Consumers are driven to save electricity by rising energy prices and environmental considerations. Consumers may think of the environment as a whim or a fraud, but if it translates into an additional cost, then it has to be reckoned with.
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. Savings do not mean limitation, but wise use. You can economically spend one hundred kilowatts and waste one hundred watts.
Saving electrical energy is achieved by a reasonable (not disorderly) organization of its use, this is the result of planning activities. And the charlatan 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 according to the amount of energy consumed (energy intensity). For example, in this way, in descending order:
- Heating devices;
- Lighting devices;
- Electric motors;
- Computer Science;
- Electronic equipment and communication devices.
Even at the household level, this classification is justified: most of all electricity is consumed by kettles, stoves of various types - grills, toasters, electric stoves, then irons, dryers. Quite a lot of energy is spent on lighting purposes. Lighting competes with refrigerators (compressor motor).
An ordinary home PC also consumes a lot, it is quite a competitor to the refrigerator. On this background, TV, security and fire alarms, and chargers for mobile communication devices consume the least.
Converting electricity to heat is the most "noticeable" result that can be obtained, but it is also obtained with full efficiency. if such a conversion is required. The efficiency of the iron 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 a semiconductor crystal of LEDs, the rest is spent on heating wires and losses in additional equipment: drivers).
Savings on heating devices
How to save energy without denying yourself the benefits of civilization? Since, as we can see, heating devices "take electricity" most of all, this is the most important resource for saving. For them, energy saving methods in everyday life are indirect, but no less important. First of all, the heat must be utilized completely. For example, it is extremely unwise to boil water in a metal tank in a cold room that does not need to be heated. It is better to do this where the heat will spread through the living quarters.
The resulting heat must be retained completely and for as long as possible due to good thermal insulation of the premises. In European countries, for example, Germany, they are even fined for poor insulation.
With a multi-tariff payment for energy and the ability to store heat, the most expedient will be the night mode of operation of water heaters and other heating devices. During the day, the heat will remain at a sufficient level. This is especially beneficial if residents are at work or study during the day. In addition, by spending energy at night, consumers equalize the load on the power grid, which has a positive effect on its serviceability and operating costs. This allows us to hope for cheaper rates.
Savings on lighting
Let's start with a reminder to remember to turn off lights where they are not needed. And think over properly 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) gives a 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 "energy-saving" household fluorescent lamps in the 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 in the base and performing the same functions as the iron choke and gas-discharge starter previously performed.
But fluorescent lamps are already being crowded out by LED lamps, which consume energy two to three times less than fluorescent ones at 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 quickly pay off due to the significant savings from their use.
Both fluorescent and LED bulbs have a very broad spectrum that approaches daylight. This is due to the use of an ultraviolet primary source in both cases - LED lamps also use luminescence and the ultraviolet light is converted into a mixture of all the colors of visible light. Only in LED lamps, ultraviolet light is generated not by mercury vapor atoms, but by a semiconductor crystal.
Additional ways to save energy when solving lighting problems are to automate switching on and off. The person is forgetful, but the technique is not. The use of dimmers (brightness control devices), photo relays, timers and motion sensors will minimize unnecessary light costs.
All these products are in stores, sold with guarantees, certificates and instructions, and have long ceased to be exclusive handicrafts available only to qualified radio amateurs who made them for their home.
Electric motors are found in everyday life primarily in refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners. There are also pumps for heating systems and pumps for wells. All other cases: coffee grinders, drills, and so on do not deserve attention, since they are turned on rarely and for a short time.
Reducing energy consumption in the case of continuous operation of electric motors is achieved either 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 water supply and heating systems. Since the operation of electric motors is usually associated with heat (cold), the saving measures are reduced to the fact that there are fewer reasons to turn on the engines: keep the doors, vents, doors of refrigerators and freezers closed.
The power consumed by electric motors in everyday life is relatively small - about several hundred or even tens of watts, you can ignore the notorious "cosine phi" here, since the consumer does not pay for reactive energy.
However, asynchronous motors have one feature: a large starting current, 5-7 times higher than the rated one. This suggests that the less often such motors are started, the better, and justifies the use of 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 working cycle) as follows:
- Refrigerators, air conditioners (150–450 W, 20–50%);
- Heating pumps (60–200 W, 40–100%);
- Kitchen appliances (50-500 W, short term);
- Fans (10-30 W, up to 100%).
Submersible water pumps are used quite rarely and have significant power. They are used in individual houses and cottages for wealthy owners. But even there, the issues of economy are not in the last place. Therefore, the operation of pumps in such systems is optimized by hydraulic accumulators, frequency converters and controllers that control the operation of the water supply. Everything happens automatically.
Computers, TV and phone chargers
Gaming computers are able to wind up the counters well not only because of the fast processor, but also because of the powerful video card that works 20 hours a day (the time for the game flies quickly, and starting as a schoolboy you may not notice how the pension has approached). . . Some people also use video cards to make money.
A typical office computer in quiet mode consumes about 200 W, a laptop - 40-60 W. This is comparable to a TV and not so significant. Despite this, it will not hurt to manage the power supply of such devices, especially since such capabilities have long been provided for in modern smart electronics.
As for chargers for phones and other mobile devices, they can be powered by "alternative" energy sources: solar panels and small wind turbines powered by appropriate converters (including, of course, 5, 12, and 20 VDC. The latter can be used to charge laptops. )
Alternative sources in everyday life are still not widespread, their capacity is very modest, and the price is high. Nevertheless, one has to start somewhere and advice on energy saving in everyday life should take into account this little too.