Posted to Energy Central in the Energy Efficiency Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst, Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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  • Dec 13, 2022
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Between inflation, fuel shortages, rising energy prices, and a particularly cold winter expected, this winter is primed to be one of the most challenging for utilities and their customers alike.

In light of that, and in recognition of National Energy Conservation Day being celebrated in India on December 14, I wanted to ask our utility experts: how are you helping boost energy efficiency and promote energy savings for your customers this winter? What tools, educational materials, and programs are on the table in the coming months? Share you efforts below and let's see if we can pool the best possible responses from across the industry. 

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My answer , I believe, is simple.

We should think of better  power  generating and supply systems  to avoid depending on the power distribution through poles and cables from distant Power generation Plants, which is an old practice.

Today, we must realize the fact, all must have electricity abundantly as growth is happening rapidly in all  the areas, as per the population growth, and activities in the related fields.

In the energy segment,  I felt, special focus should be applied on  Lesser project costs, lesser raw material cost, full capacity utilization , major cost trimming activities,  simple methods 

For example, in USA and Canada, people are struggling  now due to winter storms as electricity was disconnected  to millions or billions of people, and re-connection is becoming a tough task.  Here, money alone will not  solve issues for immediate relief. What is the prime reason, is the best question, to think for, and whether this can be  changed suitably  not to repeat what is happening during winter storm.

Can't we escape from these?

More shockingly and surprisingly,  it is fact that these are happening every year, and no permanent solutions available  to control the damages and miseries.

 

I have been attempting to suggest  through Energy central on my research and inventions on clean energy new inventions done by me.

Based on my research for 20 years, I focussed on installing Independent Power Generating Machine. I designed  3 methods ( written below, please see), to get undisturbed own power generation.

 

  1. New Smart Home Hydro- nearly 4 new methods have been invented by me  to lift water upward without using electricity even up-to 2000 feet height. A few mechanical functions will lift water automatically.  My ultimate aim is to utilize all levels of water sources on earth, i.e. Ocean water, water in rivers, lakes, back water areas, excess water in Paddy fields, etc. These Water Lifting machines  will help to make  the existing Hydro Power Plants to increase its efficiency 24 hours. My water lifting methods will help free pumping in Pumped storages, and re-send used water back to Reservoirs. Also in the existing artificial water falls, water pumping with electricity can be stopped.

 

Sea water energy plants – even up-to1 lakh MWs can be arranged in a single Plant.  Here, the abundant water availability to heights at free of cost is the main consideration. Like that, 100sof MW power plants can be arranged in the rivers, etc. I am talking about the possibility in single unit location, and like that hundreds of thousands of such power plants can be arranged. It will be automatic once switched, on and will work years together. I have designed  them so.  My new Smart Hydro power projects are more attractive because , the water pumping will be at free of cost to any unlimited height. In Pumped storages, 24 hours continuous water pumping and also power generation can happen simultaneously.

 

2.Artificial wind energy – to increase efficiency from the avg. of 40% to 95%,. Artificial wind releasing  will be from a wind factory is the main attraction. Covered wind path will be supporting to fix hundreds of turbines in 2 kilometres distance to generate power, as continuous wind blow of artificial wind will make this project more efficient.  The wind factory to release artificial wind will be functioned automatically. I will use a special material here (less costly and abundantly available) locally with re-use option for many months.  Here too, once the machine started, will work continuously for months together offering free energy by rotating the wind turbines fixed inside the wind pathway.

3. Waste material  energy – manufactured a machine during 2015, this is also another important machine.

The highlight of all these machines are that in each home, factory or anywhere or in remote villages, etc  separate machine as per power consumption requirement can be installed in a week time itself.

Best suitable for carbon emission elimination and abundant power generation, anywhere or wherever needed. Major level cost trimming is also possible. Comparatively, the cost for a machine unit is lesser than the existing facility.

Due to space limit, I cannot write much here. Will write separately

with more details whoever wanted  to know.

As per my above projects, in maximum 15 – 30 days time  1 MW machine can be installed. For smaller ones at homes, may need only 1 week time.

 

These independent energy machines  can also solve or  "chase" the snow falling to a great extent to prevent stopping, flights,  transportation, snowfall in buildings, roads, etc (it is my belief) in future.   In any case, the importance of the solutions will be needed by the sections who have suffered.

As an energy consultant advising upper managers and board members, I have been suggesting to explore "outsourcing" options. One example: let's say that one industrial plant of a multi-national company is facing super high energy prices in Europe. A possibility is relocating production to other countries (like Brazil for instance, where power prices in the deregulated power markets have been dropping systematically). In other words: looking at the "whole" picture and not only for a specific location.

Energy efficiency is overlooked as being a primary focus overshadowed by renewables the last decade. Using less is the best way to reduce costs. Renewables have benefits, but still have some residential and utility level challenges with ROI and in some climates of high winds, ice and extreme temps. We have had solar panels break and wind tower blades ice up. In the extreme heat or cold climates, baseload generation has the highest capacity factor. Utilities did and some continue to provide education and offer significant incentives to replace less efficient equipment such as incandescent bulbs, higher efficiency motors and variable frequency drives, building automation for setting schedules, etc. Using scheduling effectively does have a significant impact. In a study, over 90% of the utility provided smart stats were not scheduled and programmed effectively. Continued focus on energy efficiency reduces costs.

Pulikkal Ashokan's picture
Pulikkal Ashokan on Jan 5, 2023

 

I am a Researcher in clean energy and am in the process to make one machine.

The reason for my research is to make electricity "available" abundantly. During my research activities, I understood various methods to generate electricity abundantly. Finally, my efforts are to get a simple machine in each house, factory, shop, or anywhere, to get their own power. While the electricity bill can be trimmed, at the same time, enough power supply and power efficiency

will be offered to the users of this machine.  Therefore, I do not work or support using "less energy to reduce costs". In another way, make it possible to access abundant energy for all.  I am working on this, and initially, I have made achievements. Perhaps, during 2023 or 2024 my machine will be released.  No raw material purchase will be happening here.

Many utility companies are recommending energy audits, caulking windows, sealing leaks, programmable thermostats, etc.  However, I do have one instance that may not be particularly common.  I purchased a backup generator last fall for my home so as to have power available when there is an outage.  After some initial startup and inspection issues, the system was ready to go early this year.  At the end of May, we noticed a noise in the basement on one hot weekend.  Of course, it was intermittent and was not easily replicated.  I called my contractor and we checked the backup generator and determined that it had started up 26 times since we installed it.  That seemed reasonable since the machine starts up once/week in test mode.  Then we didn't hear the noise again until the end of June when we had another hot weekend.  This time I was pretty sure that the transfer switch had been activated and the generator started up.  I called my contractor again and we checked the generator and found that it had started 67 times, or 41 times during June.  My contractor called the utility and they sent someone out the next day to investigate.  The finding was that the voltage was too low.  When the voltage dropped below a certain level, the system sensed that it was losing power and started the generator.  The transformer for the neighborhood was installed in the late 50s.  It had 12 houses on it, which was too many.  The paint was blistered and the container was rusted, indicating that it may have overheated.  Of course, the engineering department for the utility had to review the data and come up with their own conclusion.  In the meantime, I put a voltmeter up in my office to check the voltage and put the backup generator on manual.  One weekend the voltage dropped to 107 volts (on a 120 volt system).  I called the power company and they sent out another person.  Same conclusion.  This time, a team of trucks showed up on Thursday afternoon with a new transformer.  The old one was a 25 kVa transformer.  The new one was a 50 kVa transformer.  They replaced the old one and found that, indeed, some overheating had occurred not only on the old transformer but on some of the connectors on the adjacent poles.  We checked the voltage again and it was now 114 V.  The next morning they came back with a new 25 kVa transformer and put the 4 houses at the end of our street (including mine) on that one.  Now the voltage is 120 V.  Since then, my average kwhr/day as reported by the utility on my bill have gone down a bit even though the temperature levels have been about the same, again as reported by the utility.  This is consistent with the fact that motors and other loads will draw more current when the voltage drops.  Now that the voltage is up where it should be, the current draw has also been reduced.  It is also consistent with the overheating that was noticed as the I squared R losses and heat generated increases with the square of the current.  While this is a rather unique occurence to my neighborhood, I would expect that there are a lot of neighborhoods, in the Northeast especially, that were built in the 50s and 60s when there were not so many air conditioners and electric appliances.  The transformers in these neighborhoods may also be undersized as well.  The lower current draw reduces the need for extra generation and, thus, could be considered an energy conservation measure.

Utility customers, especially residential customers, are particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs. In the UK, this has been described as customers choosing between "heating and eating."

One of the most effective strategies I've seen used by utilities is to provide a monthly calendar to its residential customer that features a low-cost/no-cost energy savings tip every month. It's a way to ensure that customers learn to incorporate energy savings into their daily activities rather than waiting for an energy crisis. 

Unfortunately, energy efficiency improvements are still not viewed as prestigious or exciting compared to installing a new solar PV panel or parking a new EV in the garage. 

But making energy efficiency improvements is the first step to launching any long-term energy savings strategy. I am also promoting the notion of "Eating your Energy Efficiency Veggies before having your Renewable Energy Desserts."

During this upcoming heating season, I encourage utility staff and program implementers to promote low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency tips to their customers. These activities will help customers reduce their energy bills so they won't have to choose between "heating and eating."

 

 

 

 

 

Energy efficiency is a topic I regularly discuss on my weekly TV and Radio Show, The KJ Show on the Bold Brave TV network (The KJ Show, Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Eastern on BoldBraveTV.com).