Monday, February 12, 2007


I am by trade a designer of aircraft electrical power systems (among other things including laptops). The amount of electrical power on an aircraft is strictly limited. So what does an aircraft system do (formerly there were engineers aboard all aircraft to handle the job, that task is now fully automated) to keep the power flowing? The system switches off expendable loads. First to get dropped are the food preparation loads like refrigerators, ovens, and coffee makers - which may delay food service a little, but otherwise passengers hardly notice. Then comes cabin loads like laptop charger outlets. Entertainment systems would be next. Cabin lighting. And, so forth.

The aircraft electrical system does not need to be designed for the maximum possible load, because loads can be controlled.

Our current terrestrial power systems are not so well controlled. You turn on a switch and you expect the lights to come on. Your refrigerator says it needs a cooling cycle and it turns on without asking permission and stays on until the end of its cycle.

We already have the beginning of a more integrated load management systems with what are called interruptable contracts for electrical delivery. During peak load time those loads are shut off for short intervals in order to match demand with supply. These loads are usually in the megawatt range and often in the multi-megawatts, the transactions are normally handled by phone so the plant engineers involved can make the desired changes in demand.

Sietze van der Sluis, an engineer in the Netherlands, wants to expand that idea.

Refrigerated warehouses might soon be used to store not just food, but gigawatts of electricity. A plan dreamt up in the Netherlands could see the giant fridges acting as massive batteries. They would buffer swings in supply and demand from electricity created from renewable sources.

The idea seems simple. Say you lowered the temperature of all large coldstores in Europe by just 1°C during the night when electricity demand is low, then let it rise 1°C by switching them off during the day when demand is at peak. The net effect would be that the warehouses would act as as batteries — potentially storing 50,000 megawatt-hours of energy — and the food wouldn't melt.

That's the calculation of Sietze van derSluis, head of refrigeration and heating technology at The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in Delft.
What makes all this possible is microcomputers and wireless networks. The microprocessors provide the intelligence and wireless gets the system connected without stringing a lot of wire.

Such a system would make it possible for smaller discrete loads (such as large cold storage plants) to take advantage of their interruptable nature to balance supply and demand. Also feasible is cooling a few degrees colder at night than normal and letting the system warm up during the day. Thus shifting at least part of the load from daytime when usage is high to night when the utilities would actually prefer a larger load (it makes the system easier to control).

Then add in variable sources like wind and solar voltaic and we have a real winner.

Automated integrated electrical power systems were pioneered on aircraft. That technology is now in the process of being applied to our power grid. It will increase capacity without adding any new wires or generating plants by better matching of supply and demand. Automatically.

H/T Instapundit

Welcome Instapundit readers.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


davod said...

Another innovative way of using technology to save fuel.

I recall the conference in the 70s where the prognosis was that the world would run out of oil very quickly. This did not happen - Why? partly because of innovative ways to save on fuel consumption.

Jay Draiman said...


In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy Sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy.” We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy." The American way of life is not negotiable.
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must be by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, Ocean-Tidal, Hydrogen-Fuel Cell etc. This includes the utilizing of water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption. (Sales tax on renewable energy products and energy efficiency should be reduced or eliminated)

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer at market price), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task. As an inducement to buy hybrid automobiles (sales tax should be reduced or eliminated on American manufactured automobiles).

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors’ commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) (rainwater harvesting, water conservation) (energy and natural resources conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA. 91325
Feb. 12, 2007

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

The Oil Companies should be required to invest a substantial percentage of their profit in renewable energy R&D and implementation. Those who do not will be panelized by the public at large by boy cutting their products.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 2

4 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence. (Installation should be paid “performance based”).

Installation of renewable energy and its performance should be paid to the installer and manufacturer based on "performance based" (that means they are held accountable for the performance of the product - that includes the automobile industry). This will gain the trust and confidence of the end-user to proceed with such a project; it will also prove to the public that it is a viable avenue of energy conservation.

Installing a renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage.

Nations of the world should unite and join together in a cohesive effort to develop and implement MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY for the sake of humankind and future generations.
The head of the U.S. government's renewable energy lab said Monday (Feb. 5) that the federal government is doing "embarrassingly few things" to foster renewable energy, leaving leadership to the states at a time of opportunity to change the nation's energy future. "I see little happening at the federal level. Much more needs to happen." What's needed, he said, is a change of our national mind set. Instead of viewing the hurdles that still face renewable sources and setting national energy goals with those hurdles in mind, we should set ambitious national renewable energy goals and set about overcoming the hurdles to meet them. We have an opportunity, an opportunity we can take advantage of or an opportunity we can squander and let go,"
solar energy - the direct conversion of sunlight with solar cells, either into electricity or hydrogen, faces cost hurdles independent of their intrinsic efficiency. Ways must be found to lower production costs and design better conversion and storage systems.

Jay Draiman
Northridge, CA 91325

M. Simon said...


Putting a gun (government) to people's head shows a lack of confidence in the American people.

I have pointed this out to you before.

You are a liar when you say you have confidence in the American people.

You are special though Jay. I rarely call people liars.

BTW we have an answer to our energy reqiurements.

Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

M. Simon said...


I will go further.

What you are asking is that people with guns support your business.


M. Simon said...


I will go further you are a despicable person, for wanting government guns to prop up your business.

You are a criminal. A totolitarian criminal with National Socialist tendencies.

And thanks for your comment.