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Russian Gas


Bill
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Not sure about "fracking" Bill, given the increase in earth tremors last time; but we certainly need to aim for energy self sufficiency and forget all the nonsense about "net zero".    Just watched Jeff Taylor on Youtube, who seemed to sum up the situation we face.   All these economic sanctions on Russia, will blow back on us; with already spiralling inflation and a cost of living crisis;  this will be even worse with a trade war with Russia.  And the secret of any war is whether a society has the willpower to endure the suffering it brings.   Putin has calculated, correctly imo, that the moral of the West has been corrupted by wokism and greenism, and that our youngsters are weak and lack the backbone to  withstand sustained hardship, unlike their grand-parents.   Hopefully,  this will be a time for some reflection on the issues that are fundemental to building a strong and resilient Nation,  where National Interests are paramount and woke nonsense is consigned to the bin. That doesn't mean we need a bellicose stance with Russia, but a pragmatic one, which recognises their interests while securing our own.     :unsure:

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Yes Bill. We simply have to stop the green nonsense immediately because it will lead to deaths here at home. We have to be outspoken and shut the woke idiots up. There is no simple way out to give in because it will not make prices go down. That needs more supply and the fracking opponents will just have to move, not that they will be able to afford to. To obs, I will not recognise their  interests as you suggest because because it is nonsensical. I cannot accept that Russia is special and can tell other sovereign states what to do. That way lies serfdom, ask the East Germans and the Poles. 

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2 hours ago, Confused52 said:

 To obs, I will not recognise their  interests as you suggest because because it is nonsensical. I cannot accept that Russia is special and can tell other sovereign states what to do. That way lies serfdom, ask the East Germans and the Poles. 

Well, we recognised their interests from 1945 - 90, in order to safeguard against WW3.   Now if it's a choice between Ukrainian Serfdom or UK nuclear demolition; I'll take the former.   :unsure:

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Leaving nuclear iniolation aside it does look likley we're heading for some serious energy problems that come the end of the year will make the forthcomming price hike look totally insignificant.

I think Confused is right in that desperate measures need to be used to ensure the lights stay on and the elderly dont freeze to death. Protesters that try to prevent emergency plans from taking place need to be taught a lesson in reality.

It may even mean we need to maximize whats left of our coal fired stations so I reckon we don't pull down Fiddlers Ferry just yet. 

 

Bill :)

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I think we only get about half our gas from the north sea and the rest we import, mainly from Europe and without it, we'd be in exactly the same situation as Germany. 

There's probably a lot more that we could extract from the North Sea, but it gets evermore expensive, and so with imported gas being cheaper we naturally used that. Maybe if gas prices sky rocket, it may become viable to start looking at this again.

The do good'rs are a pain but overall the problem we face now is a direct result of the public wanting the cheapest fuel. Not the end of the world to think like that provided we live in a peaceful world. 

 

Bill :)

 

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Read somewhere, that during the recent storms, wind turbines were pumping out that much power it couldn't be used, seems they can't save it.   As I've said many times on this issue, in order to achieve energy self sufficiency, we need to start using coal again, while we build some nuclear plants, and invest in some tidal barriers and hydro schemes.  With any luck and no WW3; our clever scientists will eventually master nuclear fusion.    :unsure:

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Yep that’s true. While I was sunning it up, seems like back here you were getting battered by some bad storms and record-breaking winds, so it doesn’t surprise me if we ended up with more wind power than we needed. Other than a few pumped hydro stations, we have very little in the way of energy storage, so the only option at present is to turn off all the gas fired stations until the wind eases.

Having too much power can be as bad as not having enough and can cause an over voltage situation that tends to burn stuff out. I remember many years back when we had multiple lights burn out together with some household appliances. We thought it was just bad luck until the guy at the local shop said everyone’s coming for light bulbs. A quick check with my trusty old meter showed the mains was well outside its upper limits.

In the longer term, the growth of the electric car market will automatically create a mass storage capability that would allow batteries to charge or discharge in a controlled manner but that’s going to take time to evolve.

Oh and btw, there’s nothing wrong with a smart meter but there's a lot of rubbish talk circulating. It just saves someone having to keep taking the readings and plus you get a little gadget that shows you how much gas and electric you’re using each day if you have the patience to try and understand it.

 

Bill 😊

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13 minutes ago, Bill said:

Yep that’s true. While I was sunning it up, seems like back here you were getting battered by some bad storms and record-breaking winds, so it doesn’t surprise me if we ended up with more wind power than we needed. Other than a few pumped hydro stations, we have very little in the way of energy storage, so the only option at present is to turn off all the gas fired stations until the wind eases.

Having too much power can be as bad as not having enough and can cause an over voltage situation that tends to burn stuff out. I remember many years back when we had multiple lights burn out together with some household appliances. We thought it was just bad luck until the guy at the local shop said everyone’s coming for light bulbs. A quick check with my trusty old meter showed the mains was well outside its upper limits.

In the longer term, the growth of the electric car market will automatically create a mass storage capability that would allow batteries to charge or discharge in a controlled manner but that’s going to take time to evolve.

Oh and btw, there’s nothing wrong with a smart meter but there's a lot of rubbish talk circulating. It just saves someone having to keep taking the readings and plus you get a little gadget that shows you how much gas and electric you’re using each day if you have the patience to try and understand it.

 

Bill 😊

What I think is wrong is that the government has authorised time of day metering which was one of the featured built in to the design. However the one I've got doesn't work properly and misses daily meter reads yet alone half hourly ones. The system is a crock, it relies on 2G masts which are being taken out at a rate of knots, in truth it relies on O2 masts in Warrington. 

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I thought they only had to relay the reading via 2g when a reading was needed i.e., once a month. Then again with everything seemingly moving to having everything displayed on a smart phone rather than a dedicated unit I can imagine that would lead to problems. So are you saying that you can see real time usage on your phone? My kitchen display unit lets me see my electricity usage every 10 seconds and gas about once a minute on WIFI but I’m sure that’s not being sent out to the mobile network. My touch screen gave up a few months back so I’m stuck with the overall usage and projected bill. A replacement only costs just over a tenner.

 

Bill 😊

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1 hour ago, Bill said:

I thought they only had to relay the reading via 2g when a reading was needed i.e., once a month. Then again with everything seemingly moving to having everything displayed on a smart phone rather than a dedicated unit I can imagine that would lead to problems. So are you saying that you can see real time usage on your phone? My kitchen display unit lets me see my electricity usage every 10 seconds and gas about once a minute on WIFI but I’m sure that’s not being sent out to the mobile network. My touch screen gave up a few months back so I’m stuck with the overall usage and projected bill. A replacement only costs just over a tenner.

 

Bill 😊

Bill, there is a 2g modem in the smart meter installation which communicated with the In Home Display using Zigbee (for the later generation which allow changing suppliers it is not 2GHz  wifi) The meters are currently read by a national shared reading service once a day as far as I know, they don't work every day and if they don't on the day that it is read for your bill they give an estimated smart meter read! I then phoned up and they could read that meter perfectly but had to wait to change the bill. Useless articles and ultimately designed to make peak usage more expensive to reduce peak demand. I don't why you should have to pay for the IHD, they originally wanted to send adverts on it! 

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Yes of course I understand that Zigbee isn’t quite conventional Wi-Fi but the data it sends isn’t on the 2G phone network and its range is just a few metres. But if there’s a once a day reading and occasionally it doesn’t get through on 2G then it shouldn’t require rocket science to work out a fairly accurate estimate based on the usage history. In any case I think most people use payment plans these days to spread the cost over the year, so any small under or overestimate simply gets adjusted at the next valid reading. The only time I could imagine it being a major problem is if there’s zero network availability.

I wouldn’t let a few dodgy internet reports about it controlling when you can and can’t make a brew put me off. From what I can see it’s just a mechanism to remotely read the meter and to show what’s been used without needing a calculator. What’s not to like?

BTW my solar stuff turned up while I was away so if the weathers ok tomorrow I'll give it a try. I’d report back on how it’s working but with my broken smart meter display it’ll have to be an estimate.  :)  :)  :)

 

  

Bill 😊

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Sorry Bill, if you read the specification for the meters - which is in the public domain - it really is possible. Indeed it had to be. The smart meter has to be able to replace the LF Teleswitch which is used to control storage heaters. The designers were conscious that the BBC only has a limited supply of power amplifier valves left for the Droitwich 198 kHz transmitter which sends the control signals. No manufacturer is able to provide replacement valves and so the Navy ceased to be dependent on receiving Radio 4, because there is no guarantee it will always be fixed after failing. Turning things on and off was a required function of the design. As is a gas valve for disconnecting gas supply on non payment.

The tariff suppliers pay for electricity for each half hour during the day. Matching the meter reads to the tariff changes of their generator's means that they carry less risk of undercharging and hence maximise profit. The meetings with Ofgem were a revelation! 

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Yes, but who uses antiquated off peak storage heaters these days when gas heating is so much cheaper? I’m not suggesting there can’t ever be an off switch, but the internet conspiracy theorists had a field day when smart metering was introduced, and it scared so many people off using something that makes life easier for all concerned. Eventually this kind of technology will have an increasing role to play in meeting the changing supply and demand but as it stands right now, they do little more than read the meter and show usage.

A friend of a friend had a solar PV installation some years back and now realizes he'll never recover his investment due to the buy back rates being so low. He concluded that the only way he could recover some of the costs was to vary his consumption to match the generated power. He runs stuff like showers and washing machines only while the sun shines which isn’t ideal, but my point here is that a similar situation exists with the national grid.

Using technology to attempt a degree of load balancing will eventually come and that’s not a bad thing, but I’m sure it won’t be to the extent that it interferes with or controls our lives. If tariffs vary then it makes sense to use the cheaper rates without having to worry about it. In any case you only have to look at all the stuff like Hive or even Alexa turning the washer on for you at 3am to realize which direction the world is moving.

Alexa. Check my spelling and post this for me then shut down the PC. 😊

Technology, don’t you just love it.

 

Bill 😊

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Here’s the panel and inverter that arrived while I was away. Just need to fix it on the fence and drill a small hole in the wall for the wire to come through. Plug it in, job done.

 

new solar.jpg

All I need now is some sunshine instead of rain.

 

 

Bill 😊

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Wind power doesn’t work well in residential areas Obs, it needs good open elevated spaces to be properly viable. There’s plenty of so-called household devices on eBay for a couple of hundred pounds but it’s debatable if they’ll last long enough to pay for themselves.   

 

Bill :)

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Ey, the exercise bike would make more sense and probably more power than a little windmill.

Well, the sun just popped out and my solar setup it’s all up and working and pushing out a couple of hundred watts, so for the next few hours I’m on 100% free electricity. The only slight downside is that even though it’s only running at a third its capacity, the inverter gets warm, and the little fan keeps kicking every few minutes. Not very noisy but you can hear it.

 

Bill 😊

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