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Mains power voltage drop to reduce usage?

Started by Commander Kinsey November 6, 2022
Instead of rolling blackouts when there's a power shortage, why don't we just allow (or deliberately) the voltage and frequency to drop?  Wouldn't that make a lot of devices use less?
In <op.1u7t9bhtmvhs6z@ryzen.home> "Commander Kinsey" <CK1@nospam.com> writes:

>Instead of rolling blackouts when there's a power shortage, why don't we just allow (or deliberately) the voltage and frequency to drop? Wouldn't that make a lot of devices use less?
In the US that's a common technique the utilites use called a "brownout" [a]. They'll drop the voltage by five or even ten percent. As to whether this makes any difference with power demand these days, given the types of loads, is another story. [a] that term is often misused to refer to "shedding load", where a power company will black out some sections of the grid to keep everything else up and running. -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key dannyb@panix.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
On Sun, 06 Nov 2022 14:23:25 -0000, Birdbrain Macaw (aka "Commander Kinsey",
"James Wilkinson", "Steven Wanker","Bruce Farquar", "Fred Johnson, etc.),
the pathological resident idiot and attention whore of all the uk ngs,
blathered again:

<FLUSH the subnormal sociopathic trolling attention whore's latest
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-- 
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with sense Kill filed him ages ago which is why he now cross posts to
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This thread was unusual in that it derived and continued without him
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On Sun, 6 Nov 2022 14:29:38 -0000 (UTC), danny burstein, another brain dead,
troll-feeding senile ASSHOLE, blathered:


> In the US that's a common technique
You mean the technique of miserable senile assholes like who are thankfully feeding the most idiotic and deranged trolls around, troll-feeding senile asshole?
"Commander Kinsey" <CK1@nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:op.1u7t9bhtmvhs6z@ryzen.home...
> Instead of rolling blackouts when there's a power shortage, why don't we > just allow (or deliberately) the voltage and frequency to drop? Wouldn't > that make a lot of devices use less?
No. Reducing the frequency will cause mains-referenced clocks to run slow. And that is many clocks with digital displays (which I thought until recently used quartz crystals like a watch) and not just older clocks with synchronous motors. Reducing the frequency too far may affect the efficiency of transformers: I think reducing the frequency makes it more likely that the magnetic core will saturate (though I may have got that the wrong way round!). (*) Reducing the voltage will reduce the power consumption of resistive loads such as immersion heaters and cooker hobs/ovens, but may have little difference to switched-mode power supplies as used in electronic equipment because they will drawn proportionally more current to maintain the rated output (eg 5V for phone or 20 V for laptop). And if the temperature of an oven reduces, or the power output of a kettle reduces, the appliance will need to be on longer to cook the food or boil the same amount of water, so there will be no saving. In most cases you are interested in the transfer of a certain amount of energy to do a given job, and it doesn't matter whether that is transferred as high power for a small amount of time or a lower power for a longer period of time. (*) I've heard it said that transformer-driven devices from the US don't necessarily work efficiently in Europe (even if you correct for the different voltage) whereas European devices run OK in the US (having corrected for voltage) because of the difference between 60 Hz (US) and 50 Hz (UK). Or maybe it's the opposite way round.
On 07/11/2022 02:45 pm, NY wrote:
> "Commander Kinsey" <CK1@nospam.com> wrote in message > news:op.1u7t9bhtmvhs6z@ryzen.home... >> Instead of rolling blackouts when there's a power shortage, why don't >> we just allow (or deliberately) the voltage and frequency to drop? >> Wouldn't that make a lot of devices use less? > > No. > > Reducing the frequency will cause mains-referenced clocks to run slow. > And that is many clocks with digital displays (which I thought until > recently used quartz crystals like a watch) and not just older clocks > with synchronous motors. Reducing the frequency too far may affect the > efficiency of transformers: I think reducing the frequency makes it more > likely that the magnetic core will saturate (though I may have got that > the wrong way round!). (*)
That sounds more likely to be right than wrong in an extreme case. Applying a high-enough-voltage DC supply to the primary side of a transformer can eventually overheat the coil and burn off the winding wire's insulation coating. Reducing the frequency isn't the same as supplying DC, but the lower the frequency, the more like DC it becomes.
> Reducing the voltage will reduce the power consumption of resistive > loads such as immersion heaters and cooker hobs/ovens, but may have > little difference to switched-mode power supplies as used in electronic > equipment because they will drawn proportionally more current to > maintain the rated output (eg 5V for phone or 20 V for laptop).
Charging units work more or less just as well when transplanted from the USA to the UK and vice-versa. Reducing frequency by about a fifth or a sixth shouldn't have a disastrous effect.
> > And if the temperature of an oven reduces, or the power output of a > kettle reduces, the appliance will need to be on longer to cook the food > or boil the same amount of water, so there will be no saving. In most > cases you are interested in the transfer of a certain amount of energy > to do a given job, and it doesn't matter whether that is transferred as > high power for a small amount of time or a lower power for a longer > period of time.
We like induction hobs. There's no power wasted heating the environment - just the cooking vessel - and they are so efficient that they can work off a 13A power point. Same point as above regarding Hz change, though.
> > (*) I've heard it said that transformer-driven devices from the US don't > necessarily work efficiently in Europe (even if you correct for the > different voltage) whereas European devices run OK in the US (having > corrected for voltage) because of the difference between 60 Hz (US) and > 50 Hz (UK). Or maybe it's the opposite way round.
See above re phone and laptop chargers.
On 07/11/2022 14:45, NY wrote:
> "Commander Kinsey" <CK1@nospam.com> wrote in message > news:op.1u7t9bhtmvhs6z@ryzen.home... >> Instead of rolling blackouts when there's a power shortage, why don't >> we just allow (or deliberately) the voltage and frequency to drop? >> Wouldn't that make a lot of devices use less? > > No. > > Reducing the frequency will cause mains-referenced clocks to run slow. > And that is many clocks with digital displays (which I thought until > recently used quartz crystals like a watch) and not just older clocks > with synchronous motors. Reducing the frequency too far may affect the > efficiency of transformers: I think reducing the frequency makes it more > likely that the magnetic core will saturate (though I may have got that > the wrong way round!). (*)
No, you're spot on. It has been discussed in this group before. In general, 60Hz transformers can either be more efficient or smaller than their 50Hz cousins.
On Mon, 7 Nov 2022 14:45:34 -0000, NY, the really endlessly blathering,
notorious, troll-feeding, senile asshole, blathered, yet again:


> No. > > Reducing the frequency will cause mains-referenced clocks to run slow. And > that is many clocks with digital displays (which I thought until recently > used quartz crystals like a watch) and not just older clocks with > synchronous motors. Reducing the frequency too far may affect the efficiency > of transformers: I think reducing the frequency makes it more likely that > the magnetic core will saturate (though I may have got that the wrong way > round!). (*) > > Reducing the voltage will reduce the power consumption of resistive loads > such as immersion heaters and cooker hobs/ovens, but may have little > difference to switched-mode power supplies as used in electronic equipment > because they will drawn proportionally more current to maintain the rated > output (eg 5V for phone or 20 V for laptop). > > And if the temperature of an oven reduces, or the power output of a kettle > reduces, the appliance will need to be on longer to cook the food or boil > the same amount of water, so there will be no saving. In most cases you are > interested in the transfer of a certain amount of energy to do a given job, > and it doesn't matter whether that is transferred as high power for a small > amount of time or a lower power for a longer period of time. > > (*) I've heard it said that transformer-driven devices from the US don't > necessarily work efficiently in Europe (even if you correct for the > different voltage) whereas European devices run OK in the US (having > corrected for voltage) because of the difference between 60 Hz (US) and 50 > Hz (UK). Or maybe it's the opposite way round.
You don't have much to say in real life, eh, troll-feeding senile asshole? That's why you, like many other poor senile assholes, will even happily keep feeding the dumbest trolls, just so you got someone to talk to. <BG>
NY <me@privacy.invalid> wrote
> Commander Kinsey <CK1@nospam.com> wrote
>> Instead of rolling blackouts when there's a power shortage, why don't >> we just allow (or deliberately) the voltage and frequency to drop? >> Wouldn't that make a lot of devices use less?
> No.
> Reducing the frequency too far may affect the efficiency of > transformers: I think reducing the frequency makes it more likely that > the magnetic core will saturate (though I may have got that the wrong > way round!). (*)
> (*) I've heard it said that transformer-driven devices from the US don't > necessarily work efficiently in Europe (even if you correct for the > different voltage)
We had a brand new US manufactured mass spectrometer quite literally catch fire because it didnt like running on 50Hz instead of 60Hz. The main transformer overheated and caught fire.
> whereas European devices run OK in the US (having corrected for voltage) > because of the difference between 60 Hz (US) and 50 Hz (UK).
> Or maybe it's the opposite way round.
Nope, you have it the right way round.
On Tue, 08 Nov 2022 04:58:05 +1100, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

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