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Thread: Load shedding is creating a bigger problem

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Load shedding is creating a bigger problem

    This article refers to a concern I have about loadshedding.
    Electricity experts have warned Eskom that its load-shedding strategy is backfiring, destroying electricity infrastructure and plunging communities into extended periods without power.

    However, despite the warning, the government has insisted that load shedding - as the best strategy to conserve power - will continue. This means that the lull in power cuts over the holidays is a respite and scheduled blackouts will resume.

    At least two substations, in Port Elizabeth and Kempton Park, have exploded because of load-shedding this week, plunging communities into darkness for days.

    Experts warned that the ageing infrastructure of the country's substations was not coping with load-shedding, and that to continue would result in an even worse crisis.

    This week, Cape Town called on Eskom to implement different energy-saving methods, arguing that load-shedding was not yielding the desired results.

    Cape Town technicians argued that, instead of saving the required 10 percent on electricity usage, load-shedding was seeing the opposite - where businesses and residents increased their electricity usage during those times when electricity was available, so adding to the pressure on the power grid. This could lead to damaged substations and prolonged blackouts.
    full story from Sunday Tribune here
    Last edited by Dave A; 28-Apr-08 at 07:51 AM.
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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Sadly, a lady in Kempton Park died because of the gas fumes from a generator in their house. And while many will say it's her own fault, it's not! Very few people in this country was raised with generators in / around their house, and in a despirate attempt to stay warm & alive (cook supper) she used a petrol generator.

    We also take a big know on the business side. And the thing that ticks me off the most, is when the street lights are on, on a Tuesday morning 11:00am when our power is off.
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    However, despite the warning, the government has insisted that load shedding - as the best strategy to conserve power - will continue.
    Strange. Is is generally accepted that load shedding is the worst strategy to deal with an energy shortage. Maybe they should read the documents that they refer to in their strategy documents. Paragraph 21 of the executive summary of that document:

    Once it is determined that a rationing system is necessary, governments must
    decide what form it should take. Chapter 6 compares quotas based on price signals with rolling
    blackouts. In most cases, rolling blackouts resulting from energy or capacity shortages have been
    decided on an ad-hoc and last-minute basis. Rolling blackouts, however, no matter how
    organized they are, represent the most inefficient way of rationing a scarce resource, since
    energy is rationed in a haphazard way, driven by the physical reality of the power grid and not by
    customers’ real needs.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quite simply, load shedding limits peak demand but is probably energy inefficient (not to mention economy inefficient).

    We've been dealing with a client who has put in the most amazing battery backup to 3 phase inverter system. When the power goes out, everything in the house still runs including 3 phase airconditioning system, stoves, geysers, the works.

    And when the power comes back on those batteries need to be recharged.

    Even without such fancy and expensive arrangements, there is still a game of catchup in every household, be it the fridges and geysers getting back to normal operating temperatures or fancy UPS gadgets.

    Maybe that accountant at ESKOM was right. They are going to move more electricity through this crisis - just not at the times we really want it. And at a much better price too by the looks of things.

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