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Topic Title: Smart meters (this month E & T).
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Created On: 19 December 2012 08:13 PM
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 19 December 2012 08:13 PM
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jcm256

Posts: 1942
Joined: 01 April 2006

Fair enough, it was an interesting article.

http://eandt.theiet.org/magazi...y-of-our-own-homes.cfm
 20 December 2012 06:44 AM
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normcall

Posts: 8175
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It's the idea that consumers will alter their usage to bring about the reduction in carbon emissions that made me snigger.

The argument for spending al this money to to save money for someone. The question not answered is who is the someone?
They even admit that energy costs will rise to pay for this work, like costs have risen to build wind turbines etc.

I bet if gas/energy was still in the public sector, these things would not have happened but at the moment, the government pull the strings without any responsibility.

-------------------------
Norman
 20 December 2012 07:06 AM
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Legh

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Joined: 17 December 2004

My first question would be, how many training hours will be available to bring a 'non-experienced' person up to a competent standard?

When you consider the number of smart meters that will need to be changed; the hours available, meter changes per day; assessors and verifiers to ensure the process is a 'positive experience' (whatever that means).That would suggest that a very large increase in the workforce for a limited amount of time.

The work on the surface of it is basic, but still needs the underlying awareness of what electricity can do when the process goes pear shaped or the quality of the materials used. The training rigs used will need faults that will demonstrate the destructive nature of electrical energy when poor connections are made or a faulty meter is installed.

My second question might be Who will pay for a comprehensive insurance arrangement that will need to set up to cover faults that suddenly appear after work is completed and which this is likely to run for years after installation?

My third question might be: where will all the torque screwdrivers be manufactured to be the supply a large number level 2 operatives.

Legh

-------------------------
Why do we need Vernier Calipers when we have container ships?

http://www.leghrichardson.co.uk

"Science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space - but any objections."
 20 December 2012 08:31 AM
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ianmcv

Posts: 216
Joined: 24 March 2006

Personally I would want someone qualified carrying out the installation so on that note I wonder if you could ask if the installer was a qualified electrician and if not refuse him access to carry out the work?
 20 December 2012 09:30 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11768
Joined: 13 August 2003

It's the idea that consumers will alter their usage to bring about the reduction in carbon emissions that made me snigger.

Some will certainly. There's a bigger picture to all this though. As a country we're no longer self-sufficient in energy - so regardless of whether the electricity supply industry is state or privately owned, we have to buy energy from international markets - and as globally demand looks to continue to outstrip supply, we can't at present avoid volatile and ever-increasing unit prices. It's not all about minimising usage overall though - from a grid point of view there's the more important matter of matching supply and demand - essential for 'keeping the lights on'. There will be times where supplies are low (whether due to fuel workers strikes or unusual weather disrupting sustainable sources or foreign politics disrupting supplies), other times when supplies are high (e.g. lots of wind/solar). The traditional approach of building extra capacity, using fuel to run a 'spinning reserve' will become increasingly expensive. It can be far more economic (in both financial and energy/environmental costs) to shuffle some loads around in time to better match the supply. That's nothing new of course, we're all used to E7/E12 heating systems - which worked fine when the generation was essentially constant and loads generally predictable in advance. The change now that's needed is to be able to do similar things but much more dynamically - minute-by-minute if needs by - hence the smart-grid idea (of which smart metering is just one component). Most time-critial loads (e.g. lighting, small appliances, cooking) are relatively small - large loads - e.g. water & space heating (and increasingly) heat pumps and electric vehicle charging can easily be shuffled about in time with little or no impact to the consumer. After all most people won't care what precise time overnight the electricity flows as long as it's hot/charged by morning. It also gives opportunities to back-feed power into the grid in dire situations (e.g. consumers could elect to program their electric car charging system to feed power from the vehicle batteries back into the grid under certain demand-exceeds-supply conditions (probably signalled by a high dynamic feed-in price-per-unit), reserving a chosen level of charge for the vehicle. Similarly the smart grid could disconnect local generation systems when the grid needs to decrease supply to restore balance (e.g. following a regional supply failure). All very 'switch-on-and-off-able' as they used to say. All small differences, but added together hopefully enough to make the difference between 'keeping the lights on' and not.

- Andy.
 20 December 2012 10:06 AM
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burn

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Argeed Andy. We have to make the best possible use of our finite resources.
However, as long as I have any choice in the matter I will not have smart meters installed.
I am not willing to have data indicating when I am at home and when I am out stored anywhere, not matter how secure they claim it to be.
Don't forget at they are proposing to read the meters wirelessly from the street and we all know how "secure" wi-fi is.
I am sure I am not alone and this will be the bigest hurdle to be overcome (after cost) before we see smart metering universally.

burn
 20 December 2012 11:49 AM
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AJJewsbury

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I am not willing to have data indicating when I am at home and when I am out stored anywhere, not matter how secure they claim it to be.

If someone really wants to know if you're in or not, they only have to ring your door bell and wait, or look to see if there's a car on the drive. Pretty soon, monitoring your internet line will give similar results. There were similar concerns with wheelie bins - makes it obvious you're not around if they're left out all day (or week), people thought it would increase the risk of burglaries - didn't seem to happen though. Your mobile phone company probably knows your location to within a few hundred meters - and I gather their systems are held together with the electronic equivalent of brown paper & string. Your bank keeps track of the locations where you card is used. And we've not even started with your neighbour's CCTV system that's probably streaming live & recorded images over the internet to his phone/iPad.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I feel you've lost already on that one.

- Andy.
 20 December 2012 02:01 PM
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normcall

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A lot of people nowadays won't open the door unless they know who is there.
Strange as it may seem, cars frequently live in a place called a garage or public highway.
Wheelie bins are taken in by neighbours.
Wifi security is down to the home owner.
CCTV is not allowed to view public places without permission, and if you are in, why would you stream over to your mobile phone?

On the other hand, don't trust anyone who even thinks about 'guarantee your private data will be safe with us!'

The common problem is that it is us humans who the worst problem with security.

-------------------------
Norman
 20 December 2012 02:09 PM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11768
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CCTV is not allowed to view public places without permission

That isn't my understanding Norm - http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_orga...CO_CCTVFINAL_2301.ashx says:

"The use of cameras for limited household purposes is exempt from the DPA. This applies where an individual uses CCTV to protect their home from burglary, even if the camera overlooks the street or other areas near their home."

Is there some other requirement that demands permission? (from whom?)

- Andy.
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