Saturday, November 5, 2011


Except for the rich nations, power shortage is an unavoidable happening with no satisfactory solution. No matter what is said about Nuclear Energy, it could only be surest way to produce cheap and sustainable power though this route is fraught with scary logistics. But in countries where surplus energy is available of and on, moderating it is a problem and if the new approach in using the consumer for storing excess power works, it could be a major breakthrough. Here is a quote from a report from the US. 

"So in a novel pilot project, they have recruited consumers to draw in excess electricity when that happens, storing it in a basement water heater or a space heater outfitted by the utility. The effort is rooted in some brushes with danger. In June 2010, for example, a violent storm in the Northwest caused a simultaneous surge in wind power and in traditional hydropower, creating an oversupply that threatened to overwhelm the grid and cause a blackout. As a result, the Bonneville Power Administration, the wholesale supplier to a broad swath of the region, turned this year to a strategy common to regions with hot summers: adjusting volunteers' home appliances by remote control to balance supply and demand. When excess supply threatens Bonneville's grid, an operator in a control room hundreds of miles away will now dial up a volunteer's water heater, raising the thermostat by 60 more degrees. Ceramic bricks in a nearby electric space heater can be warmed to hundreds of degrees. The devices then function as thermal batteries, capable of giving back the energy when it is needed. Microchips run both systems, ensuring that tap-water and room temperatures in the home hardly vary".

Further details can be accessed by clicking on the web site cited above. 

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