and over the course of a day it’s guaranteed to be 50Hz

- Supply voltage
This can and does vary as the load on the grid, and the supply available. It will vary locally as well as nationally, unlike the frequency- where the whole nation is perfectly in lockstep.
Letting the voltage drop is a global mechanism to shed a small amount of load, similarly letting it rise deals with a small amount of overcapacity (a percentage point or two in either direction at most).

- Energy conservation
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be converted from a be form to another... this means that all the electricity generated must be used, not just hour by hour, but minute by minute, second by second. This is why load shedding agreements exist (where large users agree to be cut off).
I’m sure there are also large industrial users who have agreements to use power if the grid voltage increases too far (though I don’t know of any).

- Predicted load
This is what we predict we need, hour by hour, minute by minute, throughout the day.

- Actual load
This is what we actually use

- the energy market
Power stations and large consumers (like your energy supplier) buy and sell the energy they expect to need by the half hour. That’s the resolution of the market.
Long term purchases (months in advance) are made, then energy is bought/sold by *both* sides to get their predicted usage and purchased usage closer together.
If someone has bought too much they *must* sell it. This could be by selling to a power station who can generate less, it might be by paying a power station to produce less, or it might be by selling to a user (large or small) or even by paying a user to use that energy.

The forecasts months or weeks hence are pretty rough, TV schedules used to be a massive contributor, but weather and other special events make a huge difference. If, for example, England were in a World Cup soccer final on Friday - then there would be significant spikes m demand associated with that, and those half hours would trade at a higher price than others.
However if that match was cancelled because everyone was tested positive for COVID then there would have been far too much power purchased - so it would be sold back to those generators who could easily throttle...

The amount of electricity I use isn’t increased by choice of tariff, the demand is what it is (and whilst I am taking steps to reduce it it probably still more than most - home office etc).
What my choice of tariff does is encourage me to shape my load to be opposite yours - because that’s when the supply of energy is most abundant and therefore cheapest.

Now you might reasonably take issue with the trade of futures (ie selling a commitment to supply/use something else n the future, but it’s what modern capitalist societies are based on, and in general it keeps the market reasonable.
The cost to enter the market as a (significant) supplier is quite high though, so various technologies have had incentives over the years (else we’d still be running on mostly coal). This does mean that the market isn’t “perfect” in the economical sense of the word, but it is done to allow for modernisation of the grid to actually happen.

Negative prices are normal in any market where the product has a storage cost - it’s how supply and deman are balanced.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 Oct 2020, 9:59pm

*^bob
Well I reckon some of that is tosh, sorry.
Imagine I have a windmill. Powering just my house. Sometimes I use all it can make and sometimes I don't. The load makes it harder to turn the blades and less load turns them faster.
My car alternator is much the same.
You may argue that the excess energy is dissipated in the form of heat but my alternator doesn't melt even on long summer daytime journeys?
It's great to use up wind energy. Buy it cheap cos there's plenty.
But to be payed to use it is another thing.

Ot's blowing a hooli out there and wind is making just 36% of UK demand. Next week as the anti-cyclone builds in it will be in single figures. (Make no mistake I sm a fan of wind)
Solar none.
Uk Nuclear and gas share at 20% each give or take a decimal point. So 40% conventional and not sustainable at this very moment.
And the French and the Dutch are pumping their stuff at us too.

I wanted to reduce my energy consumption, wind has to some extent changed that perspective but only to some extent.
Your new wheel are still a quarter nuclear powered however you spin it.
Kwackers reckons new Hinkley will double my fridge and freezer running cost.
I tried to explain to him that because of my location they are sustainable in my view- without nuclear (or gas come to it).
That fact makes me a little happy.

Negative prices are not normal in many businesses at all.
Banking newly though, as well as leccy it would seem.

I wanted to use less- a save the planet job. It's a different perspective.
And I still reckon I subsidize you and my tariff represents fair value.

Kwackers wants to produce his base load of 300w with a few solar panels on the roof. He'll need his car battety for that- all of it for they long dark winter days I think.
He could just but "green leccy" from the grid at a slightly increased price and he would be quids in I think.
But when you throw in his car, kiln and other household stuff, you are looking at lots (as in lots) of kwh consumption. His base load is but a tiny fraction. Therefore I say such a small panel installation is just a fantasy.
And a bit of a bad judgement.
Lets hope his overall grasp of the grid is better.

kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 29 Oct 2020, 10:25pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:*^bob
Well I reckon some of that is tosh, sorry.
Imagine I have a windmill. Powering just my house. Sometimes I use all it can make and sometimes I don't. The load makes it harder to turn the blades and less load turns them faster.

As I said, you haven't got a clue.

You've got half a fact and run with it.
So you know enough to know that reducing the load on a 'windmill' makes it turn faster but presumably it never occurred to you that there's a limit to how fast a turbine can spin?
They have some pretty big blades and they either have to be allowed to generate or braked to a stop.

The rest of your post is just the same old crap regurgitated with no specifics other than some apparent notion by yourself that your idealised view of how this stuff should work is correct.

For the record "throwing in my car" - well it's still far better environmentally than yours, particularly as I don't use it to drive hundreds of miles also when your missus was sat in front of a roaring fire this morning - my heating wasn't even on. The first thing I did when I bought this house was fit over a foot of insulation, the second thing was to zone every room individually.
My wife's kiln is how she makes her living - and working from home and thus not travelling probably more than makes up the environmental cost of it.
My 300w of baseline power saving might not be much but over 365 days it's not to be sniffed at so overall at least I'm considering doing something (I gave up meat over 40 years ago, I either cycled 40 miles to work and back or used the train so I reckon I do my bit).

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 Oct 2020, 11:53pm

I did not say or suggest you did not do your bit.
I know you are committed. And fit!
But you are quite a high energy user.
Dunno about the car comparison. It needs to do a lot more miles before you can say that, I think.
Yours runs on gas and nuclear too.
On balance I still prefer diesel to nuclear, having experienced first hand what happens when nuclear goes wrong. And I am aware of its high financial costs. But we're all different.

I know you have to brake "windmills" and I know at times they make a lot of energy. And at times they don't.
But production can be throttled back when demand is lower and they are flexible to some degree.
There are other generating methods, that lend themselves even better to quick changes in demand and that was also the point.

And I therefore don't see the need to pay folk to use energy. It escapes me.
Both as a balancing of the grid and as a business model.