UK OFGEM Authorize Brown Outs

From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t idau

In other words, brown outs!

Ofgem has approved the national rollout of a new energy system developed by the network operator, Electricity North West (ENW), which the regulator precited could save consumers in Britain up to £1 billion.

The flexibility system, called CLASS (Customer Load Active System Services), is a voltage control solution designed to help National Grid ESO manage Britain’s power network by balancing spikes in energy demand and dips in supply.

It includes the installation of voltage controllers at substations, which allow the network operator to offer balancing operations to the ESO by making small reductions to voltage.

According to ENW, this can be done through imperceptible reductions to the amount of power being used by “everything from streetlights to industry to everyday household devices.”

Described as the “first-of-a-kind”, the system already experienced success after its deployment in the North West more than two years ago, which allowed locals to benefit from approximately £7.3 million off their electricity bills as a result.

“Our updated assessment suggests that the net economic benefit is likely to be significant. Prohibiting CLASS would narrow the set of choices available to the ESO and mean consumers faced higher electricity bills than they might otherwise do” said Ofgem in its report, approving the system.

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/ofgem-approves-first-of-a-kind-class-energy-system-to-save-britain-millions-on-its-energy-bills

None of this would have been necessary if we were not shutting down so much of our firm capacity.

But don’t be fooled by promises of lower bills. What they are saying is that our bills would be going up even more otherwise, thanks to intermittent renewables:

And also beware the claims of £1 billion saving. This is not an annual saving, as you might expect. The saving for the North West was estimated at £300 million over 25 years. In other words, a pittance.

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Editor
December 21, 2022 2:21 am

Won’t be long until the terms “brown out” and “black out” are considered racist.

Regards,
Bob

1saveenergy
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 21, 2022 2:27 am

Out’s of colour ??

BobM
Reply to  1saveenergy
December 21, 2022 5:53 am

Only if they self-identify. It is the “whiteout’s” that are the real racists.

Bryan A
Reply to  BobM
December 21, 2022 10:33 am

None of this would have been necessary if we were not shutting down so much of our firm capacity.

Gang Green seem to want Uni-Infirmity

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2022 11:14 am

Shut down Firm Capacity and you’re left with Infirm Capacity

another ian
Reply to  BobM
December 21, 2022 6:09 pm

Where would “green power” be without whiteout?

vuk
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 21, 2022 6:16 am

‘Net zero carbon’ is racist propaganda against natural black colour energy sources coal and oil.

Energywise
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 21, 2022 6:50 am

They likely already are – the Thought Police will be awaiting some offended solo activist to complain, then the heavy hand of authoritarian censorship will fall upon those who dare to speak in ways of old

mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 3:16 am

saves little but has no consumer effect since voltage at user is within the allowable limits:
Unlocking-New-Sources-of-Flexibility-CLASS-The-Worlds-Largest-Voltage-Led-Load-Management-Project.pdf (researchgate.net)

. Towards Business as Usual CLASS demonstrated that it is possible to unlock the hidden potential of distribution networks by introducing an innovative, scalable and practical load management scheme that, for the first time, empowers DNOs to provide significant balancing services to the TSO. CLASS has shown that there is an untapped potential in UK distribution networks of up to 3.2 GW of demand reduction, the equivalent of two combined cycle gas turbine power stations. This was found to have the capability to reduce carbon emissions by up to 57,366 tCO2e per annum and deliver up to US$ 543 million of savings for customers. In addition, the capability to leverage the existing communication and control infrastructure demonstrated the practicality and scalability of this approach, which cost-effectively involves millions of customers without having any negative impact on the perceived quality of supply.

mikethefordprefect
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 3:32 am

so your title of authorised grown outs is not true. the voltage limit is In the UK, the declared voltage and tolerance for an electricity supply is 230 volts -6%, +10%. This gives an allowed voltage range of 216.2 volts to 253.0 volts.

The lower limit is not broken by CLASS!

cilo
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 4:03 am

I have to admit my “lived experience” seem to differ from yours. Whenever a bureaucrat on my side of the world says: “don’t worry, we’ll just put the tip in” it usually means you are in for a rather brutal screwing.
How long before that 5% becomes 10, 15, hell, modern equipment can handle it, 25%!
Slippery slopes and all that…

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 4:05 am

1W = 1J/s, 4200J will heat 1Kg of water by 1’K assuming no losses. W = V^2/R, for a kettle to make a brew the effect of changing from 230V to 216V means a 12% reduction in Wattage and hence longer to boil, but KWh remain the same or even increase due to heat losses.
The same logic applies to anything being heated by electricity.
If long term memory is correct then reducing the frequency will also reduce power.

Duker
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 21, 2022 12:26 pm

Doesnt make much difference to resistance heating but the effect on other electrical equipment such as electrical motors isnt so benign

As well in a smaller home network the exiting voltage drop as certain power hungry connections are made will drop the voltage even further

Ron Long
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 4:49 am

The Law of Supply and Demand dictates that the price goes up when the demand increases and the supply decreases. Cut the voltage all you want, the winter increased demand will drive the price up. Socialism? Control prices? When you subsidize something you get more of it, when you penalize something you get less of it. The price is going up, and the savings will not materialize.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 10:14 pm

216 volts at the substation may be OK. but out at the far end of the Distribution System it’ll be low enough to cause electrical motor heating and higher ampere squared x resistance loss resulting in higher billing. The answer isn’t more voltage and frequency control to correct for the non-inertia wind and solar, the answer is reducing the installation of the essentially nuisance power.

mikethefordprefect
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 22, 2022 6:23 am

if at the end of a low voltage line the voltage falls below the minimum you have a right to get it fixed.

Leo Smith
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 6:37 am

Its utter rubbish. Almost no kit today responds to voltage drops by reducing power. All the electronic stuff carries on. And synchronous motors will just increase current. Cookers will simply need to be turned up to compensate and ovens and kettles will take exactly the same as will any item fed from a switched mode power supply, so that’s nearly all modern electronics.

Maybe vacuum cleaners of the mains powered kind will take a shade less, but you will then have to spend more time to get the dirt out, increasing total demand…theamount of power to run an electric trains is the amount needed to get it up to speed plus the amount needed to overcome air resistance, and that wont change either.

Even my simple electric room heater has a thermostat, Reducing voltage will simply make it stay on longer…

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 10:07 am

You can run a simple simulation of different powered kettles being switched on at random over say a half hour period as might happen during breakfast. As soon as you get to a few hundred kettles the overall power demand becomes essentially identical, since the lower powered kettles have to be on for longer, so more of them are on at any one time.

Chasmsteed
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 11:02 am

Microwave ovens simply stop working at 10% undervolt – the avalanche diodes stop avalanching and the magnatron circuit simply stops working.

Michael
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 2:45 pm

Its all the compressor motors (in the heat pumps), fan motors, water/sewage pump motors, farmer’s well motors, elevator/escalators, and other what-not motors that will overheat and burn out. Probably lose a lot of start-up capacitors too.

niceguy12345
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 10:17 am

What concrete, verifiable evidence of the effect of voltage change on average demand exists?

Was higher voltage considered as an economy measure?

Bryan A
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 10:36 am

In other words, if your preferred idiot rtf if generation system is insufficient for load demands, curtail load demands until demand reaches conformity

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2022 11:11 am

Should read
Idiotic renewable…

Not

idiot rtf if…

niceguy12345
Reply to  mikethefordprefect
December 21, 2022 10:58 am

This was found to have the capability to reduce carbon emissions”

Found how? RCT (randomized controlled trial)?
If it isn’t a RCT, I’m told to dismiss all evidence! (see chloroquine/COVID)

Admin
December 21, 2022 3:16 am

The main impact of this will be to reduce the power output of heaters, clothes driers and electric cookers & kettles.

Most consumer electronics is tolerant of changes in voltage, because it is designed to work with 110V US or 230V UK by just changing the plug – the power converter automatically adjusts to the new voltage.

But heaters just blindly use whatever voltage they are provided – so by lowering the line voltage, power companies are effectively turning down everyone’s electric heaters.

If your heater can no longer bring your room or your baby’s room up to the temperature you want, bad luck.

cilo
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 21, 2022 4:05 am

Oh, the money I have made off of people who thought you can just change the plug…

Leo Smith
Reply to  cilo
December 21, 2022 6:39 am

With some power supplies that is in fact all it takes
I once worked on a piece of electronics whose power supply could be anything from
48VDC to 250VAC with no change to anything.

niceguy12345
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 10:20 am

But what is the impact on higher consumption when you lower voltage?

Scissor
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 21, 2022 4:54 am

Viva la resistance.

There should be a market for variable step-up transformers.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Scissor
December 21, 2022 6:40 am

No need. Just design better SMPSUs

Ron Long
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 9:34 am

Simply Magical Pulsing Synchronous Unicorns?

Bryan A
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 10:40 am

Stupid Ministers of Parliament Supplanting Utilities?

niceguy12345
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 21, 2022 10:19 am

Most consumer electronics is tolerant of changes in voltage, because it is designed to work with 110V US or 230V UK by just changing the plug”

In terms of consumer items, probably wrong; most lamp bulbs have electronics and probably aren’t compatible with multiple voltage. (Even if fake Chinese items pretend to be.)

Dena
Reply to  niceguy12345
December 22, 2022 4:49 pm

Not that large of range however LED bulbs seem to have switched power supplies in them. They charge a capacitor then drop the voltage to what the LEDs need. You can see this by turning on a LED light in a dark room, close your eyes, turn off the light, then open your eyes. You will see the after glow from the capacitor draining down.

megs
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 24, 2022 9:29 pm

Eric we live just a few kilometres from an industrial 87MW solar project. Since it was commissioned in 2019 we have had more than 15 blackouts and or power interruptions and brownouts. Our house was built in the same year, so quite new. We have so far lost four side lamps, a ceiling fan, a kettle and a water pump. And we had to pay more than $28, 000 for a transformer for the privilege of being connected to the power that was already in our street.

davezawadi
December 21, 2022 3:54 am

This is a silly idea, and will not work well. I wonder what proportion of the electricity used is resistive (electric fires and simple cookers) or electronic switched mode supplies? Induction hobs, LED lights, computers, the “Cloud”, and thermostatic heating will all use the same quantity of energy over time. Electronic loads will consume constant power, and reducing the voltage simply increases the current in proportion. The same for car chargers (funny that) and such adjustment will probably have a very small effect. Lack of science teaching certainly shows!

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  davezawadi
December 21, 2022 4:08 am

Peak demand in GW will be reduced, the logic behind the EU deciding that the maximum rating for kettles, Vaccum cleaners and the like should be reduced, a theoretical reduction in peak demand

Leo Smith
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 21, 2022 6:43 am

But it wont, Ben. The diversity equations show that if peak power to any controlled element is less, the duration it’s on will increase, to keep overall power consumption the same.
This is pure ArtStudent™ thinking by someone who got as far as Ohms law, but no further.
About the only load that would actually drop would be incandescent lamps, which would dim, but who uses those?

niceguy12345
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 10:24 am

Also wouldn’t that increase power consumption (for the same amount energy use)?
Why wouldn’t we increase the voltage to reduce the:
(power drawn)/(effective terminal energy use)
?

davezawadi
Reply to  niceguy12345
December 22, 2022 7:50 am

It seems that many above don’t really understand that energy means power. Power used = voltage x current. If an appliance (i phone charger) uses constant power, the energy used is the same whatever the voltage, reducing the power only affects devices which are on or off, like filament light bulbs. However LED ones are generally constant power loads. An oven with a thermostat is the same, less voltage means longer heating to get to the same temperature, and longer bursts to keep there as the heat loss is related to energy loss not supply voltage.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 21, 2022 10:12 am

Peak demand is completely unaffected. More kettles are on at any one time, offsetting the lower individual wattage. Quite simply if 5 million litres of water have to be heated by 90C that will take the same amount of energy whether individual kettles are running at 3kW or 1.5kW.

niceguy12345
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 21, 2022 10:22 am

Peak over what? Your house? Your town? Your region? The grid?

It doesnot add up
Reply to  niceguy12345
December 22, 2022 2:48 am

As I already pointed out it only takes a few hundred kettles to get to an almost identical total load. With small numbers there is a much greater chance of a larger than pro rata to power proportion of them being on simultaneously, so instantaneous peak demand on the street level is likely to be higher, but will be averaged down across a number of streets since individual street peaks are likely to be spread out.

Admin
Reply to  davezawadi
December 21, 2022 4:15 am

Electronic loads will consume constant power, and reducing the voltage simply increases the current in proportion.

There is an exception to this, if your electric heater is struggling, turning the available power down will force you to put up with a colder house.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 21, 2022 6:44 am

No, if your electric heater is struggling, turning the available power down will force you to add a second one.

real bob boder
Reply to  davezawadi
December 21, 2022 5:26 am

Heat less output = heat on more, same usage, less lifespan of equipment

Rick C
Reply to  real bob boder
December 21, 2022 9:30 am

About all that reducing voltage can do is knock down load a bit at peak usage times and spread out the load over more time. That might help prevent tripping off supply when peak demand exceeds capacity. Reducing voltage for extended time periods would lead to all kinds of problems such as electric motors overheating and tripping their thermal protection. I’m not sure how supplying at reduced voltage would significantly reduce kWh use by consumers beyond things like incandescent lights which would be dimmer but consume less watt-hrs.

real bob boder
Reply to  davezawadi
December 21, 2022 5:28 am

Less voltage= electronic power supply using more amperage. No savings, increase in loss to heat.

Leo Smith
Reply to  real bob boder
December 21, 2022 6:45 am

Not really. Once you are in to non linear semiconductor circuits, the efficiency is a very complex thing. Ok as far as the National Grid lines go, more current will be more loss…

real bob boder
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 7:37 am

nonsense power usage is power usage.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  real bob boder
December 22, 2022 2:53 am

Not sure that you understand the difference between real power and reactive power in AC circuits. Once voltage and current are out of phase there is an increased loss in power transmission that heats the lines.

niceguy12345
Reply to  davezawadi
December 21, 2022 10:21 am

Cheap bulb LEDs on mains are voltage independent? I don’t think so.

cilo
December 21, 2022 3:58 am

How many people live in this “North West?” If there are five million people only, they saved less than 2 dollars each over that year cited. Wow! That’s caring!
You know how you can recognise a redneck by the car wrecks littering their yard? I have a row of fridges damaged by brown-outs. I had so much equipment damaged by erratic power supply, I actually just went off-grid!
Of course, illegal immigrants stealing last-mile transformers for the scrap copper caused most damage (25kV straight up yer jack, Jack), but brown-outs are a terrible idea.

JohnC
December 21, 2022 4:32 am

Excuse my ignorance but we have rooftop solar panels that feed into the grid, Will these changes affect the inverter software that checks for various grid parameters whilst it’s active, Specifically the voltage on the part of the grid the house is connected to?

Scissor
Reply to  JohnC
December 21, 2022 4:57 am

Probably not in winter, definitely not at night.

Bryan A
Reply to  JohnC
December 21, 2022 10:43 am

Not to worry, when the grid supply goes down your solar system will be darked out as well

Sparko
December 21, 2022 4:43 am

They can also cut down on our food bills, by stopping all deliveries to the shops.
Whatever shakespeare thought about lawyers would pale compared to how he would deal with spin doctors.

observa
December 21, 2022 5:19 am

It includes the installation of voltage controllers at substations, which allow the network operator to offer balancing operations to the ESO by making small reductions to voltage.

Eventually you will all run on 12 volts and be happy!

Tony_G
Reply to  observa
December 21, 2022 9:51 am

You’ll be happy for the 12 minutes of 12 volts you’re permitted daily.

real bob boder
December 21, 2022 5:24 am

Want to bet the cost of equipment failures will be 10x what ever savings they get

Gary from Belgium
Reply to  real bob boder
December 21, 2022 5:52 am

But of course the consumer will have to pay for those failures, not the network operator. What’s more, if I recall correctly, lowered voltage can damage capacitors and other voltage-sensitive parts of the equipement, leading to more deaths and injuries from house fires…

observa
December 21, 2022 5:37 am

The Twentieth Century was sooooooo mysogynistic-
https://www.amazon.com.au/Man-Who-Invented-Twentieth-Century/dp/148122980X

The progressive 21st will redress all that and woke up to be run by green alphabet soup people. Washington DC… London DC…Brussells DC….

Old.George
December 21, 2022 5:54 am

It is bad governance to remove an energy supply or transport without an equal or better replacement. After all, energy is civilization.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Old.George
December 21, 2022 6:47 am

ITYM Civilisation runs on energy.
Originally, slaves, these days, fossil fuel

Peta of Newark
December 21, 2022 6:30 am

Oh dear, a nice example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing

OK, for simple pure resistive loads, reducing the voltage will reduce the power drawn.
But for anything with a switched-mode power supply (SMPS) especially computers and TVs, also increasing numbers of microwave ovens, reducing the voltage will cause the current being pulled to increase.
Basically all SMPS work as constant power devices and are able to accomodate some very big voltage variations.
In a nutshell, is why they’re almost everywhere now, including all but the very cheapest/nastiest LED lights/bulbs.
LED driver circuits feed the LEDs with a low-voltage and constant-current and they derive that from the incoming voltage
So if the incoming voltage drops, most ‘proper’ LED bulbs and lights will draw more current

Most all other loads on the supply will be motors, fridges, vacuums in the home but some very big motors in industry – even just the air-compressor in your local car service shop/garage.

Quote:”Hello, I can not understand that a motor (pumping) requires a current of 63 A under a voltage of 390 vac, and requires a current of 72 A under a voltage of 365 vac. Normally when the voltage increases the current increases with (ohm law). Is that the power delivered by the engine which is 37 kw is maintained. THANK YOU.
from here

And therein is a very big problem for the electricity supply company because extra amps mean higher losses. Hence why big efficient grids use mega-high voltages, to keep the amps down.

So with most devices that are now attached to a grid, this is going to waste energy, not save it

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 21, 2022 10:20 am

These days many of the appliances with motors include inverters and operate on DC. An advantage is that this has reduced inductive starting loads, but it means that they are now fed through adaptive power supplies. Potential savings can come when operated as peak shaving devices. Your smart freezer makes sure it tops up on cooling ahead of peak demand hour if necessary, and then switches off until the peak is over.

Red
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 21, 2022 6:00 pm

The devices they are talking about are most probably for power factor correction. This actually reduced the current required to be supplied to deliver greater real power and can have a small effect on the voltage. They are nothing more than a costly patch with limited usefulness and life span. They will also result in a grid more likely to fail. V=IR has very little use in AC distribution.
Formulas with i(j) in them are what is required to understand what is happening.

Leo Smith
December 21, 2022 6:30 am

Yet another bolt on kludge in the desperate attampt to ‘make renewables work’

JamesB_684
December 21, 2022 6:39 am

Many electronic devices don’t handle supply voltage reductions well. When voltage drops, current flow increases, and damage can occur. My entertainment system and computer workstation are protected by a power filter & conditioning unit, and a UPS.

The providers of power conditioning and power protection devices should use this as a marketing opportunity.

Energywise
December 21, 2022 6:46 am

Great post and 100% agree – these insignificant tinkering around the ever decreasing edges, from voltage management devices to smart meters, do nothing to replace the many GW of base load sacrificed on the green renewables altar

The new mantra of demand side control, to ensure the increasingly erratic and intermittent wind & solar supply side can try to cope, is de powering us backwards 150 years

The fact that politicians are so easily deceived by green activists, often financed by billionaire elites who have made their money in fossil fuels, or are making even more money in the green crap, does not bode well for our continued development and future health & prosperity

I am no conspiracy theorist, but I have studied many posts, articles, research papers, blogs, academic studies etc and I certainly believe there is merit in the scenarios of global elitist push for less for the masses, to ensure there is ample for them in future generations

We know many materials and substances humanity now depends upon are finite in existence and those global resources are being insidiously swept up and locked away by protectionist nations, including the US, China, Russia, India etc – in years to come, there will be great inequality in the world, far more than today and resource wars are inevitable

We should be exploiting all natures energy resources gifted beneath our feet, including coal and gas – we need them, not only to survive and prosper today, but to allow technological solutions for our energy tomorrows

Last edited 1 month ago by Energywise
Andy Pattullo
December 21, 2022 8:13 am

Brilliant solution – pretend to be improving services by reducing services. Next they’ll be telling folk they can reduce food costs by promoting hunger. Big brother is everywhere.

Tony_G
December 21, 2022 8:46 am

which allowed locals to benefit from approximately £7.3 million off their electricity bills as a result.

Gotta love the framing…

Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 21, 2022 9:14 am

So the UK will be a CLASS society?

Who picked the name / acronym for this policy? As bone headed as Chevrolet trying to sell a Nova in Spanish-speaking countries. Or calling a spending bill the Inflation Reduction Act.

Last edited 1 month ago by Retired_Engineer_Jim
It doesnot add up
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 21, 2022 10:22 am

Isn’t the Act a terrorist operation?

niceguy12345
December 21, 2022 10:13 am

Of course the EPR is nowhere; what was the gov thinking when they started a nuclear project without limiting nuclear safety regulations?

mikelowe2013
December 21, 2022 10:27 am

So glad I don’t live in the UK any more!

Energywise
Reply to  mikelowe2013
December 21, 2022 11:55 am

I’m moving to Hungary – it’s the future

cognog2
December 21, 2022 12:33 pm

ABSOLUTELY. Maybe we should close down bits of the government; but I think quite a number are doing that already. Can’t win really.

DonM
Reply to  cognog2
December 21, 2022 1:32 pm

how much money could this same govt region save if they also cut 3% across the board from ALL agencies (inclusive of salaries) over just one year … not 25 years?

Michael
December 21, 2022 2:43 pm

Kiss the the compressor and fan motors in your heat pump goodbye.

Red
December 21, 2022 2:58 pm

This is more likely to do with power factor correction to improve transmission/system efficiency than lowering the actual voltage at the house hold socket.

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