Rising energy prices and environmental considerations drive consumers to save electricity. Consumers may view the environment as a whim or a fraud, but if it comes at an additional cost, it must be taken into account.
Of course, energy will not go anywhere, its consumption will grow, the number of sources will increase and the most harmful ones will be replaced. Saving does not mean limitation, but rational use. You can economically use a hundred kilowatts and waste a hundred watts.
The saving of electrical energy is achieved through a reasonable (not chaotic) organization of its use, this is the result of planning activities. And the chattering devices and "methods" advertised on the Internet sometimes have nothing to do with saving. These methods can only cause fire and electric shock.
Energy consumers descending
All electricity consumers can be classified in some way by the amount of energy consumed (energy intensity). For example, like this, in descending order:
- Heating devices;
- Lighting devices;
- Electric motors;
- Computer Science;
- Electronic equipment and communication devices.
Even at the domestic level, this classification is justified: most of the electricity is consumed in kettles, stoves of various types: grills, toasters, electric stoves, then irons, dryers. A lot of energy is spent on lighting. Lighting competes with refrigerators (compressor motor).
A normal home PC also consumes a lot, it is a great competitor to the refrigerator. In this context, television, security and fire alarms and chargers for mobile communication devices consume the least.
Converting electricity to heat is the most "remarkable" result that can be obtained, but it is also achieved with total efficiency. if such a conversion is required. The efficiency of the plate is almost 100%. For light sources, the situation is much worse: even for LED lamps, the efficiency is close to only 15% (we can speak of proximity to 100% only for quantum phenomena in an LED semiconductor crystal, the rest is spentin heating cables and losses in additional equipment: controllers).
Savings on heating devices
How to save energy without denying yourself the benefits of civilization? Since, as we can see, heating devices "absorb electricity" above all, this is the most important resource to save. For them, energy saving methods in everyday life are indirect, but no less important. First, the heat must be fully utilized. For example, it is not advisable to boil water in a metal tank in a cold room that does not need to be heated. It is best to do this where the heat will spread throughout the home.
The resulting heat must be retained completely and for as long as possible thanks to the good thermal insulation of the room. In European countries, for example Germany, they are even fined for poor insulation.
With a multiple tariff payment for energy and the ability to store heat, the most convenient will be the night mode of operation of water heaters and other heating devices. During the day, the heat will be kept at a sufficient level. This is especially beneficial if residents work or study during the day. Additionally, by expending energy at night, consumers equalize the load on the electrical grid, which has a positive effect on their serviceability and operating costs. This allows us to expect cheaper rates.
Let's start with a reminder to remind you to turn off the lights where they are not needed. And think carefully about the location of light sources (preferably with the help of professionals in this matter) in all rooms, even if they are utility rooms. Then we turn to the sources of light that exist in our time.
First of all, it should be noted that we live in a fertile time of rejection of gluttonous incandescent lamps, which heat more than they shine. The widespread use of fluorescent light sources (daylight) provides very significant energy savings, two to three times.
Fluorescent lamps made in the form of 40 and 80 W tubes have been widespread before (since the 70s of the last century), but mainly in public and industrial buildings.
Modern domestic "energy saving" fluorescent lamps in E27 base are the same tubes with mercury vapor and phosphor from the inner surface of the glass. But they are twisted into a round spiral and connected through a miniature electronic ballast located at the base and which perform the same functions as the iron choke and gas discharge starter it previously performed.
But fluorescent lamps are already being displaced by LED lamps, which consume two to three times less energy than fluorescent lamps with the same luminous flux. They are still somewhat more expensive than other types of lamps, but the market is not yet saturated with new products. The costs are quickly amortized due to the significant savings derived from its use.
Both fluorescent and LED bulbs have a very broad spectrum that comes close to daylight. This is due to the use of a primary UV source in both cases: LED lamps also use luminescence and UV light is converted into a mixture of all the colors of visible light. Only in LED lamps, ultraviolet light is not generated by atoms of mercury vapor, but by a semiconductor crystal.
Other ways to save energy when troubleshooting lighting problems include automating power on and off. The person is forgetful, but the technique is not. Using dimmers (brightness control devices), photo relays, timers, and motion sensors will minimize unnecessary light costs.
All of these products are in stores, sold with warranties, certificates and instructions, and are long gone from being exclusive crafts available only to qualified radio amateurs who made them for their home.
Electric motors are found in everyday life mainly in refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners. There are also pumps for heating systems and pumps for wells. All other cases: coffee grinders, drills, etc. , do not deserve attention, as they are rarely turned on and for a short time.
The reduction of energy consumption in the case of continuous operation of electric motors is achieved by their periodic shutdown (refrigerators and air conditioners), or by using frequency converters for asynchronous motors.
The latter are sometimes used to control pump motors for heating and water supply systems. Since the operation of electric motors is often associated with heat (cold), the saving measures are reduced to the fact that there are fewer reasons to start the motors: keep doors, vents, refrigerator doors and freezers closed.
The power consumed by electric motors in everyday life is relatively small: around several hundred or even tens of watts, you can ignore the notorious "cosine phi" here, as the consumer does not pay for reactive power.
However, asynchronous motors have one characteristic: a large starting current, 5-7 times higher than the nominal. This suggests that the less often such motors are started, the better, and justifies the use of variable frequency drives, where they are acceptable (the cases of refrigerators, in particular air conditioners, do not apply to this). And don't put hot pots in the refrigerator.
Electric motors used in household appliances can be classified by power and duty cycle (fraction of time in a duty cycle) as follows:
- Refrigerators, air conditioners (150–450 W, 20–50%);
- Heating pumps (60–200 W, 40–100%);
- Kitchen appliances (50-500W, short term);
- Fans (10-30 W, up to 100%).
Submersible water pumps are used very infrequently and have significant power. They are used in individual houses and cabins for wealthy owners. But even there, the economic issues are not in the last place. Therefore, the operation of the pumps in such systems is optimized by hydraulic accumulators, frequency converters and controllers that control the operation of the water supply. Everything happens automatically.
Computer, TV and phone chargers
Gaming computers can finish counters well not only because of the fast processor, but also because of the powerful video card that runs 20 hours a day (time for game flies fast and, starting as a schoolboy, you may not notice how the pension arrived). . . Some people also use video cards to earn money.
A typical office computer in silent mode consumes about 200 W, a laptop, 40-60 W. This is comparable to a television and not that significant. Despite this, it doesn't hurt to manage the power supply of such devices, especially since such capabilities have long been provided in modern smart electronics.
As for chargers for phones and other mobile devices, they can work with "alternative" energy sources: solar panels and small wind turbines powered by suitable converters (including of course 5, 12 and 20 VDC. The lattercan be used to charge laptops. )
Alternative sources in everyday life are not yet widespread, their capacity is very modest and the price is high. However, you have to start somewhere and tips on saving energy in everyday life should take this bit into account as well.