Residental electrical load [was Re: Who's rewired their house for this hobby?]

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Thu Nov 27 13:00:30 CST 2014

On 11/27/2014 06:17 AM, Mouse wrote:

> (But it has its own downsides, like not working with glass pans - I
> have a glass skillet....)

It's more serious than that.  The cooking utensil has to be 
ferromagnetic.  So, my substantial investment in 18/10 stainless steel 
cookware is out; however, cheap 18/0 stainless works fine.  My Le 
Creuset porcelain-over-cast iron are fine as are my All-Clad stainless.

I have a considerable inventory of older borosilicate Pyrex (not the 
cheap soda-lime that passes for Pyrex nowadays) as well as pieces of 
Corning glasswre that are more than 40 years old.  Those get relegated 
to ovenware and storage.  Fortunately, better makers of cookware are now 
starting to laminate a steel insert into pot bottoms.  Given the low 
thermal conductivity of glass, I've wondered if cooktop use can be 
justified  But induction's come a long way since Princess Margaret 
started using it.

> Interesting!  What _does_ account for most of the draw?  Are you in an
> area where electric is common as the energy source for routine heat?
> Thinking about my own experience, I'm fairly confident the ranking goes
> heating (if electrical), computers, cooking, and then everything else
> is down in the noise - and that's for me personally; most people don't
> have nearly the computer load I do.

Other than living space heating, I understand that a water heater 
accounts for a substantial part of an all-electric home's energy 
consumption.  Lighting also used to be high on the list, but since CFL 
adoption has picked up, I don't think that it accounts for the load that 
it once did. Eventually, LEDs can be expected to supplant CFLs.

> I've wondered about that.  SMPSUs draw no current most of the cycle,
> drawing heavily on the peaks, without the smoothing effect of the mains
> transformer present in (most) non-switching supplies.  This is almost
> nothing like most historical load, which is mostly either resistive or
> inductive.  I'm curious whether it has a significant effect on the
> grid; do you happen to know?

"Dirty" harmonic-laden current from SMPSUs is a problem.  But that 
problem also arises from the lowly CFL.  Right now, the problem is being 
mostly ignored.   I read an interesting paper that suggests that HVDC 
for large server farms may be the best answer in that case.


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