Someone never heard that two wrongs…

…frickin’ well do not make a right.

A smart grid self-organized simply
To improve the management of fluctuations in the electricity supplied by solar and wind installations, the electricity network needs to work more intelligently in the future. Electricity suppliers aim to be able to regulate consumption on the basis of supply with the help of an intelligent electricity network, a smart grid. Intelligent electricity meters developed for such a system would be able to switch electrical devices on and off.
[…]
To achieve this, the energy suppliers would like to equip their customers in the future with electricity control devices, so-called smart meters. These would be installed in households or company premises and transmit the data they collect automatically to the energy supplier. Depending on the available supply of electricity, household and industrial devices could then be switched on or off.

Translation: “Renewable” energy like wind and solar is so unbelievably unstable and totally unsuitable for a useable grid that we have to render all your personal property equally unreliable to compensate for our box-o-rocks-stupid power concepts.

And… I dunno. Smart meters reporting all your usage back to Control Central so they can decide when to turn off your bedridden mother’s oxygen generator sounds pretty centralized to me. Except that if you keep reading, you can see that the idiot PR flack who drafted this release is actually describing the present-day smart meter system. Which is bad enough.

What the researchers actually came up with is smart meters that individually monitor incoming line frequency to guesstimate the supply:load, and reduce local consumption when it thinks the rainbow-buoyed solar and wind farms aren’t putting out enough juice.

On the one hand, if the meters stop snitching back to the supplier (where your usage data is now available to cops looking marijuana grow indicators, among other snooping infringements), that’s good.

On the other hand, they’re spending more money to break your stuff to match the broken renewable grid power concept. This is the “If we fuck up their homes bad enough, they won’t notice how fucked up the rainbow/unicorn fart grid is” gambit.

On the gripping hand, it may well backfire on these greenweenies, when the constantly repetitive brownouts (caused second by second as wind lulls and drifting clouds make solar/wind output quiver like a bowl of Jello*) destroy billions of bucks in household appliances. If the weenies are lucky, they’ll face lawsuits. If unlucky: pitchforks and burning torches (which the peasants will need anyway since their electric lights will be out).

Solar and wind simply are not suitable for grid applications without frickin-huge battery capacity to even out the supply/load. They are for when you want to be off the grid (your cabin in the woods or remote weather telemetry station), or situations in which fluctuations are tolerable (DC-power well pump; your water tank is effectively the power storage “battery”).


* Schäfer does claim that his distributed meters wouldn’t have to react to every little thing, because air conditioners and the like experience hysteresis which prevents them from reacting to millisecond-scale changes anyway. Schäfer should have crawled out of his computer model lab and checked out the second-scale (and minute-scale, and hours-scale, and day…) renewables fluctuations. Jello. Perhaps Schäfer should have asked why his country’ power companies have full-scale co-gen capacity at every solar/wind facility.

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2 thoughts on “Someone never heard that two wrongs…

  1. Capt Thud and Major Blunder February 4, 2015 / 11:52 am

    And in the great mistake of Illinois, ComEd is installing the smart grid at customer expense by raising electricity rates. I understand the original legislation that gave ComEd its monopoly also guarantied a profit on their stock.

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    • Bear February 4, 2015 / 12:16 pm

      Not sure how you can guarantee a profit of publicly traded stock. The Electric Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief Law of 1997 (pretty much prompted by the FERC Ortder 888 opening access to grid transmission lines) actually lifted the monopoly, allowing consumers to buy the electricity from other providers (of course, delivery of that power is still over Com Ed lines). Not sure how well that hass worked in practice in IL, but it has been helpful for consumers in other states.

      I could go on at length about “smart meters,” but this rant was really about grid renewables. Suffice to say that smart meters do notbenefit the consumer, but only aid the utility in keeping its costs under control without expanding actual capacity (and gov snoops). Forcing customers to pay for being screwed for the sake of the company simply highlights the corporate benefits of politicians as wholely-owned utility subsidiaries.

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