Hey Earthlings! Doesn't your planet

mean anything to you?

Michael Gunter, renewable energy enthusiast, and scrutineer of electricity industry ethics was labelled "voltscommissar" by a North American electrical engineer for daring to challenge the industry about the effect of supply voltage on electricity utility revenues.

Contents:

Empowerment at Home: practical projects save money and reduce emissions.

"Them's fightin' words" - well, we have to fight to stop the planet-wreckers!

Understanding what high voltage can do to your power bill

with technical references


Practical Projects for Energy Independence:
(and big emission reductions)

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Them's fightin' words:

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Supply voltage affects electricity customers:

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Document Archive.

  1. In 1987 the Victorian Wind Monitoring Study Report was published. It seems to have had a very limited distribution. To redress this situation, an electronic version can now be viewed here (with important notes, containing links to wind data files).

  2. New evidence against Daylight Savings Time. This data from official Australian electricity industry sources demonstrates a significant effect of Daylight Savings Time has in flattening the daily load profile of electricity consumption in Victoria, Australia. The author concludes that this plays into the hands of baseload electricity generation companies, by facilitating their market penetration (presently running at over 80% of market share). Baseload generators are generally more polluting in terms of greenhouse gas emissions or intractable nuclear fission waste, and on environmental grounds it would be better to (i) abolish Daylight Savings Time, (ii) reduce off-peak and night-time voltages to 230 volts to honestly reflect the new Voltage Standard AS 60038, and (iii) slap a hefty carbon tax or fissile waste tax on all off-peak electricity tariffs. What is the point of having allegedly "cheap" electricity if the technology is poisoning the planet for future generations?

  3. Submission to the 1999 Australian Senate Inquiry into the adequacy of Australia's response to global warming. Synopsis: not adequate, not even totally inadequate, but worse!!: a bunch of greedy corporatists being enthusiastically counter-productive!!

  4. 2% renewable electricity by 2010. The scheme chosen by the Australian Greenhouse Office will have a profound impact on the final cost. Market distortions must be removed to allow the true value of distributed electricity generation ("embedded generation") to be transacted.

  5. Wind farms are coming. Exciting economic prospects for Victoria wind energy. This analysis claims that wind energy looks attractive even in the current depressed wholesale market (NEM1).

  6. Karlsson and Hill "Modelling and identification of nonlinear dynamic loads in power systems" from IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 9, No. 1, February 1994. A zipped, user-unfriendly hypertext/facsimile version is available here to download and view (838kB: unzip to a temporary folder and start with file "new-0.htm"). Wording in the abstract, and the discussion that followed, both seemed to caution the reader to use the information only for the purpose of "system stability analysis". But of course, the clear demonstration of the increased volume, and therefore cost, of electricity delivered at a higher voltage is of vital interest to the customer. A scientific paper should not try to restrict the uses to which the information is put.

  7. Specialist Industry Magazine Electricity Week (Australia) Volume 24, No. 12 (317 kBytes Adobe Acrobat file). Two important voltage problems are extensively covered in this document: the effect of high steady state voltages on the running cost of existing appliances, and the likely increased running cost for appliances manufactured to a proposed new 230 volt standard. The synergistic effect of these changes could lead to an 18% increase in running costs, unless the regulatory authorities mandate the lowering of steady-state voltages in line with the new 230 volt appliance rating standard.

  8. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation web site has a science forum called "Self Serve Science" where a lively debate ran for much of 1999 on what excess voltage can do to your power bill. A table of contents (no frames) on the ABC site allows you to view a wealth of archived material on their discussion forum.

  9. Browse this document folder for a selection of other DIY energy projects, copies of published articles, and a smorgasbord of curiosities like: a pre-911 diatribe against US hubris by Richard Neville: "americanpsycho.pdf".

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End of page....last updated Monday, 11th December 2006.


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