"What the heck.. I only leave lights on when I need them.
I hope you guys reconsider, that we have enough things consuming juice.
All the transformers, TV's, we don't need to keep lights on for vanity
We leave our front porch and coach lights on 24/365. We do it for security
and never have to remember to turn on and off.
FWIW a DVR probably uses more elec than our 4 outside lights. And on top
of that, electricity is not produced to precisely meet demand, quite a bit
is over produced and goes to waste regardless if you use it or not.
Most energy conservationists do so until they get tired of waiting for
their dish DVR to reboot.
The power companies have to have more generating capacity online than is
currently being used to allow for variation in the demand for
electricity. However that does not mean that they are actually producing
more electricity than is being used.
When you turn on a light bulb, a little more current is drawn from the
generator. The turbine driving that generator has to supply a little
more power to drive the generator. If it is a steam turbine then a
little more steam needs to be made to drive the turbine. To make the
steam, a little more fuel (coal, gas, nuclear, etc.) needs to be burned.
When you turn off the light, the generator supplies a little less power.
The turbine uses less power to drive the generator. Less steam is needed
to drive the turbine. Less fuel is used.
If there is not a balance between the power being created and what is
consumed then the generator would either speed up or slow down. To
prevent that from happening the control systems for the
boiler/turbine/generator adjust the amount of steam produced to meet the
electricity needed from the generator. The steam boiler and the
rotational inertia of the turbine/generator provide a buffer to meet
instantaneous unbalances in the demand and demand. However the control
system has to bring the supply back into balance with the demand.
I pretty much know how all of that works but if they were not always
overly generating we would be having constant brown outs.
Wind and Dam generators require no more energy to be consumed to
No Kidding!!! I grew up there, Corpus Christi, and I vividly remember
letting wind power push us down the sidewalks on our skate boards.
I wrapped a large piece of cardboard around me to get started and would
unfold my arms to spread the card board to increase wind
resistance/speed. My first attempt with a 2'x3' piece of plywood
resulted in me being knocked off of the skate board immediately. ;~)
Perhaps we have a difference about the definition of 'always overly
generating'. I agree that they have need to have more generating
capacity running than they are actually using to prevent brownouts.
However that generating capacity is not producing more electricity than
is actually being consumed (including distribution losses). If the
turbines (or whatever is driving the generators) were producing more
power than what is being consumed by the generators (produced electric
power and generating losses) then the system would be unbalanced. As a
result, the entire system would try to speed up or dump power into the
national grids and try to speed up the national grids. That does not
happen because the control systems try to maintain balance by throttling
> Wind and Dam generators require no more energy to be consumed to
> generate energy.
Dam generators do require more water flow to generate more power.
Wind turbines are pretty much getting free energy to drive their
generators (ignoring initial and maintenance costs). If we had enough
wind capacity to supply our energy needs then I would be in more
agreement with your initial statement: 'quite a bit is over produced and
goes to waste regardless if you use it or not'. However we do not have
that much wind generation capacity. We are still paying the fuel costs
for most of our power generation. That fuel cost is directly related to
the amount of electricity produced.
We do not generate more electricity than we consume and then waste the rest.
Not to mention that for every kWh of wind (or solar) generation
capability on the grid, another kWh of coal/oil/nuke/hydro generation
has to be paid for. The only "free lunch" is the fuel cost. The rest
of the costs are duplicated.
The point I am trying to make is that the same energy is being consumed
to produce electricity whether the electricity is being used or not.
Turning off a light bulb is not going to save the energy that is being
consumed to generate electricity.
And originally the point I was making that turning off a few lights in
your home might add up to a few dollars consumer savings over the
course of a year but hundreds of thousands of households will have to
all participate in turning off lights to "maybe" show up as a drop in
demand a percent or two if that much.
Yes but not at a cost.
Correct, unless any of it is being stored, but the power companies do
use more energy to guard against brown outs, and that energy is going to
waste if not used.
I'm not sure that I'm following what you're trying to say here. It's not
like there is 'excess' power that's being dumped (to ground, for example).
The generation system has a feedback component that causes the generators
themselves to control generation such that the amount being used matches
the amount being generated (leaving aside inevitable resistive losses).
This feedback component covers normal variations in load. For more
substantial changes in load, peaker plants can be ramped up as needed
to cover the shortfall. Hydro plants make the best peakers as they
don't need to generate steam prior to generating power.
It will, however, cause the generators to generate less electricity which
would require less water (Hydro) or burn less fossil fuel (NG/Coal).
There are several million households in the USA. A couple of watts saved
at each one adds up to two or three full-sized power-plants.
Sure there is. Water isn't limitless. Once there is no more in
storage, there is no more power. There are also other constraints on
stored-water generation systems (i.e. releases during fish hatching
season or for irrigation purposes).
Consider a pure storage system such as the San Luis Reservoir - water is pumped
into the reservoir during the rainy season (at a cost) and released
during the dry season (generating power during release).
If you are cutting your yard with a gasoline power mower and you hit a
thin spot you leave the motor running at the same speed.
Absolutely however I would not think that the feed back in the grand
scheme of things, adding power to the nation wide grid is going to be
sensitive to notice a drop in demand from 15 watt light bulbs being
turned off. In an off the grid powered single home, absolutely the
system will notice.
But the water is replenished mostly by nature. We don't burn fuel to
pump water into a lake to feed a dam generator.
I'm not quite following you at to how rain replenishing a reservoir
would be a direct cost.
Because a lawn mower does not have a throttle - it has a governor.
When you hit the thin spot the throttle plate in the carb closes to
maintain the set speed. When you hit a heavy spot, it opens wide open
to again maintain the same RPM. When the throttle plate closes, it
uses less fuel.
On 1/4/2016 10:16 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Actually every lawn mower I have had has a throttle and a governor. I
control the normal running speed and there is no reduction in speed when
the grass becomes thin. It is simply an example of how 2 fewer blades
of grass does not justify slowing down the engine.
You can't tell me that any electricity generating plant on the grid is
going to notice a few less 15 watt bulbs being turned off.
You have ONE control - most people call it the throttle, but it is the
speed ajuster for the governor. The governor controls the throttle
plate in the carb in reaction to engine speed - it does more than
limit the top speed to 3600 RPM or whatever the blade length dictates
on today's "safe" mowers.
On 1/5/2016 12:00 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Continuing the pissing contest....
Regardless, the governor does not lower the speed or fuel consumption of
the engine whether the the mower is siting on the side walk running at
operating speed or cutting an extremely thin spot of grass where the dog
has been pissing. The is true for what ever measure electricity
providers contributing to the "grid" when a few thousand house holds
turn off 3~4 15 watt lights at the same time.
The generators do not recognize a drop in the bucket reduction in
demand. If it was that sensitive of a set up we would have continuous
I can't put any simpler than this.
Leon, I had considered you a relatively knowlegeable and iintelligent
man. If you believe the governor on an engine does not adust the fuel
consumtion of an internal engine according to load, I have to change
my opinion of you.
Sorry, I can't put it any simpler than this.
You are delusional.
On 1/5/2016 10:24 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Reread what I said. No where did I mention that a governor does not
adjust the fuel to match the load.
If you tear yourself away from analyzing my comments to the
.000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 degree you might understand
what I am saying.
The generating power plants do not have anything so sensitive to see
something so small as .000005% load changes. Especially when they are
all contributing to an almost incompressible source on the grid.
"Every little bit helps" does not help. It goes unnoticed.
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