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(Forbes)   Steven Chu thinks that just because he's the former Energy Secretary, and a Ph.D., and a Nobel prize winner, and all that fancy stuff, he can tell utility companies the truth. Here's hoping they listen   (forbes.com) divider line 74
    More: Interesting, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Nobel Laureates, Ph.D., Nobel Prize, Edison Electric Institute, phone company, Exelon, truth  
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5132 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Mar 2014 at 10:17 AM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-23 09:42:02 AM  
"This is not a radical model," Chu said, "this is the old telephone system model, where the telephone companies owned the phone, they rented you the phone for so long, they maintained it."

As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?

Purely hypothetical because I live in a region with weather. Solar can't take me off the grid.
 
2014-03-23 10:05:42 AM  

ZAZ: As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?


There are third-party companies that already do this... they put the panels on your roof with little to no up-front cost, and bill you monthly.  My local utility started being douchey about interconnection, and almost overnight the third-party ads went from "slash your electric bills by getting panels from us" to "get a few more panels from us and tell the utility where they can stick it."  Chu's idea sounds a lot better for the utilities, since they get to stay in business...
 
2014-03-23 10:28:15 AM  

ZAZ: "This is not a radical model," Chu said, "this is the old telephone system model, where the telephone companies owned the phone, they rented you the phone for so long, they maintained it."

As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?

Purely hypothetical because I live in a region with weather. Solar can't take me off the grid.


I think you missed his point. Nobody is going 'off the grid.' It's about augmenting, and enhancing the grid while taking advantage of the benefits solar.
 
2014-03-23 10:30:32 AM  

ZAZ: "This is not a radical model," Chu said, "this is the old telephone system model, where the telephone companies owned the phone, they rented you the phone for so long, they maintained it."

As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?

Purely hypothetical because I live in a region with weather. Solar can't take me off the grid.


A residential fuel cell works perfectly as a complement to a solar installation.  It can provide heating and cooling, as well as electricity - and potentially a hydrogen stream for either energy storage or for refueling a fuel cell vehicle at home.  It's much cleaner and more efficient than the average US grid mix, to boot.  Sure, they're expensive now, but prices are falling rapidly as they grow in popularity.  In the US, commercial-size versions are primarily sold to schools, hospitals, government buildings, and to the telecoms - all groups that depend on having reliable power independent from the grid.

www.fuelcelltoday.com

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-23 10:44:34 AM  

Kraftwerk Orange: ZAZ: "This is not a radical model," Chu said, "this is the old telephone system model, where the telephone companies owned the phone, they rented you the phone for so long, they maintained it."

As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?

Purely hypothetical because I live in a region with weather. Solar can't take me off the grid.

A residential fuel cell works perfectly as a complement to a solar installation.  It can provide heating and cooling, as well as electricity - and potentially a hydrogen stream for either energy storage or for refueling a fuel cell vehicle at home.  It's much cleaner and more efficient than the average US grid mix, to boot.  Sure, they're expensive now, but prices are falling rapidly as they grow in popularity.  In the US, commercial-size versions are primarily sold to schools, hospitals, government buildings, and to the telecoms - all groups that depend on having reliable power independent from the grid.

[www.fuelcelltoday.com image 491x270]

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 797x359]


Does it come with the robot?
 
2014-03-23 10:50:24 AM  
He gave all that money to Solyndra... How is that working out for you?
 
2014-03-23 10:53:48 AM  

BalugaJoe: He gave all that money to Solyndra... How is that working out for you?


And Bush invaded Iraq on a flawed pretext. Therefore, we will never listen to the GOP on national defense again.
 
2014-03-23 10:56:37 AM  

ZAZ: "This is not a radical model," Chu said, "this is the old telephone system model, where the telephone companies owned the phone, they rented you the phone for so long, they maintained it."

As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?

Purely hypothetical because I live in a region with weather. Solar can't take me off the grid.


That's not what he's suggesting. If you want to own your own panels, go for it. If you don't, or are apathetic, the utilities will 'rent' your roof and put up their own. You get a lower bill and a backup in case of grid failure, they get a revenue stream that they otherwise wouldn't if someone puts their own up.
 
2014-03-23 10:59:05 AM  
Did he start out his comments with...

 HEY YOU GUYS!!!!
 
2014-03-23 11:04:06 AM  

BalugaJoe: He gave all that money to Solyndra... How is that working out for you?


Pretty well, to tell the truth. The drop in price of conventional PV panels that killed Solyndra has more than made up for the money lost.
 
2014-03-23 11:23:55 AM  
The utility companies want their revenues to keep increasing for all eternity.  They see it as some sort of God given right.

Unfortunately, before they die, they're going to bribe a lot of state legislatures into passing some really shiatty regressive laws regarding solar power installations.
 
2014-03-23 11:25:30 AM  

BalugaJoe: He gave all that money to Solyndra... How is that working out for you?


If Chinese solar products weren't allowed into America below cost, Solyndra would be working out quite well right now.

Idiot.
 
2014-03-23 11:34:41 AM  
Most won't listen. They have massive pension liabilities. They came up in a time where none of them could ever imagine that they would ever have to compete with any other company or technology. They're gonna call in favors from their buddies in politics first. Look for this to get worse before it gets better.
 
2014-03-23 11:39:31 AM  

EbolaNYC: Most won't listen. They have massive pension liabilities. They came up in a time where none of them could ever imagine that they would ever have to compete with any other company or technology. They're gonna call in favors from their buddies in politics first. Look for this to get worse before it gets better.


You speak the truth.
 
2014-03-23 11:46:00 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: EbolaNYC: Most won't listen. They have massive pension liabilities. They came up in a time where none of them could ever imagine that they would ever have to compete with any other company or technology. They're gonna call in favors from their buddies in politics first. Look for this to get worse before it gets better.

You speak the truth.


After reading that article, I think the "LE" in ALEC stands not for Legislative Exchange, but for Lawful Evil.
 
2014-03-23 11:48:03 AM  

Earl of Chives: I think you missed his point. Nobody is going 'off the grid.' It's about augmenting, and enhancing the grid while taking advantage of the benefits solar.


A lot of the 'extra fees' from electric companies 'being douchey' about generation come from the fact that the grid isn't necessarily built out to handle the generation backflow from multiple solar sites, and those homes typically require a new/special meter, and special accommodations in the billing programs.  The electricity generated has to go somewhere, and we don't have any storage mechanics in place which are reasonably efficient (because the technology doesn't exist)

Add to that that you have to keep these generation plants running because solar/wind are peak and off type generations (i.e. they don't farking generate sometimes, and generate a lot others, without any real predictability on a long-term scale other than base trending), and people will probably want to have power when those two aren't generating.

I'm not saying distributed generation isn't the future; I think it is. But the grid in most places runs at about 90% capacity, and building accommodations for DG takes time and money. These guys are basically paying an early adopter fee, as well as paying for the manpower to make special accommodations for them.
 
2014-03-23 11:48:08 AM  
Never mentioned in any of these articles: residential energy consumption only makes up about 10% of the power consumption in the US

i.imgur.com

I had a close relative that used to work the main high voltage switching board for a major energy company.

According to him, in the event of a hurricane, their standing orders were residential customers came LAST in the priority queue for restoring power, because industrial customers were 90% of their business.

So this bullshiat about "residential customers using solar and are going to put us out of business" is just that - bullshiat. They're farking with residential customers because they can, not because a vast influx of residential solar is going to drive them into the poorhouse.
 
2014-03-23 11:49:43 AM  
Is this the guy that testified in the George Zimmerman trial?
 
2014-03-23 11:58:09 AM  

Elegy: Never mentioned in any of these articles: residential energy consumption only makes up about 10% of the power consumption in the US

[i.imgur.com image 850x633]

I had a close relative that used to work the main high voltage switching board for a major energy company.

According to him, in the event of a hurricane, their standing orders were residential customers came LAST in the priority queue for restoring power, because industrial customers were 90% of their business.

So this bullshiat about "residential customers using solar and are going to put us out of business" is just that - bullshiat. They're farking with residential customers because they can, not because a vast influx of residential solar is going to drive them into the poorhouse.


WalMart is installing active solar on the roof of every new building.

Lots of other companies are following suit.  This thing is just getting started.
 
2014-03-23 11:58:58 AM  

Elegy: Never mentioned in any of these articles: residential energy consumption only makes up about 10% of the power consumption in the US

[i.imgur.com image 850x633]

I had a close relative that used to work the main high voltage switching board for a major energy company.

According to him, in the event of a hurricane, their standing orders were residential customers came LAST in the priority queue for restoring power, because industrial customers were 90% of their business.

So this bullshiat about "residential customers using solar and are going to put us out of business" is just that - bullshiat. They're farking with residential customers because they can, not because a vast influx of residential solar is going to drive them into the poorhouse.




Where does that bottom 40% of the electricity go to??
 
2014-03-23 12:01:08 PM  
Solar installations don't threaten grid stability until they approach 20 percent of the customer base, Chu said.

Well, yes. Except he left out the last part of the sentence.

Solar installations don't threaten grid stability until they approach 20 percent of the customer base in a neighborhood or grid.

So dismissing Hawaii's worries because only two percent of the customers have solar panels sorta skips over the problems with having certain (usually rich) neighborhoods with higher percentages, while many others have (and will have, for the near future) zero. They've seen some problems with some neighborhoods in California - minor so far, but it's something to worry about before the problem, instead of after.
 
2014-03-23 12:09:28 PM  
Marcus Aurelius:
If Chinese solar products weren't allowed into America below cost, Solyndra would be working out quite well right now.

No, not really.

The "Chinese products are too cheap" excuse was the major one used by Solyndra, but pretty much everyone involved with the industry knew that the Solyndra designs were just not workable. They were more complex, more expensive, and didn't (in the real world) work any better than normal, simpler solar systems.

They used an unusual type of solar cell called CIGS, which was much more expensive to make. It was about 50% selenium, which meant that it was going to be stupidly expensive in comparison to any mainstream solar cell design. The Chinese didn't have to sell at a loss to beat Solyndra - they could have sold at a premium and still undercut them on price per actual generated watt.
 
2014-03-23 12:14:39 PM  

kroonermanblack: A lot of the 'extra fees' from electric companies 'being douchey' about generation come from the fact that the grid isn't necessarily built out to handle the generation backflow from multiple solar sites,


Um... you do realize that just rolling with "we won't buy back your electricity, and won't allow you to install a system that puts shiat back into the grid" is an utterly trivial thing, right?  The energy companies don't have to do it and probably shouldn't if it's messing with their control schema.

Elegy: Never mentioned in any of these articles: residential energy consumption only makes up about 10% of the power consumption in the US


About 1/4 of the "electricity only" segment of your graph goes to residential use, the overall number is usually listed as 22%.  22 quadrillion BTU.  Another 10% of the total is dedicated to commercial buildings, which can also use solar pretty easily.

The total chunk of the consumption pie that the switch to solar impacts weighs in at around 30% depending on the year.

// Even if it didn't, 10% is a damned big chunk of something this massive, and reducing it by 80% across the board would represent an enormous savings.
 
2014-03-23 12:19:23 PM  
Where is all the teahadist outrage? Oh, right...they're bankrolled by established energy interests.
 
2014-03-23 12:20:19 PM  

scanman61: BalugaJoe: He gave all that money to Solyndra... How is that working out for you?

Pretty well, to tell the truth. The drop in price of conventional PV panels that killed Solyndra has more than made up for the money lost.


^^^
 
2014-03-23 12:22:22 PM  
img3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-03-23 12:35:44 PM  
Yet another politician that doesn't know how much work goes into load balancing a regional electrical grid with traditional power sources, let alone with rooftop solar installs upsetting that balance every time the sun goes behind or in front of a cloud.

/The grid has to be modified to support the load of solar installs before we can install them.
//Unless you want random appliances in your house catching on fire.
 
2014-03-23 12:37:44 PM  

cirby: minor so far, but it's something to worry about before the problem, instead of after.


Nah dude. the EV folks have said repeatedly they want brownouts and fires before we upgrade the grid to support decentralized generation (a concept that didn't exist 100 years ago when we started building the grid.)
 
2014-03-23 12:38:33 PM  

cirby: They used an unusual type of solar cell called CIGS, which was much more expensive to make. It was about 50% selenium, which meant that it was going to be stupidly expensive in comparison to any mainstream solar cell design. The Chinese didn't have to sell at a loss to beat Solyndra - they could have sold at a premium and still undercut them on price per actual generated watt.


To be fair, CIGS was not designed to be the end-all design for solar cells, it was more a pilot for a new design  paradigm where alloy solutions were used to tune the semiconductor band-gap.  The idea would eventually have generated a lot of different substances of varying cost-effectiveness had it become predominant.

However, what eventually won out design-wise in the research community was a combination of organics (obviously dirt cheap even if they aren't as efficient) for some applications and fiddling with the interfaces to increase the area over which separation can occur (which isn't really material-specific).

Solyndra was betting that science would take a different path than it ended up actually taking, and lost.  It happens, that's why we were making a broad spread of investments in the first place.  It was always understood by the non-idiots that some would pan out and some wouldn't, it's old-school conservative  investment strategy rather than the playing the speculation roulette wheel that morons think constitutes "investment".

// So, y'know, yes solyndra was a waste of money, but no, also not a big deal financially at the same time.  It was an intentionally limited investment as part of a broad strategy.
 
2014-03-23 12:40:41 PM  
scanman61:
Pretty well, to tell the truth. The drop in price of conventional PV panels that killed Solyndra has more than made up for the money lost.

Except that the drop in price in conventional solar panels had approximately zero to do with Solyndra. The biggest influence they had was "hey, there's one way to not do it - we're going to save some money by not ever doing that."
 
2014-03-23 12:49:06 PM  
Jim_Callahan:
To be fair, CIGS was not designed to be the end-all design for solar cells, it was more a pilot for a new design paradigm where alloy solutions were used to tune the semiconductor band-gap. The idea would eventually have generated a lot of different substances of varying cost-effectiveness had it become predominant.

Except that it relied on expensive materials, and they knew it wasn't going to be much more efficient. Price-performance was never going to work for that design, and they knew it, well before they took in most of their grants and loans.

They then compounded the problem by putting it into a complicated tube-type design (which didn't work).

Here's a thought for you: if any of the Solyndra tech was anywhere near useful, then why weren't their patents bought out - and used - by anyone else? And why didn't anyone else follow that CIGS-like path?
 
2014-03-23 12:58:57 PM  
In Morocco,they never had much of a centralized grid to start with, so instead the government there subsidized PV solar installations for individual homes, working the deal as a super-long-duration lease. It's also a jobs program, with a fleet of trucks and installers/service reps out in the country, installing panels and servicing the batteries.  The panels and batteries don't make a LOT of juice, but it is enough to run a mini-fridge that preserves their milk, eggs, and medicine, some  low-voltage LED lights, and a satellite TV system to watch the soccer games on,  plus watch educational media, etc.


I would love to have a Solar PV/hot water system just to handle my HVAC needs, never mind a grid tie.
 
2014-03-23 01:01:08 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Um... you do realize that just rolling with "we won't buy back your electricity, and won't allow you to install a system that puts shiat back into the grid" is an utterly trivial thing, right?  The energy companies don't have to do it and probably shouldn't if it's messing with their control schema.


It's not trivial, and it's not easy to say 'no' if you have a federal mandate to do it, OR if you are a progressive company which expects the technology to gain ground going forward and want to understand how it's going to impact your business.

Sort of like how, in Texas, you can opt out of receiving a smart meter install IF you haven't already had one. Customers who didn't understand the technology raised merry hell at Austin and TDSPs finally said 'fine, we can do that, but it's going to cost you XYZ because we will have to send someone out to manually read your meter, and that costs US money.  Suddenly, the petitioners went from thousands to less than a thousand.  Basically people scatter when costs get involved instead of being 'free'.

Granted I can only speak to Texas, which is deregulated, and has 3 separate groups handling power; the generators, who only generate, and the billers, who charge you (TXU, Reliant, Etc. here), and the lines maintenance company, who only makes sure power gets from a to b and that the billers get the right use data. None of the companies have relations with any other groups, and there's only one line maintenance company per area, and his entire job is to be impartial and be concerned only with power flow. But you can choose to go with any billing agency you want, and they can buy their power from wherever they want, you two can negotiate whatever deal you want, etc.  You can even have generation on site, but it's still going to cost you a small (like a hundred bucks or so) fee, because you have to have a new meter installed, and have to have some modifications done in various systems.

One reason for increasing cost demands may be the smart meter deployment. Many areas are moving away from old mechanical meters, and are installing digital ones which can phone home use data rather than having to be read manually. This costs a shockingly large amount of money and has to be done in a fairly large single swoop over the course of a year or two, and the states may be mandating that this be done or not done, while not allocating cash for the utility.

Or the utility may be facing an issue like Dallas, where all the power generation is 50-100+ miles from the city, which leads to some unique and interesting power factor/power quality issues, which Dallas remedied by installing a  Static VAR compensator.  Or they may be looking to correct/control power in the distribution system with distribution automation, leading to better overall power factor/etc, and better outage analysis, line sectionalizing, and fault detection.

Now, granted, most areas don't have a major metropolitan region like Dallas/Ft. Worth, that's just a few examples of how utilities may need/want to increase fees for quality of life issues for customers combined with federal mandates etc.
 
2014-03-23 01:09:01 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Where is all the teahadist outrage? Oh, right...they're bankrolled by established energy interests.


They don't want to infringe on the rights of power companies to operate their business as they see fit - never mind that they have absolute monopolies in each region. Free enterprise is the most important thing this world has to offer.
 
2014-03-23 02:00:59 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Where is all the teahadist outrage? Oh, right...they're bankrolled by established energy interests.


Some of the actual gassroots tehadists in Georgia actually did get up in arms about this. Not Freedom Works or the other astroturf groups of course because they are just fronts for big business. These people actually worked with those dirty hippies in the Sierra Club to push back against laws that Georgia Power were pushing.

"Tea Party, Sierra Club Unite to Support Solar Energy in Georgia"
" "Some people have called this an unholy alliance," says Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of both the coalition and the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots. "We agree on the need to develop clean energy, but not much else." "

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-27/tea-party-sierra-clu b- unite-to-support-solar-energy-in-georgia
 
2014-03-23 02:30:05 PM  

Earl of Chives: ZAZ: "This is not a radical model," Chu said, "this is the old telephone system model, where the telephone companies owned the phone, they rented you the phone for so long, they maintained it."

As a consumer, do I want to be locked into The Electric Company basically forever when I could pay market rates to maintain my solar roof?

Purely hypothetical because I live in a region with weather. Solar can't take me off the grid.

I think you missed his point. Nobody is going 'off the grid.' It's about augmenting, and enhancing the grid while taking advantage of the benefits solar.


Because those savings will be passed onto the consumer right?
 
2014-03-23 03:08:54 PM  
I'm sure you can work a buggy whip into a car's design if you try hard enough.
 
2014-03-23 03:10:04 PM  
Pfffft.  If Steven CHU (hmmm sounds kinda CHINESE to me, ya know?) is so smart, how come he was totally stumped by a simple question asked by the Honorable Rep. Joe Barton?

Checkmate, libtardos!
 
2014-03-23 03:37:49 PM  

Parthenogenetic: Pfffft.  If Steven CHU (hmmm sounds kinda CHINESE to me, ya know?) is so smart, how come he was totally stumped by a simple question asked by the Honorable Rep. Joe Barton?

Checkmate, libtardos!


You can see him thinking, "Alaska as we know it didn't even exist. Good god I can't believe I'm being talked down to by a friggin troglodyte. This job doesn't pay enough."
 
2014-03-23 03:48:46 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: Parthenogenetic: Pfffft.  If Steven CHU (hmmm sounds kinda CHINESE to me, ya know?) is so smart, how come he was totally stumped by a simple question asked by the Honorable Rep. Joe Barton?

Checkmate, libtardos!

You can see him thinking, "Alaska as we know it didn't even exist. Good god I can't believe I'm being talked down to by a friggin troglodyte. This job doesn't pay enough."


...did Barton actually ask if we built a pipeline and moved it up there from Texas?

Because that's what I heard.  And no, I'm not watching that again.  I wouldn't survive.
 
2014-03-23 03:55:18 PM  

Dafatone: ...did Barton actually ask if we built a pipeline and moved it up there from Texas?


He asked how did all the oil and gas get under alaska and the Arctic.  Apparently he thought it was some sort of decision that was voted on or some shiat.

"Why the fark did jesus give the arctic circle all our murkin oil?"
 
2014-03-23 04:16:03 PM  

kroonermanblack: One reason for increasing cost demands may be the smart meter deployment. Many areas are moving away from old mechanical meters, and are installing digital ones which can phone home use data rather than having to be read manually. This costs a shockingly large amount of money and has to be done in a fairly large single swoop over the course of a year or two, and the states may be mandating that this be done or not done, while not allocating cash for the utility.

The Seattle area utility Puget Sound Energy rolled out "smart meters" nearly a decade ago. There certainly was an upfront hardware cost as part of the rollout, but a massive savings afterwards by not having to employ a small army of meter readers to walk up to every customer's home each month or two. No more meter reader pensions, union wages, sick leave, vacation time, etc.

Smart meters reduce overall costs for utilities. They're permanently automating people's jobs.
 
2014-03-23 04:22:30 PM  

MrSteve007: kroonermanblack: One reason for increasing cost demands may be the smart meter deployment. Many areas are moving away from old mechanical meters, and are installing digital ones which can phone home use data rather than having to be read manually. This costs a shockingly large amount of money and has to be done in a fairly large single swoop over the course of a year or two, and the states may be mandating that this be done or not done, while not allocating cash for the utility.
The Seattle area utility Puget Sound Energy rolled out "smart meters" nearly a decade ago. There certainly was an upfront hardware cost as part of the rollout, but a massive savings afterwards by not having to employ a small army of meter readers to walk up to every customer's home each month or two. No more meter reader pensions, union wages, sick leave, vacation time, etc.

Smart meters reduce overall costs for utilities. They're permanently automating people's jobs.



Smart meters are also not a smart grid.

Smart Meters exist only to make it easier to bill you. They are not any sort of intelligent power management device, or grid stabilizer system.
 
2014-03-23 04:31:55 PM  

fluffy2097: Dafatone: ...did Barton actually ask if we built a pipeline and moved it up there from Texas?

He asked how did all the oil and gas get under alaska and the Arctic.  Apparently he thought it was some sort of decision that was voted on or some shiat.

"Why the fark did jesus give the arctic circle all our murkin oil?"


And of course, he's not asking how all that oil got under Texas.  It's supposed to be there.  Because Jesus.
 
2014-03-23 04:32:46 PM  

fluffy2097: Smart Meters exist only to make it easier to bill you. They are not any sort of intelligent power management device, or grid stabilizer system.

That mainly depends on the utility involved. Florida Power and Light offers their "on-call" load dispatching to folks with smart meters - allowing the utility to remotely control water heaters, AC or pool pumps.  Link

They may be different technologies and databases involved, but I believe they're utilizing the same communications systems/hubs they roll out with the smart meters.
 
2014-03-23 04:48:08 PM  

MrSteve007: fluffy2097: Smart Meters exist only to make it easier to bill you. They are not any sort of intelligent power management device, or grid stabilizer system.
That mainly depends on the utility involved. Florida Power and Light offers their "on-call" load dispatching to folks with smart meters - allowing the utility to remotely control water heaters, AC or pool pumps.  Link

They may be different technologies and databases involved, but I believe they're utilizing the same communications systems/hubs they roll out with the smart meters.


Those are units plugged into specific appliances. It doesn't seem to be tied to the meter.
 
2014-03-23 06:08:38 PM  

Parthenogenetic: Pfffft.  If Steven CHU (hmmm sounds kinda CHINESE to me, ya know?) is so smart, how come he was totally stumped by a simple question asked by the Honorable Rep. Joe Barton?

Checkmate, libtardos!


Nothing like aggressive stupidity. Of course he's from Texas.
 
2014-03-23 06:56:25 PM  

kroonermanblack: It's not trivial,


eburn.scripts.mit.edu

OK, not quite  that simple, but the base output of the solar panels is DC, it's not anywhere near  complex to keep the generated power from going back into the grid.  Load-balancing is fairly easy once you've removed those uncontrolled inputs and only are dealing with demand variation, too.

The point you're missing is that the vast majority of the issues you're listing stem from regulators (and in fairness some of the industry people too) not seeming to realize that buying back power or letting every random asshole onto the common-carrier grid is  optional from both a policy and a legal standpoint.  Even where the laws aren't leaving that open it's easier to change the laws to simplify the problem than to solve it from the other end by inventing goddamned skynet to deal with uncontrolled input.  Especially since decentralization and reduced reliance on there being a "grid" at all is the entire point of solar power (the one that's designed to patch into existing infrastructure is wind).

Basically, the grid destabilization isn't a problem with the system, it's a problem we're artificially creating for ourselves.  My suggestion is basically "well, quit it."
 
2014-03-23 07:18:01 PM  

Jim_Callahan: OK, not quite  that simple, but the base output of the solar panels is DC, it's not anywhere near  complex to keep the generated power from going back into the grid.  Load-balancing is fairly easy once you've removed those uncontrolled inputs and only are dealing with demand variation, too.


Uh, yes. Load balancing is completely trivial! That's why it takes a dedicated set of 24x7 crews, and a staff of engineers.

I didn't bother reading the rest to be honest, you're so far beyond insanely wrong that there's no point.
 
2014-03-23 08:52:33 PM  

kroonermanblack: Uh, yes. Load balancing is completely trivial! That's why it takes a dedicated set of 24x7 crews, and a staff of engineers.


Just because a task is simple doesn't mean it's easy.

Take driving. Individually every near miss is very easy to identify and avoid. Actually the series of near misses eventually evens out into steady, challenging ritual that demands your full attention.
 
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