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Is the 5-7pm peak going away?

  • 20-08-2022 12:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,177 ✭✭✭

    Just going by the eirgrid smart dashboard site the usage spike between 5 and 7 does not seem nearly as pronounced as it was say 10 years ago. It only represents a few 100mw of extra usage now.

    What contributed to diminishing this? Have efforts to stop commercial users from consuming at this time been largely successful? Has the increase in steady loads from datacentres and such reduced the spike as a % of overall load?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Peak of 5-7 has zero impact in the manufacturing industry, shift patterns have never changed and won't.

    Perhaps WFT means dinner/tea being cooked earlier, onset of PV where there's plenty to be gained from a W facing aspect at this time

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,796 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I suspect the picture might be different in the next few months, winter heating coming on, schools back so more cooking in the evening instead of during the day, lights coming on earlier, etc.

    I think we've also gotten a bit better at managing consumption. There was an article in RTE about peak rates (old news lads) and some industry rep was moaning that industry in Ireland is already very efficient because of the high cost of electricity

    I'm willing to call BS on some of that statement however I suspect the likes of data centers are reasonably good at managing power demand. They can do things like pause backups, migration or archive retrieval to offset the peak in computing demand (everyone checking Facebook when they get home)

    Office based workers are probably also eating dinner in canteens more, and home workers can have dinner during the day, so less evening cooking

    Also worth keeping in mind that appliances are vastly more energy efficient than 10 years ago. Which should already reduce demand

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,730 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    Air fryers for the 🏆

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    I'd like to think that solar PV has had an effect, but sadly with ~25,000 homes out of 2.4million or so with solar, I fear that it's not possible.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    It certainly won't have an effect late Oct through to early March for the majority without battery

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,796 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I have a feeling that storage heaters and electric heaters were a lot more popular years ago than now

    I remember the first apartment I was in had storage heaters. Since the place was empty all day, the heat was exhausted by the time we got home in the evening

    So we came up with an innovative energy saving solution, it's called a sweater

    Also it helped that the walls were paper thin so we got heat from the apartments around us

    Anyway, I feel like electric heating is very unpopular here relative to countries like France, so that evening peak may be less pronounced as a result, at least for electricity usage

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    France is nuclear though, the cleanest and cheapest non emitting energy source apart from hydro and lots of geographies don’t have hydro potential

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,186 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    The evening peak is less pronounced for a couple of reasons I suspect, but to understand why, you need to understand what caused it - largely people returning home from their days work and turning on heating and lighting appliances

    Changing lifestyle and work patterns means you have less people cooking and heating water at those times. Those that do use more efficient appliances - the demise of the incandescent bulb is an obvious example. The modern insulated tank will keep water hot for the whole day so this can be time shifted.

    The same however cannot be said for industry, which if anything remains as inefficient as ever. Taking retail as an example, you'll find plenty of shops with open doors whatever the weather, open refrigeration units are still common. Inefficient lighting is still a majority.

    The mad thing now is that we are looking at punitive peak tariffs for the consumer because of a lack of efficiency in commercial and industrial sectors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,796 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Yeah and France has a lot of energy management problems they tend to gloss over

    For example building insulation tends to be quite poor over there, even compared to our wonderful Irish standards. Cheap electricity means no-one is bothered about conserving energy

    Also, France needs to get rid of electricity in summer because nuclear power doesn't throttle well. They export power to Germany extremely cheap as a way of stopping their grid being overloaded

    So if other countries go nuclear to the same extent that France has done, it would create as many problems for national grids as it solves

    I wouldn't say nuclear is exactly cheap anymore either. The latest reactor at Flamanville is something like €16 billion over budget and still hasn't generated a single watt of electricity

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,177 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    It will be interesting to see if the peak becomes more pronounced now in the colder months with the grand stretch gone.

    The latest figures show 136MW of solar installed (2021) so that could be over 200 this year and most of it still producing a nice bit of power during peak hours. This would only show up as reduced demand on the eirgrid site.

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