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-   -   Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity? (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=51190)

Naughty Nigel 12th August 2019 10:52 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MJ224 (Post 487598)
If these electric trains need a mechanic to start them, them the system has failed. I shuddered to see passengers walking along rail lines, with all of the potential hazards there. I suppose the main hazard of a moving train had been eliminated tho'...……….:(

Thank goodness they ran out of money to electrify the last 50 miles of train track to Swansea...…………….*chr

Not only had the trains failed but the toilets on many stopped working and there was no air conditioning. Needless to say the windows no longer open on newer trains. (I think Mk 3 carriages in HST sets were the last to be built with opening windows in the vestibules. Those windows are currently being removed as part of compliance with disability laws.)

TimP 12th August 2019 10:58 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
When trains had sliding (up and down) windows, and even those with leather straps, did idiot people smash their heads on bridges, like happens occasionally now, or was the infrastructure just too far from the tracks for it to happen?
I realise idiots will idiot but this is surely a case of the nanny state marching ever onwards.
(Says the chap who, on a footplate ride, on a narrow gauge Welsh railway, managed to bash his elbow on a rather solid stone wall. So yes firsthand knowledge of idiots idioting!)

Naughty Nigel 12th August 2019 11:05 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TimP (Post 487634)
I’m sure you’re right but if there are less than 20% up and running then they possibly all aggregate at maybe one substation then if that fails it counts as Hornsea rather than a part of Hornsea (should another fail when all 174 are eventually online)

The figures quoted for Hornsea don't quite add up, unless these refer to the realistic average output power over time. I arrived at my figure by simply dividing the projected power output by the total number of turbines, but that is probably a long way out.

Anyhow, my point is that the largest wind turbines currently produce a maximum of around 3 MW each. Even if forty of the Hornsea turbines are up and running by now their maximum total power output will only be 120 MW, which shouldn't be enough to make the grid fall over.

Naughty Nigel 12th August 2019 11:15 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TimP (Post 487637)
When trains had sliding (up and down) windows, and even those with leather straps, did idiot people smash their heads on bridges, like happens occasionally now, or was the infrastructure just too far from the tracks for it to happen?
I realise idiots will idiot but this is surely a case of the nanny state marching ever onwards.
(Says the chap who, on a footplate ride, on a narrow gauge Welsh railway, managed to bash his elbow on a rather solid stone wall. So yes firsthand knowledge of idiots idioting!)

I don't think the infrastructure has moved or even changed much over the past fifty years. We still have the original semaphore signals over parts of the network (Glory be!) :)

Train speeds have increased in recent decades although I suspect hitting your head on a hard, immovable object at 80 MPH would have exactly the same effect as hitting your head on the same object at 125 MPH.

We have to face the reality that the nanny state can only do so much to prevent natural selection and Darwinism taking its course.

Harold Gough 12th August 2019 11:26 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
What I want to know is what the engineers have to do to start an electric locomotive.

Harold

wornish 12th August 2019 11:30 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Harold Gough (Post 487642)
What I want to know is what the engineers have to do to start an electric locomotive.

Harold

Put the key in the ignition switch and press the start button ;)

Walti 12th August 2019 11:36 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wornish (Post 487618)
Your second para sums it up perfectly. "green policy Du Jour". That's certainly a major challenge to keep up with the latest fashion.

With that size of load the company was I am guessing either in the Steel, Aluminium or Glass industry or ? How did they make such a huge saving? I would be very interested to know.

That's a reasonable saving for a medium/large sized retailer! Bigger ones have made bigger savings.

The industrial usage is well outside the retail sector. Tata Steel use enough power to change the billing system if they change their usage! The billing system was changing for the year after I left the industry so I'm slightly out of date but the premise remains:

Electricity costs around 2.5 - 4p /kWh was split into three rates for Green, Amber and Red periods during the day.

Your local distribution company (DNO) will charge between 0.01p and 40p/kWh (yes seriously) to take the power from the transmission network to your door, the rates are again split into Red, Amber, Green and vary on an hourly basis, this is done deliberately to try and even out the consumption during the day, so companies can be seen switching off non-essential services when the charge is at it's highest.

The Transmission charges were a bizarre calculation based upon the peak demand measured for the whole network, and accounted for charges that were as high as £50/kWh for a 1 hour period, for three periods during the previous peak season, this was then amortised over your next annual bill! (TRIAD periods) This has now been changed for another billing system.

There are then charges for your meter provision, meter reading, data provision, your peak load provision, standing charges, various taxes based upon the source of your power, Carbon Reduction incentives and taxes.

All - in - all a commercial power bill is made up of around 12-15 elements, all billed separately to large users so they can manage the elements of the bill. We were using one company to manage the electricity we bought on the spot market and long-term markets, with feed-in sleeving for power bought from our own suppliers (Farmers with aerobic digestion plants, wind farms, Hydro electric schemes and so on...) The meters were then supplied by another, meter reading by a third, tax management by a fourth and on it went!

All these charges are also made within your domestic bill, but your supplier averages them all out to give you a standard unit price that covers most of these charges.

Walti 12th August 2019 11:47 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
The over-all change to date for the three retailers I worked for most is in the order of 50%.

This is due to simple energy management, starting with - if it doesn't need to be on - switch it off, through to major technology changes in lighting, air-conditioning and refrigeration.

The company I worked for acted as demand management consultants to several retailers and in total the savings must be in excess of £200M per annum spread across the different companies.

The biggest change is the use of LED lighting as the efficiency changes are simply stunning:

For the big spot lights you see around retailers, they have gone from 80W to 7W to give the same amount of light, the quality of the light has improved (dependant on lighting manufacturer) and the controllability has improved significantly, as well as the life of the light fitting.

Spot lights were 5-7% efficient, now are 85-90+% efficient - i.e. for the amount of energy put in 90% comes out as light (and heat - it's the same thing) whereas the old lights gave 5% light and 95% wasted heat that wasn't usable light!

One worry as these savings became apparent was that the removal of such large amounts of heat would increase the use of secondary heating systems, in fact it's reduced the summer air conditioning loads, so win-win! ;)

Naughty Nigel 12th August 2019 11:47 AM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Harold Gough (Post 487642)
What I want to know is what the engineers have to do to start an electric locomotive.

Harold

As I understand it the pantographs need compressed air to keep them in the raised position. The air compressors need electricity to maintain the air supply. A short term power failure wouldn't cause a problem but after a few minutes the air supply becomes exhausted and the pantographs drop.

I am not sure how the pantographs are raised on a non-powered train, and whether hand pumping is still an option, but the usual procedure is to send a diesel locomotive to provide electric power and/or to haul the failed train to its destination. That is straightforward if only one or two trains fail but becomes rather more complicated where the whole network is at a standstill.

I believe there were also problems with signalling owing to the lack of power. Semaphore signals would run for a week or more on a single fill of lamp oil! :)

I suppose this is what we call progress. :(

Naughty Nigel 12th August 2019 12:07 PM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Walti (Post 487647)
The over-all change to date for the three retailers I worked for most is in the order of 50%.

This is due to simple energy management, starting with - if it doesn't need to be on - switch it off, through to major technology changes in lighting, air-conditioning and refrigeration.

The company I worked for acted as demand management consultants to several retailers and in total the savings must be in excess of £200M per annum spread across the different companies.

The biggest change is the use of LED lighting as the efficiency changes are simply stunning:

For the big spot lights you see around retailers, they have gone from 80W to 7W to give the same amount of light, the quality of the light has improved (dependant on lighting manufacturer) and the controllability has improved significantly, as well as the life of the light fitting.

Spot lights were 5-7% efficient, now are 85-90+% efficient - i.e. for the amount of energy put in 90% comes out as light (and heat - it's the same thing) whereas the old lights gave 5% light and 95% wasted heat that wasn't usable light!

One worry as these savings became apparent was that the removal of such large amounts of heat would increase the use of secondary heating systems, in fact it's reduced the summer air conditioning loads, so win-win! ;)

I used to work in a large air-conditioned office and laboratory which maintained a constant 21 °C throughout the year. We had problems in the winter time with women bringing in electric fan heaters because they reckoned they had cold feet. This practice was eventually banned because the air conditioning was working overtime to keep temperatures down!

Otto 12th August 2019 12:40 PM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Walti (Post 487646)
All these charges are also made within your domestic bill, but your supplier averages them all out to give you a standard unit price that covers most of these charges.


Surely all this cannot be the reason the government wants us all to have Smart Meters. Can it? :rolleyes:. [/cynic]

Naughty Nigel 12th August 2019 12:45 PM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Harold Gough (Post 487642)
What I want to know is what the engineers have to do to start an electric locomotive.

Harold

Well, it seems the problem was not the pantographs after all but rather the train's computer systems which respond badly to being shut down incorrectly.

Specifically the BR Class 700 and 717, built by Siemens in Germany, is operated by computer. There are backup batteries but these have limited life and it seems are not always replaced when they should be.

The end result was that (so I am told) a total of 45 Class 700 and 717 trains were stranded outside London Kings Cross and St Pancras stations alone so nothing else could move.

There may also have been a short delay whilst signalling systems switched to emergency power, during which time all signals will have been red.

Harold Gough 12th August 2019 01:15 PM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Otto (Post 487662)
Surely all this cannot be the reason the government wants us all to have Smart Meters. Can it? :rolleyes:. [/cynic]

What we want is smart government. Some hope!

Harold

Otto 12th August 2019 01:28 PM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel (Post 487663)
Well, it seems the problem was not the pantographs after all but rather the train's computer systems which respond badly to being shut down incorrectly.


So much for fail-safe design, that's appalling. It would never have happened in the BREL days ;). Maybe they used Raspberry Pi computers, you have to shut those down properly before removing power otherwise you risk data loss. But you can't have everything for thirty quid!

wornish 12th August 2019 02:27 PM

Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Otto (Post 487670)
So much for fail-safe design, that's appalling. It would never have happened in the BREL days ;). Maybe they used Raspberry Pi computers, you have to shut those down properly before removing power otherwise you risk data loss. But you can't have everything for thirty quid!

Raspberry Pi is an amazing little computer. The latest version RPi-4 has more computing power than most low-end laptops for which you pay over £300. The Pi 4 starts at £36 and the top end one with 4GB of memory its £54.37. All you need to add is a mouse + keyboard and connect to your tele and away you go.


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