[Greenbuilding] Triac Thermostats

Benjamin Pratt benjamin.g.pratt at gmail.com
Sat Dec 24 15:15:23 PST 2011


Around here, the electric company will give you 10 percent off your
bill if you let them install a switch to tun off your central air for
up to an hour if the grid is stressed. However, this system has never
been called for since it was installed ten years ago.  John Staube,
How does this program fit into your argument?
   We would've let them install the switch, but don't have central
air. The people how have central air whom i've told about the program,
had never heard of it, and were hesitant to have the switch installed.


On Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 4:50 PM, Richard Garbary <richard6 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Corwyn:
>
> Thank you for your response.  You say "Randomness and averaging are our
> friends, uniformity is the enemy."
> To me, averaging and uniformity are our friends, randomness is the enemy.
>
> I think Lovins, et al explain it much better than I.
>
> http://www.smallisprofitable.org/pdfs/SIP_PartTwoExcerpt.pdf
>
> Please refer to: Tutorial 1: Operational Fluctuations. Pages 112 - 115
>
>
> Richard
>
>
>
>
>
> ===============================================================================================
>
> On Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM, Corwyn <corwyn at midcoast.com> wrote:
>>
>> On 12/24/2011 10:55 AM, Richard Garbary wrote:
>>>
>>> Corwyn:
>>>
>>>
>>> Argument:
>>> "First, outside temperature changes slowly."
>>>
>>> Response:
>>> The slower the acceleration and smaller Delta T =  fewer baseboards
>>> coming on simultaneously = less demand on the grid.
>>> The greater  the acceleration and bigger Delta T  = more  baseboards
>>> coming on simultaneously = more demand on the grid.
>>
>>
>> Only if the change is faster than the cycle time of the heater.  Let's say
>> that a baseboard heater in a hypothetical house comes on for 10 minutes
>> every thirty minutes to maintain the house for a given outside temperature.
>>  If the outside temperature changes slower than than the inaccuracy of the
>> thermostat, in thirty minutes, then the turn on time of the heater will be
>> essentially random.  Thus causing no peak load when averaged with all the
>> others on the grid.
>>
>>
>>> Argument:
>>> "Second, temperature changes happen at different times in different
>>> areas."
>>>
>>> Response:
>>> True, there's no question lots of weather phenomenon is localized, but
>>> cold fronts usually affect broader geographic regions
>>
>>
>> My point isn't that weather doesn't affect larger regions, but rather that
>> it doesn't do so all at once.  If a front takes longer than 30 minutes to
>> pass through an entire grid region, then a front will have no peak effect on
>> the grid.  Yes, the cold will increase the electrical usage of the grid but
>> there will be no east-ender effect.  Imagine a front traveling such that it
>> crosses the grid area in thirty minutes. Each 1/3 of the region turns it
>> heat on when the front hits, for an extra 10 minutes boost.  The rolling
>> across the area would mean that each 1/3 would turn on their heat just as
>> the preceding section turned theirs off.  Perfectly flat demand curve.
>>  Anything slower than that, is essentially random.  Only if fronts travel
>> faster than the heat cycle time would there be a *possibility* of a peak
>> event.
>>
>>
>>> Argument:
>>> "Third, different houses react differently to outside temperature
>>> changes."
>>>
>>> Response:
>>> All else being equal, is there a house that will require less energy for
>>> heating when the temperature drops?
>>
>>
>> Depends on what you mean by 'all else being equal'.  Two identical houses,
>> in identical locations, with identical occupants will require identical
>> heating energy.  However, the Canadians did that experiment and discovered
>> that occupants could vary energy requirements by 40% (IIRC).  So, no, all
>> things are NEVER equal.  The difference in actual cases I have seen is over
>> 700% for single family dwellings in my area.
>>
>>
>>> Argument:
>>> "All of those changes happen much slower than the cycle time for
>>> baseboard heaters.  Changing that cycle time from a few minutes to a few
>>> seconds is going to have a near zero affect on the peak load of
>>> thousands of customers."
>>>
>>> Response:
>>> The quicker the response and at lower wattage per heating element
>>> guarantees less overlap of large demand not only within the house but
>>> over many thousands of households.
>>
>>
>> If every house reacted instantly, the overlap would increase not decrease.
>>  Randomness and averaging are our friends, uniformity is the enemy.  Of
>> course, if you could instantaneously adjust to exactly the needed energy
>> requirements of your heat loss, your house would have the lowest peaks, but
>> on the level of an entire grid, no one would notice.
>>
>> If one really wanted to reduce the peaks in the grid, there is a much
>> easier way.  Just adjust the cost of electricity to the instantaneous cost,
>> and transmit that cost to all the smart meters in the grid.  The rest would
>> take care of itself.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thank You Kindly,
>>
>> Corwyn
>>
>> --
>> Topher Belknap
>> Green Fret Consulting
>> Kermit didn't know the half of it...
>> http://www.greenfret.com/
>> topher at greenfret.com
>> (207) 882-7652
>>
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>
>
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-- 


b e n j a m i n p r a t t

professor art+design
the university of wisconsin stout



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