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Thanks to wind energy, “Smart” Fridges will automatically shut off during peak demand times

Wind farm expansion will require fridges to be switched off at times of peak demand

Emily Gosden — The Telegraph (UK) — April 10, 2014

Britain’s increasing reliance on wind power in the 2020s could cause power shortages without a radical overhaul of the grid, including automatic control of household appliances.

Household fridges and freezers will need to be automatically switched off at times when Britain’s electricity demand is high, in order to keep the lights on as Britain becomes more reliant on wind energy, experts say.

The current electricity grid will struggle to cope with the number of wind farms expected to be built by the early 2020s because the power they produce is so intermittent, according to a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

A radical overhaul of the way the electricity system is managed – including a “smart grid” that can control household appliances to reduce demand when power supply is inadequate – will be needed, it finds.

Britain will also need to build more power import and export cables to the continent to help manage variable wind power output, and develop storage technologies to keep surplus power for times when there is a shortfall.

The measures will be necessary to avert blackouts under a vast expansion of wind power – unless Britain instead builds an expensive new fleet of reliable power stations to be fired up as backup when the wind doesn’t blow, it found.

Professor Roger Kemp of Lancaster University, said: “If there is a sudden peak in electricity demand the smart freezer would say, ‘OK I’m going to switch off for half an hour until that peak is over’.”

Consumers could negotiate cheaper energy tariffs for consenting to this and would not be affected by the temporary switch-off, he said.

“If you didn’t have a smart grid and smart control of domestic equipment, you would probably find prices would have to go up more because the power system people would have to build more power stations as back-up.”

The report say that “the ability to manage demand to reflect the output from wind will be vital to the successful integration of larger amounts of wind capacity”.  Continue reading here….

empty-fridge

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3 Comments on “Thanks to wind energy, “Smart” Fridges will automatically shut off during peak demand times”

  1. Dougal Quixote April 10, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    Reblogged this on windfarmaction and commented:
    And Food Poisoning Cases will shoot through the Roof? What is not appreciated is that when fridges are turned back on they automatically go through a defrost cycle which uses considerably more energy than when operating as a fridge! Just shows how brain dead these numpties are.

  2. Dougal Quixote April 10, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    And Food Poisoning Cases will shoot through the Roof? What is not appreciated is that when fridges are turned back on they automatically go through a defrost cycle which uses considerably more energy than when operating as a fridge! Just shows how brain dead these numpties are. The increased demand for thousands of fridges defrosting will a. create excessive demand and b. cost users a fortune!

    • Donna Quixote April 10, 2014 at 6:38 am #

      I would think it would also be very hard on the mechanisms inside the motor (?) of the fridge to keep shutting it off and on.

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