[Greenbuilding] Triac Thermostats

Richard Garbary richard6 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 29 14:19:48 PST 2011


John:

OK, put in a switch to turn off your energy draw when the utility is
strained. But when the switch is turned back on let the triac thermostats
assist in the ramp up.  Triacs are a perfect match for resistance heating.
They only put out what is necessary to match real-time heat loss without
lagging or overshooting the thermostat's set point. A perfect balance. This
means a more gradual and predictable ramp-up for the utilities with less
overlap on the demand. And a more comfortable living space.

Respectfully

Richard


======================================================================
On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 4:27 PM, John Straube <jfstraube at gmail.com> wrote:

>  A switch that turns off your energy draw -- cooling or heating-- is
> perfect demand management.
> Whether in one house or a thousand, it reduces total demand and shifts
> loads to other hours.
> A thousand houses makes a noticeable difference, one house makes a little
> difference.
> Utility areas which have used this approach have reported significant
> success with demand reduction.  Works better if the house is
> well-insulated, airtight and shaded.
> Smoothing out the demand on a few minute basis, ala Triac/SCR controllers
> for baseboard, are by contrast useless as demand reduction tools.
> OTOH, having houses that use electric heat limit their demand at peak
> hours via some similar switching off arrangement would be powerful.
>
>
>
> Dr John Straube, P.Eng.
> www.BuildingScience.com
>
>
> On 11-12-24 6:15 PM, Benjamin Pratt wrote:
> > 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><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><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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