We are a power hungry country. We use so much power and we are not even aware of it. The numbers can tell us exactly how power hungry we are.
The computer I’m using right now has a 1000W power supply, that’s because the original 500W supply wasn’t big enough. That doesn’t count the other computers that are part of the overall system, just this one computer. Let’s assume we are only using 750W of power.
This is 1HP. My knee mill uses a 1HP motor. My lathe uses a 1HP motor. My recut bandsaw uses a 1HP engine. These are big metal monsters. My computer is a 1HP computer. This should be mind boggling.
Our home has a 100A feed, it is rather old. Many new homes have 200A feeds. My grandparents home had 4 circuits and a 40A feed.
Our power consumption keeps going up.
And all that power has to come from somewhere. And it has to get to us.
The power grid does that. When politicians push electric vehicles they are adding to that pull on the grid. There isn’t enough power in the grid to charge the EVs that they want us to use. There aren’t enough transformers on the poles or big enough transformers on the poles for that sort of power pull.
But there is another part of the power grid that is sort of amazing. During times of lower demand they push less power into the grid. During the night people use less power and thus there is less need to push that much power into the grid. As people get up in the morning and start their morning routines they start to use more power and the power plants start to push more power into the grid.
Which brings us to this article:
Smart thermostats, which the paper said were present in around 40 percent of US homes in 2021, are programmed by default to have different night and day modes. In hundreds of thousands of homes across the US that means a sudden jump in electricity use right before residents wake up – if people aren’t changing default settings, which the paper suggests is the case.
Those hundreds and thousands of smart thermostats, typically configured to switch to day mode around 6am, “can cause load synchronization during recovery from nightly setpoint setbacks, increasing the daily peak heating electrical demand,” the paper said.
— Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid
Yep, all those smart thermostats have clocks that are often very accurate and they all want to start at the same time. Thousands and thousands of homes all kicking in at exactly the same time.