Simulation: German Physicists Warn Of Blackouts From Smart Meters …Power Market May Be “Wild, Chaotic And Fidgety”!

A few weeks ago the University of Bremen put out a damning press release on smart meters, which are intended to save power and to balance out supply and demand.

Scientists at the University of Bremen looked at how markets and the power grid would react to their use. Since 2010 these smart meters have been mandatory for new buildings and for those being renovated. The meters are designed to recognize the lowest electricity rates and thus allow programmable appliances to switch on automatically.

The press release writes:

Scientists at the Institute for Theoretical of the University of Bremen, however, are expressing doubts that the approach will actually deliver what it promises – namely reducing power fluctuations in the grid. They simulated a market that uses intelligent power meters and have reached a surprising result: The intelligent power meters will produce an artificial power market that – as is the case with all markets – that can also produce bubbles and even crashes. The Bremen physicists published their results in the largest and oldest physics journal of the world, the Physical Review of the American Physical Society.”

As more and more solar and wind energy gets fed into the European power grid, the power fluctuations have become more pronounced. The smart grid and meters are intended to even out the fluctuations. The University of Bremen press release writes that when the wind blows, the extra power added to the grid will make the prices fall and thus lead to more appliances turning on to take advantage of the low rates. For example a homeowner will have the possibility of programming his washing machine to turn on as soon as a certain low price level is reached. Thus theoretically the market will be ruled by the economic law of supply and demand. Sounds good.

But Professor Stefan Bornholdt of the Institute for theoretical Physics of the University of Bremen sees major obstacles and warns that it will not be that simple, saying “the standard theory of supply and demand is however incomplete when a huge number of consumers compete at the same time for the best price.“ Their computer simulations show things likely will not happen like as they should. The press release writes:

They simulated the competition between consumers with the computer and discovered that in this newly created power market segment things could become ‘chaotic, wild and fidgety’ – just like in the financial markets.”

They provide an example:

‘When there is little power in the grid and the price as a result is high, then washing will simply be put off. But that cannot be the case forever because washing is a basic necessity,’ explains Stefan Bornholdt. ‘The more preprogrammed machines you have waiting for their start, the greater the potential demand rises: A demand bubble forms.’ And it pops as soon as the price again drops a bit more: Because many consumers will suddenly start countless washing machines all at once because they will have reprogrammed upward because of they will have reached their threshold of pain with backed up washing needs. ‘This will spark a collective avalanche mechanism that will burden the power grid extremely – blackouts due to unexpected overloads cannot be excluded,’ says the Bremen physicist.”

The team of physicists says that the massive use of new intelligent power meters was “a hasty decision that had been poorly thought through“.

 

18 responses to “Simulation: German Physicists Warn Of Blackouts From Smart Meters …Power Market May Be “Wild, Chaotic And Fidgety”!”

  1. Moose

    As so many green ideas, it is just bloody stupid. It seems that those who are bitten by the green virus are somehow unable to think as a green mist surrounds their brain (or whats left of it).

  2. DirkH

    Especially: A momentary flash crash in prices (due to a cumulus cloud going over a huge PV plantation) will lead to 5 million Siemens washers jumping in on the offer all at once. Leading to screams of “Scotty, throw another dilitium crystal on the pile!” in the machine room of the remaining nukes – as the Siemens hivemind will stoically go through their 3h “Eco” washing program – extra water saving! While the electricity price goes through the roof.

    The SPD-CDU-BRD is such fun!

  3. Jeff

    I like the term green mist – as a translingual pun, green manure (or maybe eco-bull$hit).

    Washing machines and dryers are getting more and more impractical, complicated, and therefore unreliable.

    Pity the poor family of five or more, with young children, who need to wash and dry a couple or three loads per day. No chance for that with “managed-demand” washing and drying. Then again, such problems would be a disincentive for large (or even average) families, which might be what they want in their Malthusian misanthropism.

    What’s particularly galling is that the energy labels are a lie, at best. The measurement criteria for heatpump- and condensation-dryers are different than those for the old fashioned [read: simple and reliable] forced-air dryers, such that the best the latter can get is a class ‘C’, whereas the first two types are automatically bumped up into the A and above classes even though they use as much or more energy, cost more, and are much more difficult to repair, due to all the electronics and higher parts counts.

    They also create a lot of dust, and dump a lot of heat and humidity, which is unwelcome in the summer. Above a certain temperature, some of these dryers hardly even work (mine basically goes south above 35C in the laundry room, which happens a lot in the summer, regardless of the temperature outside).

    When the physicists referred to the dumb implementation of “smart” meters as “a hasty decision that had been poorly thought through“, they could well have been describing everything that comes out of Brussels, and most of what comes out of Berlin. The green watermelons seem to have no grasp of science, practicality, or “the laws of unintended consequences”.

    1. AndyG55

      “Washing machines and dryers are getting more and more impractical, complicated, and therefore unreliable.”

      I still have my Hoover water guzzler from 40 years ago 🙂

      1. Jeff

        “I still have my Hoover water guzzler from 40 years ago”

        Reminds me of a colleague of mine and his son. We were running cables to some new terminals (shows how long ago that was – 80s) on a Saturday when the cleaning crew happened by, hoovering away. As soon as they were gone, his son said, “Daddy, I want a HOOOOVER”…

        I can still hear him saying it to this day. Not sure if the boy ever got one, I’m sure if he did, it would still be running. They knew how to make stuff to last in those days. (If you’re reading this, Hi Nick)…

        (Funny side note, one of the cables [Cat 1? used for RS-422] had a mismatched pair – no obvious break or splice in the cable, but end-to-end they didn’t match. Cable vendor said they’d never seen that. Great way to spend an hour or two debugging on a Saturday)…

    2. DirkH

      “When the physicists referred to the dumb implementation of “smart” meters as “a hasty decision that had been poorly thought through“, they could well have been describing everything that comes out of Brussels, and most of what comes out of Berlin.”

      It might just be that those physicists do not know history. The smartmeter plan is a fruit of the 90 year old plans of Technocracy Inc. (Hubbert), later refined by Buckminster Fuller, later picked up by Zeitgeist; the old plan for a global centrally planned economy, the “resource-based economy” a.k.a. socialism under a different name.

      I’ll provide a link to a lecture about the movement later. Schellnhuber is one of them.

      1. DirkH

        So here we go
        Patrick Wood, presentation on technocracy
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul5oQ3wbstQ

  4. Dan Pangburn

    All this machination for no effect on average global temperature and a net decline in prosperity.

    Few have recognized that Phanerozoic temperature estimates prove CO2 up to at least six times the current level has had no effect on average global temperature. The analysis at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com shows what to look for and discloses what actually does cause climate change (R^2 greater than 0.97 since before 1900).

  5. sod

    sorry, but washing machines are a tiny part of demand management.

    What will happen most of the time in the near future, is simple:

    you fill them in the evening/morning and they will use either a wind peak or the solar peak on a majority of days.

    of course this technology will have childhood problems, like all new stuff does.

    But i can not see a real problem here. Let us move on to important stuff!

    In Australia, Tony Abbott s own calculations show, that a higher CO2 reduction target is not much more expensive than a lower one.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/21/tony-abbott-wrong-on-costs-of-tougher-climate-targets-government-modelling-shows

    1. DirkH

      You have not addresses the flash crash scenario I suggested.
      You warmunist trolls do not even pretend to address arguments.
      You should really replace yourself by a script, it would make as much sense and you would fulfill your monthloy troll quota with less effort.

    2. Jeff

      Sod, either you don’t or haven’t had kids, or have problems thinking things through. Aside from the safety issues of leaving a machine on when away, and the probable neighbour issues when having a machine run at night, the new machines are EXTREMELY slow, and one must load the dryer and have it run AFTER the washer is done: that is, it’s a serial process, and the only parallel threads you get are the ones the washer rips loose.

      No, government-allocated, “planned” utility usage is Marxism, plain and simple. Take control away from the people, and give it to the idiots in Brussels, or wherever.

      In other words, the laundry’s gotta be done, regardless of wind or of sun.

      That’s the way things work in REAL life, not in “environutical” ivory towers.

      1. AndyG55

        “you don’t or haven’t had kids, or have problems thinking things through”

        or doesn’t know what a washing machine is. !!

  6. sod

    German electricity grid was more stable iu 2014 than in any year before.

    There is utterly no evidence of a negative effect of the growing percentage of renewables on the stability of the grid.

    That is, what the official report says.

    http://www.stern.de/news2/stromversorgung-war-2014-besonders-zuverlaessig-6391750.html

    Sorry folks, another myth falling apart more and more…

    1. DirkH

      Stern is Bertelsmann —. System media. As Global Warming and renewables cronyism is what these people want, little wonder.

      Find a noncorrupt source.

  7. Aard Knox

    I love it when scientists demonstrate that we are not as smart as we think we are.

  8. Dave in the states

    “In Australia, Tony Abbott s own calculations show, that a higher CO2 reduction target is not much more expensive than a lower one.”

    So they are both expensive after all. Why not the least expensive option? Which is why go to any co2 reduction target at all?

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