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Topic Title: Managing Demand using smart meters and applicances
Topic Summary: Underlying assumptions and risks
Created On: 17 April 2014 10:13 PM
Status: Read Only
Related E&T article: Intelligent grids, renewable energy and smart appliances: keeping the lights on
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 17 April 2014 10:13 PM
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The current change of demand patterns, that of using off peak electricity, is by the choice of the consumer. The change postulated by the use of smart meters is at the choice of the supplier. This feels extremely George Orwell to me. Particularly as the boffins at MIT have now worked out how to extract the charge from your electric car as it is being charged for you trip to work in the morning. If it is a cold morning and the kettles and boiling porridge cause a severe spike in demand then the charge from your car can be sucked back into the grid. You will have to walk to work but you will have had that second cup of coffee. In addition, if the supplier considers that you are using too many appliances then these can be switched off using a cunning little microprocessor chip in the machine.
And this is all in aid of chasing nebulous targets based on computer models which cannot forecast a month in advance let alone 2 months or 100 years.
 17 April 2014 10:44 PM
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All of this would require the co-operation of the consumer. There's no way the network operator could suck the power out of your electric car's battery unless you have a charger that can work in reverse, and which can be instructed to do it by remote control.

Similarly, they can't turn off your air conditioning unless your air conditioning has a remote-control facility.

In each case, I would expect the consumer to be offered an incentive to buy the new equipment - in the form of a discount on their bill.

So you get the choice. Pay the full price for your electricity. Or buy appliances that can be shut off remotely if there's an electricity shortage, and get a lower bill.

S P Barker BSc PhD IEng MIET

Edited: 17 April 2014 at 11:12 PM by ectophile
 18 April 2014 08:14 PM
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I think we have to go one step at a time. It's interesting to see the range of trials currently underway, all with customer opt in/out. The NINES project on Shetland is one notable example.


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