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Old 06-14-2011, 05:27 PM   #121
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Do you believe that when business expands it has 100% of it's capacity sold when it opens a plant? It just does not work that way, and it does not work that way for the power industry. It may in a government controlled industry as they tend to practice monopolist pricing!
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Well, over in Europe they're still selling incandescents, but they're calling them a heat source rather than a light source. That will work for me. Dozens of tiny ceiling mounted inefficient heat sources, coincidentally providing light.
Actually, incandescents are very near 100% efficient at converting electricity to heat. Even the light produced ends up hitting a surface and turning into heat. If it escapes out the window, you lose it though.

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Now all we need is a bureaucracy devoted to pursuing this. We'll call the leader the "Conservation Czar."


Edit: removed snarkiness
Again, define the goal first. Without a defined goal, you cannot define meaningful actions. And, if you define the goal, it might be easy to administer it. That's one of my issues with this CFL promotion - what is the goal, what is being measured, how do we know if the 'plan' 'worked' or not? Should we do more, do less? No one knows, because it wasn't about anything other than getting votes, or getting support from some special interest.

BTW - I can handle snarkiness, but I doubt it does anything for the environment.

Oh and BTW, I could look this up in some old thread on CFL's, but they are over-hyped on energy savings by about a factor of two. Their Power Factor is ~ 0.6, so while they do use less watts, they use almost 2x the Volt-Amps as they do watts, and Volt-Amps are what are important to the power stations. But V-A meters are expensive, so homes have Watt meters, industries are charged based on watts and Power Factor, because that is what consumes fuel.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #123
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Oh and BTW, I could look this up in some old thread on CFL's, but they are over-hyped on energy savings by about a factor of two. Their Power Factor is ~ 0.6, so while they do use less watts, they use almost 2x the Volt-Amps as they do watts, and Volt-Amps are what are important to the power stations. But V-A meters are expensive, so homes have Watt meters, industries are charged based on watts and Power Factor, because that is what consumes fuel.
Oh brother. We went over this in the other thread on CFLs. You're wrong. Energy is not "lost." It goes back on the wire. The power plant doesn't have to produce extra electricity (2x) for a CFL.

That's all I'll repeat about that. It's useless to argue with someone who doesn't know about power and inductance and reactance. Cheers.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:04 PM   #124
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Oh brother. We went over this in the other thread on CFLs. You're wrong. Energy is not "lost." It goes back on the wire. The power plant doesn't have to produce extra electricity (2x) for a CFL.

That's all I'll repeat about that. It's useless to argue with someone who doesn't know about power and inductance and reactance. Cheers.
You can question my knowledge of reactive power all you want. But this guy has some credentials that count for something, and what does he say (emph mine)?:

Researchers shine light on compact fluorescent bulb problems

Quote:
However, the Queen's researchers were motivated to solve two problems with CFLs -- they don't work with dimmer switches, and, more importantly, their energy efficiency is compromised because of a problem known as poor power factor. In effect, only part of the energy a CFL consumes is used to power the bulb, resulting in wasted power.

"Consumer-grade CFLs need to be compact and inexpensive. Until now, the complicated circuitry needed to power these bulbs most efficiently has been too large and too costly for consumer-grade compact fluorescents," says professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics and a world expert on electronic power supplies. "In its current form, the household CFL takes away the very benefit to the power grid that it was supposed to provide."
To be clear, CFLs will lower your bill (assuming like most you are on a watt-meter), and save energy compared to an incandescent, but they do use more energy than would appear. So from a conservation/environmental view, that ain't what they are cracked up to be. The energy savings is overstated.

Now add the additional manufacturing and shipping costs...

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #125
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Before we can talk about micro-managing or not, tell me - just what is it that they are trying to 'manage'?

-ERD50


Energy independence and energy security, per the bill's name.






If this government cared 1 wit about energy independence and energy security we'd be drilling for oil not shutting down the Gulf of Mexico, we'd be drilling in ANWR. We'd promote more on shore and off shore drilling, tar sands, natural gas which is clean, coal (oh I can hear the crying already). And we wouldn't be pushing the nonsense that windmills and solar panels will power the country and for crying out loud stop putting food into gas tanks. Windmills and solar may be viable one day but they are not today. There is nothing that is as efficient costwise and powerwise as petroleum.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:39 PM   #126
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To be clear, CFLs will lower your bill (assuming like most you are on a watt-meter), and save energy compared to an incandescent, but they do use more energy than would appear. So from a conservation/environmental view, that ain't what they are cracked up to be. The energy savings is overstated.
In the past couple of years, better electronic 'ballasts' have been introduced for most CFL lamps. The newer ones have a power factor (that pesky voltage/current phase shift that hides inefficiency) very close to 1.0, just like incandescent, quartz halide, and similar resistive lights.

Oh, and don't waste your time/money on 'dimmable' CFLs. CFls and their big brother 4 foot tubes are all gas discharge lamps. These need a minimum voltage to kick on, and are really nonlinear for brightness vs voltage. The 'dimmable' ones that work best have a complex electronic ballast that senses a 'dimmed' power level and then lights one of two tubes. At higher settings it lights the second tube. Yeah, it's a three-way lamp with complex electronics produced as cheaply as possible by the lowest bidder.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:27 AM   #127
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I read somewhere (can't find it now) that dimmable CFLs can actually work, IF you install specially made CFL dimmers. This would obviously require significant additional costs if you are already wired up with regular dimmers. But maybe with new construction and increased use of CFLs the cost would come down? My main gripes about the CFLs are light quality and lack of dimmability (making the assumption that cost claims are legitimate). We use dimmers constantly, for ambiance. I usually like light a bit lower, while still having the ability to brighten things up when needed. Do any of you light and energy experts know anything about this?
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:25 AM   #128
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In the past couple of years, better electronic 'ballasts' have been introduced for most CFL lamps. The newer ones have a power factor (that pesky voltage/current phase shift that hides inefficiency) very close to 1.0, just like incandescent, quartz halide, and similar resistive lights.
Yes, I've been reading about those - but those aren't the cheaper ones everyone is buying, and since these things purportedly last so long (!), it will take many years before the old ones get replaced.

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Oh, and don't waste your time/money on 'dimmable' CFLs.
That's depressing. I have lots of dimmers on lights we use a lot.

I wonder how much more 'energy savings' is going to be offset by people buying the 'special' incandescents that are not banned (utility lights, appliance lights, etc), but are slightly less eff than a standard incandescent?

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...We use dimmers constantly, for ambiance. I usually like light a bit lower, while still having the ability to brighten things up when needed. Do any of you light and energy experts know anything about this?
I'm in the same boat - I guess I'll stock up.

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:48 AM   #129
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Years ago, as my incandescent bulbs burned out, I replaced them with CFLs. My electric bill dropped enough to buy two new bulbs a month. (I live in a high electric rate area.) I was replacing bulbs at about one per month. Now it is one or two a year. The PITA factor of getting a ladder and removing the fixture to replace the bulb was a big additional plus to me. CFLs paid off for my usage. Now, I am looking at LEDs. I have a few applications that will even make these pay off.
I used to buy 130 volt bulbs for long life. These had a thicker filament and took years longer to burn out. I remember that at the time that these were a cheaper marketing way to get the same "long life/hard duty" bulb.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #130
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I used 130V bulbs for a while in different applications - gave it up as I saw evidence of extreme overheating of fixtures: bulb base metal threads were very discolored, bakelight or fiber surrounding bulb receiver burned and crumbled, overhead lamp wiring with insulation cooked and crunchy.

Was this because to get an equivalent # of lumens I was running a higher wattage bulb than the 120Vs? Was it because the 130V bulb made more heat and less light at 120V? Don't know, but gave up on 130V bulbs because replacing fixtures instead of bulbs wasn't cost efficient. And replacing a building would be even less so.

More recently I tried mixing incandescent and CFL in enclosed rental kitchen lights to get a nicer color and a long functioning light source (some tenants seem to move when all the lights finally burn out because, gee, it's dark and gloomy!). That was a Bad Idea. The CFLs cooked and died post haste. As others have mentioned, CFLs don't like heat. or cold much - flickering outside CFLs in the winter don't remind me of flickering candle lights at all.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:19 AM   #131
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I use all incandescent bulbs, except for my one new CFL bulb that I have turned on once just to see what it looks like. Usually I use whatever 40W-65W incandescent bulbs are cheapest.

All in all, for my entire house I use maybe 1-2 incandescent bulbs per year. Even assuming I am off by a factor of 10, I could still store enough incandescent bulbs in one closet to last me for the rest of my life. Then I could dim at will, read easily, and have no worries about toxic waste disposal, ever.

It probably isn't psychologically healthy to resist change to that extent, though. (sigh) Time for another cup of coffee.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #132
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That's depressing. I have lots of dimmers on lights we use a lot.

I wonder how much more 'energy savings' is going to be offset by people buying the 'special' incandescents that are not banned (utility lights, appliance lights, etc), but are slightly less eff than a standard incandescent?
Well, when I've been working over the rooms in the house, I've been installing track lighting in most rooms for the ceiling lighting. Currently the tracks all have 20 to 50 watt quartz halogen floods installed. These are more efficient than the standard old bulbs, and can be focused where lighting is needed. They also work very well on dimmers, and have a pretty long life (around 10,000 hours for what I put in). Give it another 10 years and I might be ready to try LEDs there.

Undercabinet lights are all pressurized xenon, but two years later, the LEDs are looking pretty good.

CFLs go in circuits that aren't dimmed, and in table lamps and whatnot where they are a good fit. I also have CFLs in outside lights, which have lasted a very long time. (One bulb failed last year. It was installed in 2001.)
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