Author Topic: UK energy  (Read 605 times)

BoL

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UK energy
« on: January 14, 2022, 08:30:08 PM »
I've signed up with these guys for £25, considering putting down £1500 for the 3200kWh estimation of electricity consumption.

https://rippleenergy.com/reservation-fee/offer (click on cost/savings)

TLDR is you're reserving a share of a wind turbine via a co-op, 2p/kWh reserved for maintenance, an assumption of 10p/kWh as the wholesale cost, 20p/kWh as the retail cost - you get the benefit of (retail cost - wholesale).

It ignores standing charges which are typical for energy suppliers, usually about 25p a day.

Think this is potentially interesting alongside a battery and something like Octopus Agile pricing.

https://agileprices.co.uk/

There's a lot of number crunching involved but it seems like there's a decent opportunity to take advantage with some initial investment. Gas and electricity wholesale prices have spiked recently. (was paying 15p/kWh with a company that went bust from the recent price spikes and was shifted to a provider offering 25p/kWh). Looked at other offerings and standard variable is 20p/kWh and fixed rates are generally 25p/kWh or higher.

Makes me wonder about investing in solar of even a micro turbine and/or battery when economy of scale with a larger turbine seems to be better value for money. Food for thought. The agile pricing is interesting, almost along the lines of carbon credits when it comes to energy consumption.

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 09:25:32 PM »
Your turbine farms have a good track record.  I'd be a lot more skeptical of a co-op here in the mid-Atlantic states where it is a developing industry --nor do we have any previous experience with co-oped power distribution. (I think they do that in Texas --and had big weather-related problems.)

If I read the Monthly Price Distribution correctly, it looks like £1500 would be a pretty good bet.

BoL

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2022, 10:27:02 AM »
Similar setups have happened in DK/NO/NL if I remember right.

My current thinking is this alongside a battery and variable pricing it could work out well over the ~10 years of a battery and ~25 of the turbine.

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2022, 01:59:46 PM »
Ah! I see.  You want to do "Peak Shaving."

Peak Shaving with Solar and Energy Storage
https://www.idealenergysolar.com/peak-shaving-solar-storage/

ergophobe

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2022, 05:07:50 PM »
>>Peak Shaving

That was our Plan A for our solar + battery system. However, the inverter we have is highly efficient but fairly dumb. The smarter inverter that allows programming for time of use was an *extra* $4500 at the electrician's cost, without markup (and he was willing to install it at his cost).

The average differential between peak and off peak is less than 15 cents/kwh (in the summer at the highest tier it is 20 cents). We use about 2-3kwh/day during that time. Let's say 3. So that's 45 cents per day of cost shifting we can do with time arbitrage. Let's call it 50 cents. That's about $180/year. That gave us a 25-year payback. The batteries are guaranteed for 10000 cycles if you discharge to 20% or more (i.e. never use more than 80% of capacity). If we did time shifting, we would therefore have to replace our batteries in 27 years, which means that we have to factor in the cost of the batteries too.

So we are looking at 25 years just to break even on the upgraded inverter. Once we accelerate the EOL of the batteries and factor that in, at current prices, peak shaving would cost us a fortune.

After we ran through all these calcs with the electrician and got the system installed, as he was going away, he said, "I'm really glad you decided on the simpler inverter. I like this inverter a lot. It never goes down. The smart inverters end up ruining a lot of my weekends."

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2022, 06:08:34 PM »
>>>Peak Shaving

This post:
Tesla now RENTS solar panels | Page 21 | Tesla Motors Club
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/tesla-now-rents-solar-panels.162962/page-21#post-4427388

ergophobe

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2022, 06:22:03 PM »
>>This post

Yeah, that's where we're at. The biggest savings is from just not running the dryer during those times. If we had A/C, I would try pre-cooling the house too. But sometimes, 5pm is just the right time for a sauna, so it costs me $1.50 instead of $1.00 or whatever.

Note that all these calcs change if California rolls back net metering. If we can't sell our excess juice back to PGE, then it's worth it for us to install the fancy inverter and use all our juice instead of sharing it. For the grid, that's probably better. On hot days, PGE needs every watt of the power we produce. On cool sunny days, though, our power is really a liability for them. They have to figure out how to get rid of it and most assuredly would choose not to buy it if they could.

I believe that power auctions take place every five seconds or so. The price on a hot day when everyone is running AC in the Central Valley might be 1000X what it is on a cool, sunny, spring day. It's actually higher than that sometimes as there have been time that CA has to *pay* AZ to take our power. For the consumer, real-time auctions on a 5-second basis are probably too hard - once I start my dryer, I'd like to know the price won't spike 1000X before the load is done. But long-term, I only see net metering working if the real-world power auction price is reflected to the consumer and then I would get to decide whether to sell my solar power or bank it in my battery for use when prices are high.

Same applies to the car parked in your driveway with a 100kWH battery. For us, that would be 2-3 weeks of household power. We could sell high and buy low.

There are some social/economic just issues there too - it means people with old ICE vehicles and no household battery are at the mercy of the system. On the other hand, the constant auction that motivates me to sell from my household (or eventually car) battery would also even out the price spike by a lot.

The possibilities are really interesting there.

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2022, 06:48:00 PM »
>Yeah, that's where we're at. The biggest savings is from just not running the dryer during those times.

Over the past decades, that's been my belief as well --except it has been the water heater.  In the Hubitat community, most want to develop elaborate sensor-driven programs to manage their water heaters. I just programmed my old timeclock settings.

BUT for HVAC, I'm not willing to have the discomfort of time-shifting, so alternate power sources would be my only option for peak shaving.

ergophobe

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2022, 07:15:58 PM »
We are still on propane for heating and hot water and we don't have air conditioning, so our best strategy for time shifting there would be to get a bigger propane tank and buy in the summer when prices tend to be lower.

We just got a refill at $6.36/gallon.

Philosophically, I want to get off fossil fuels and I intend to do so eventually. But if propane stays at $6.36/gallon, it might happen sooner.

The issue here is that our electrical infrastructure is so bad. A multi-day outage is something we expect to hit us every couple years, but they come in waves, so some years it's three multi-day outages in a few months with lots of small ones in between. We expect multiple 8-12 hour outages annually. So getting off fossil fuels means

 - more inconvenience, which would be fine with us but for the rental property
 - more batteries and bigger inverter, which is okay except that baseline inefficiency of an inverter is a function of capacity, not usage, so if you size up for no reason, you are throwing energy away.
 - a standby propane generator, which is not only back to fossil fuels, but also noisy, expensive and just feels like last century's tech to me at this point.

So my plan is to burn fossil fuels a bit longer. But as I say, there are a lot of economic/technology signals that would push that decision point earlier or later

 - changes to net metering
 - changes to price of fuels relative to one another
 - changes to prices of batteries and inverters
 - upgrades to our electrical infrastructure to make it more reliable
 - smart metering with ability to buy/sell power based on price and to be able to do so from home or car batteries

If you start stacking these one on top of another, pretty soon even people who believe that global warming is a good thing will be buying electric cars and converting their home heating. If none of these get deployed, even people like me who believe that countering global warming is urgent will be hanging onto fossil fuels a lot longer than I'd like from a philosophical/aesthetic point of view.

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2022, 08:10:58 PM »
Other advances in consumer solar tech I'm watching and could possibly use without mucking up the design of my house:

The solar roof could finally become a reality thanks to GAF’s nailable solar shingles - The Verge
https://www.theverge.com/22865603/gaf-energy-timberline-solar-shingle-panel-roof-ul-tesla

These windows are see-through solar panels
https://www.fastcompany.com/90712278/these-windows-are-see-through-solar-panels

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2022, 10:28:19 PM »
>a lot of economic/technology^/political signals that would push that decision point earlier

The campaign to ban gas stoves is heating up
https://www.yahoo.com/news/the-campaign-to-ban-gas-stoves-is-heating-up-215656354.html

+

Oh yeah, this just came to mind.  Not a far stretch to include generators.

CA to Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers, Lawn Mowers, Offer Rebates for Electric
https://www.businessinsider.com/california-gas-leaf-blower-lawn-mower-ban-rebates-electric-pollution-2021-10

++
>Not a far stretch

It's Official: Generator Ban Passes in California - RV MILES
https://rvmiles.com/california-generator-ban/

« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 10:39:33 PM by rcjordan »

Brad

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2022, 10:57:46 PM »
> gas

When I built my home +90% of our electricity was generated by coal.  Today it's like 40% coal, 30 natural gas, 30 solar/wind.  That's good progress but not enough to have me give up gas heat and water just yet.

>stove

I much prefer cooking with gas vs. electric.  I've gone through a few multi-day power outages in my life, having a gas range is a source of emergency heat (plus I can cook) when the power fails.

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2022, 11:15:46 PM »
> not enough to have me give up gas

When the time comes, you won't be asked.  IIRC, BOL is already staring down the barrel of a boiler ban.

ergophobe

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2022, 11:32:26 PM »
Cool stuff. I really wanted solar shingles to be ready for prime time, but they weren't. I'm happy with our small panel array and unlike you, I like seeing it up there on the roof. Our house has very poor curb appeal (major error in construction not paying attention to that), so it can only help ;-)

>>ban the sale of portable generators in the state

I get the reasoning. Unfortunately, it's the whole-house generators that drive me crazy. I hope price of batteries comes down fast before the whole-house generators sprout like weeds.

>>much prefer cooking with gas vs. electric

I used to say that. I insisted on it when we built. Having visited friends/family with more modern electric ranges, I now think only a commercial gas range with piping to match so it spits out huge heat can compare to a nice modern electric (i.e. induction or glass top with IR coils instead of those old coil ranges like I had way back which do indeed suck). Standard gas ranges, in my recent experience, are much less functional than a modern electric range, except in one respect.

Other than the power outage consideration, I think induction is superior in every way. Oh... and price. They're not cheap.

And we have a panoply of camp stoves, from ultralight to two-burner, that we can deploy during power outages.

>> Leaf Blowers

The elderly neighbor came to me distraught the other day. She was walking her dog and I was out using my leaf blower. "They're going to take those away from us you know?"
"Not this one. It's battery-powered."
"Do you like it?"
"I love it. I wouldn't consider buying a gas leaf blower ever again."

I'm super happy with the electric pressure washer.

My friend, who I've helped take down trees over 100' tall, showed me his new electric saw. He loves it. Another friend has an electric saw that he uses for everything up to 32" - he has the backpack battery so he can go all day, but does say that adds to fatigue, so he only uses that if he has a lot of starting and stopping. If he's going to just cut and cut, he still uses gas.

There are fewer and fewer small machines where gas is better. I now avoid gas whenever possible. No oil to change. No gas that goes bad. No carb that gets gummed up in the off-season (since most small machines are seasonal or very intermittent in usage). Less noise.

I'd love an electric snowblower. That's the one machine where I've had them go "bad" on multiple occasions (gummed carbs) and when you need it, you often really need it. But when I look at the videos, they are a joke. Beyond 6" of snow, they won't work and I can still shovel 6" of snow without problem. If the snowblower can't handle two feet of snow, it's not worth owning for me.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 11:33:57 PM by ergophobe »

rcjordan

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Re: UK energy
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2022, 11:53:15 PM »
>backpack

I built/modified my own 24v power tools around 2001-02.  Dewalt came out with a pro 24v series which didn't take off and was discontinued pretty quickly. Then they later introduced the 18v tools.  I had purchased the 24v sawzall, circular saw, and large hammer-drill.  The ni-cad batteries wouldn't power them long enough to be useful for even medium-sized jobs, so I gutted the battery packs and added a set of long jumper cables to them.  When I rebuilt the pier (standing in chest-deep water), I hooked them to a pair of 12v deep cycle batteries wired in series.  That damn drill would run all day boring 5/8" holes through salt-treated pilings.  I have smaller, easier DC tools now but keep that set to use during Armageddon.