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483 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1810763 3-Jul-2017 10:51
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It makes a difference when calculating my cost vs what another persons potential cost could be.


3413 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1812978 4-Jul-2017 23:39
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If you run a resistive heater such as an oil column at half power (1200w) then you are not saving any power unless you also turn the thermostat down. 


The thermostat is what sets the power consumption, not the wattage level. 


Either way (1200w/2400w) the room will heat up to whatever temperature you have set, and then it will maintain the temperature. It will warm up exactly half as fast but wont stop until the room is at the set temperature.
Then it will maintain that temperature. That could mean to maintain temperature X a 5 mins off+1 min on cycle, or 4 mins off+2 min on cycle depending upon if you have set 1200w or 2400w output. 


If you half the heaters output, it will stay on for twice as long to get to, or maintain the temperature. And you end up using the same amount of power. 


The only way an oil column heater uses less power is if you lower the desired temperature by turning down the thermostat. 

Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1812994 5-Jul-2017 01:43







Have you been following the spot prices lately? As during peak usage times they are often complete bonkers right now due to low water levels in the main Hydro lakes. I think a rule of no electric heaters should be implemented. At least until the hydro lakes fill up some more.





Ah haa this is my argument that new homes should be required to have solar assisted electricity and water. 


Not purely for the cost savings, not because it reduces load on lines, but simply to keep the lake levels higher. Less line consumption during the day means the lake levels can stay higher for longer. And it encourages homeowners to consume their power during the day (time delay appliances) so that they dont need to draw as much from the grid at night. 



Only most of the time, there is plenty of water in the lakes. And during the 2 big flood events earlier this year, Wholesale prices dropped to practically zero. Either way, solar doesn't reduce the amount of generating or lines capacity needed. As peak load is during winter evenings when it is dark. More solar just causes wholesale prices to be lower when it is sunny. Which adds to already lower load due to less heating needed on sunny days. But this just takes money away from renewable generators. As geothermal, wind, run of river hydro, cogeneration, ect all have to run continuously, and just take whatever the wholesale price happens to be. While fossil fuel power stations simply shutdown when prices are low.


The lower average wholesale prices directly hurt renewable generation owners. While fossil fuelled power stations are able to ramp up output when wholesale prices are higher. As there is alot more volatility in wholesale prices. And you end up with the situation where the most important consideration when building a fossil fuelled powerstation, is how quickly you can start it. Not how efficient it is. So if you are not careful - too much solar can actually increase carbon emissions. Due to less renewable generation getting built, and more profits going to owners of fast starting fossil generation. And my understanding is that Diesel generation happens to be the fastest starting. Which is also the dirtiest generation.


Solar power is far better suited to hotter countries (large air conditioning loads), countries that use mostly fossil or nuclear generation, countries that are big enough to have multiple time zones, (peak demand is more spread out) and countries that are part of international power grids. This covers most countries in the world - NZ is one of the few countries that doesn't meet at least 1 of the above criteria.


For the record - I love solar. I have solar hot water (50 tubes total connected to a 300L hot water cylinder). And Im considering installing a small scale solar PV system (unlikely to be more than 1KW capacity). Actually I will almost definitely install some sort of solar PV system soonish. I just haven't finalised system design or ideal capacity yet. But what is good for me in installing solar PV, is unlikely to provide any benefit to the power network. Both from a technical and a economic point of view. As I will be changing from a standard user to a low user pricing plan as soon as the high spot prices are over. (also as winter will be mostly over as well when that happens). This means that I will then get an indirect subsidy for installing more solar. (Since low user plans have artificially higher unit costs, but artificially lower fixed daily charges). And LPG is cheaper per unit than low user rate electricity.


So apologies in advance to everyone in rental properties who have to be on standard user plans due to the power usage and household size. As you will be the ones who will be paying for my subsidy to get more solar. Yet my total household energy usage from all sources (grid electricity + LPG + solar hot water + solar PV + my waste oil fired boiler) Is almost certain to still be over the 8000 units per year cutoff for standard user, If I had to use grid power for 100% of my houses energy needs. Yet my equivalent per unit cost will still be far lower that what it would be if I was using 100% grid electricity. And since large households in rental properties are more likely to be poorer households. I am effectively indirectly taking money from poorer people. (along with almost everyone else who has solar).



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