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THE AC/Heat Exchanger Thread (merged)

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Utility controlling my a/c

Unread postby Mower » Thu 02 Dec 2004, 09:01:03

I live in the Toronto, Ontario area. Our provincial electrial utilty is seeking government permission to install devices on our home a/c and water heating and pool heaters to switch them off during peak load times (usually in the summer). Other than the obvious rights violations, this worries me since it is a tacit admission that we are running short of electricity. Ontario has been a net importer of electricity for over 10 years now, usually from New York State or Michigan. It appears they are running short themselves.

A sign of things to come?
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Unread postby tdrive » Thu 02 Dec 2004, 13:54:44

Our provincial electrial utilty is seeking government permission


First, they need your permission. Second, you get paid for this.
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Unread postby mgibbons19 » Thu 02 Dec 2004, 14:37:26

It also doesn't imply an admission to lack of supply. It is simply an attempt to increase efficiency and eliminate inefficicency - what capitalism should be doing anyway.

More power to more consumers more cheaply.

Now, if you are a member of the PO cult, one might wonder if this is another clue.
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Unread postby The_Virginian » Thu 02 Dec 2004, 14:52:45

uh huh,

That is why this USA congressional commision report is titled "Keeping the lights on" [smilie=5wow.gif]

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/sc ... 9419_0.htm


Or is it because we are a cult, and wearing my tin foil benie has given me the clairity to express myself? [smilie=5shocking.gif]

BTW changes in governance often starts off as "Voluntary" then become "mandatory" once it is considered "mainstream" and accepted.
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Unread postby Trab » Thu 02 Dec 2004, 17:04:11

Hi everyone...

Long time lurker, first time poster...

For what it's worth, my local utility offers a similar option for us in the summer. If we let them turn off the AC for 15 minutes out of every hour, they will give us a discount on our bill for the three summer months. We've used it for he last few years and you can't notice a difference.

I see this as more of a way to increase efficiency and actually be proactive in heading off a problem before it occurs. :wink:
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Unread postby MarkR » Sun 05 Dec 2004, 08:33:04

This is a very sensible way of improving efficiency.

Currently, electrical demand varies greatly over the course of the day. From very low at night, to very high on a Summer afternoon (when ACs are running full on).

While the bulk of the electricity is supplied by big efficient power plants, the 'peak' electricity is supplied by 'peaking' plants which are, by nature, much lower efficiency and produce electricity at much higher price, both financial and environmental.

Plus, to put it simply, the higher the peak, the more power stations and more transmission lines needed to carry the power.

Peak-shaving has been an established technique - it makes more effective use of large high-efficiency generation and the power grid, and reduces the need for peaking plants - which still need maintenance and staffing, even though they may run only 100-200 hours per year.

In some countries, this is done by using variable priced electricity - e.g. Economy 7 (UK) - electricity supplied at 60% discount between midnight and 0700. Mainly used by storage heaters, which provide 24 hours of heating with 7 hours of electricity.
France has much greater problems because of it's high nuclear capacity - they have 'Tempo' which offers 6 different prices depending on time of day, expected demand on that day (given a colour: red, white or blue). So peak-electricity on a red day, might cost 15x as much as off-peak electricity on a blue day.

These tiered pricing systems put the onus on the consumer to regulate their consumption depending on demand, and they work to some extent. However, additional benefit can be obtained if some demand is under control of the suppliers.
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Do you have AC in your home?

Unread postby frankthetank » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 12:09:09

I do, but only use it when the temp is 90F or more and/or the Dewpoint is 70F or more (i hate the humidity)...i'm located @ 43.8N for you euros :-)
Last edited by Ferretlover on Mon 09 Mar 2009, 23:05:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged with THE AC / Heat Exchangers Thread.
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Unread postby DomusAlbion » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 12:25:33

I'm currently at 47.5 N, day time highs are in the low to mid 90 F.

I have A/C and it comes on in the late afternoon.

I'm moving to 46.3 N where the daytime highs will be closer to 100 F and the house has no A/C. But because the night time temps are usually in the 60s and the place has ceiling fans and is surrounded by trees (some 100 years old) it manages to stay cool throughout the day.
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Unread postby lotrfan55345 » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 14:02:21

45N ... thank GOD my house has AC!

Use it constantly, since the climate control system is always set to 70F, and since it is usually over 70F outside, the AC is set to 70F constantly.
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Unread postby Daculling » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 15:06:19

Yep, and yesterday was the first day this year I ran it. Heat index 101' F. It's true, it's the humidity. Ran it for 4 hours, sucked all the water out of the air and only dropped the temp to 80' and I'm good.

Guess I'll just sit in the creek post PO.
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Unread postby KiddieKorral » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 15:09:34

Yep. At least we have reliable summer rains, so that mitigates the temperature a bit (emphasis on a bit). I'll be in the creek post PO too.
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Unread postby Andy » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 15:13:35

I use it extremely sparingly given that it is an old unit that is inefficient. It can barely keep the apartment at 83F in the afternoon running full blast. Most times I just say to hell with it and bear the 90 degree indoor temperature instead of paying over $100 for electricity. Just drink lots of water and you will be fine. I am from the humid maritime tropics so I can bear the heat and humidity. Better than -10F or below without heat.

For the guy who keeps his thermostat at 70, why so low? 70F is positively cold for summer space conditioning. 77 - 80 is a very comfortable home indoor temperature in my opinion.
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Unread postby lotrfan55345 » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 15:22:26

Andy wrote:For the guy who keeps his thermostat at 70, why so low? 70F is positively cold for summer space conditioning. 77 - 80 is a very comfortable home indoor temperature in my opinion.


Well, for 7 out of 12 months of the year, temperatures here hover around 0-10 degrees farenheight in the day time and -20 degrees farenheight at night... Not to mention the wind chill, which is around -40 or -60 degrees...

This is our normal weather:
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Re: Do you have AC in your home?

Unread postby tivoli » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 16:06:39

Ah , here in Western Washington, we look upon folks w/ AC with a sad sort of pity. I mean c'mon a few days a year over 80. Although it is around 81 right, but I am in basement :-D
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Unread postby Pops » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 16:07:18

We have central heat and air but it is a fairly old unit and only sized for the downstairs. Luckily in old houses like this every room plus the stairway have doors that we keep closed and the registers closed in all but the living room and kitchen. When we get hot we go turn the thermostat down till it sucks some moisture out and we cool off then we turn it back off – I threw away the outside cover that tells how hot it is.

We are getting used to the humidity. In my old hometown it is 106 today and barely 90 here. OTOH out there the humidity will be about 15 whereas its 50% here.

I usually wait until about 4 to go outside to work since it’s much drier then – I can handle 95 or 100 or even 105 as long as I can sweat and it does something.
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Unread postby eastbay » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 16:14:20

We have it and last year we never turned it on. Yesterday we gave it a 45 minute blast (partly to see if it still worked). It knocked the inside temperature down from 92 to 84... but when we turned it off the inside temperature went right back up, mostly due to me and the kids repeatedly opening and closing doors.

Dear wife and I have decided it just isn't worth the cost and bother to turn it on anymore other than as a periodic 'test'. But we will only 'test' it on the very hottest days.

Yesterday was 108 and today will be the same.
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Unread postby eastbay » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 16:15:54

... oh, interestingly, 30 miles from here, near the ocean, it was in the 60's.
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Unread postby Daculling » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 17:09:20

eastbay wrote:Dear wife and I have decided it just isn't worth the cost and bother to turn it on anymore other than as a periodic 'test'. But we will only 'test' it on the very hottest days.


Ya kids, you need to run them a once or twice a year for a least 10-15 minutes to keep them lubricated or your going to have problems down the road.
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Unread postby lateStarter » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 18:47:53

We don't have AC in our house here in Poland. Many people, especially the 'westernized' ones (affluent consumers) do. When it gets too hot, we go downstairs. Houses are made of brick/block and ours has lots of trees and a neighbor on the south that keeps the sun off our house. the big difference here is that humidy seems to be fairly low.
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Unread postby I_Like_Plants » Mon 18 Jul 2005, 19:06:27

As I write, there's a "Flex Your Power" alert on, - turn off all unnessary lights, don't use large appliences etc., I turned off all but the light over the computer here, and turned off the fan and opened the door a little, which works a bit better than the fan anyway (fan in the wall-mounted AC unit).
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