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June 18, 2014


Here in Germany, the electricity meters are the property of the local electricity supplier, even if you actually buy your electricity elsewhere (as I do) and the local company is 'only' responsible for maintaing the infrastructure.

Newer meters are remotely readable via the local power lines :-(
Even down to the level of consumption by individual devices.

It will not be long before they become remotely writable.
Nanny suppliers can then distate when you consume power, and how much. Ostensibly to keep the pwer 'green' but actually to even their load :-(

Watt (sic!) happens in 1984?

Welcome back, Cop Car! It's a brave, strange new world!

Stu--Yes, I think that our new utility meters (natural gas, electricity, and water) are, in fact, drive-by/walk-by readable. AFAIK, they are not on the Internet. I'm not sure what state sampling is recorded for download.

ME--You've a point; but, it's no stranger to me than the conditions that prevailed during WWII. There was a group of German POWs housed at Camp Clark MO (see Camp Clark building demolition nears completion to read of the camp's demolition a couple of years ago) - only a few miles from where we lived until 1942. (I'm not sure that there were any prisoners there while my immediate family lived that close; but, I was always aware of it because we visited our extended family, who lived even closer, every month or so. Too, I recall observing a German fighter plane (I no longer recall the model - if I knew at the time) flying over our home in Tulsa in about 1944. It scared me to death. I feared that we had been attacked and ran inside to tell my mother so that she could join me in worrying about Dad. Fortunately, she was knowledgeable enough to understand that the plane was captive and being flown for assessment. (Mom worked for Douglas Aircraft.)

THOSE were the strange times!

Welcome back. I agree about having too many basic function devices connected to the net. The last thing I want is my garage door or front door opened by some punk with a laptop. We have the "smart" meters for gas and electric here in California. I am sure the day is coming when they decide to shut my house off during a "power emergency". I feel like the frog in the pot as the temperature is slowly rising.

Ingineer--Thank you. I'm sure that you, as I, have worked in plants that had agreements with their local power company to brown- or black-out their operations when requested, in exchange for lower charges on their normal power useage. I recall only once when a brown-out caused us to send our people home for a day; but, that could just be my memory.

In Northern Calif there has only been one period that I am aware of that PG&E used the rotating outage blocks "brown outs" and that was in 99 or 2000 when the state government tried to take over the power industry because those evil corporations were making a profit selling us electricity. Well we ended up with brown outs that summer and much higher rates for years to come after the politicians knew better for us.

All of my California time was in the 1980s. Fitfully, I spent 1983-late 1984 in the LA vicinity, 1985-1986 at Edwards AFB, and 1989-early 1990 in the Bay area - all the while having my home base in Albuquerque. The one time that we sent people home was here in Kansas.

With Beech, Boeing, Cessna, and Lear having plants around Wichita, you can imagine how much power was consumed by them. Textron is the latest owner of Beech, Boeing has now left Wichita - in a small way succeeded by Spirit, Cessna has been a Textron Company for 22 years, and Lear has been a subsidiary of Bombardier for nearly 24 years. Well, actually, Textron (basically, a holding/managing company) has formed/is in the process of forming "Textron Aviation" to house the Beech and Cessna brands at the very least.

Seattle and Los Angeles had plenty of cheap hydro power to run their airplane plants. Where do they get all the electricity in Wichita? Coal?

Ingineer--My I'm-guessing-here numbers: About 45% of the electrical power in Kansas comes from coal (perhaps a quarter of which is low sulfur, that I know of), a bit over 30% from natural gas, under 20% from wind, about 7% from nuclear, and a negligible amount from landfill gas. Your math probably doesn't allow for over 100% of production; but, my guesses do!

Much of the heating in Kansas is natural gas; but, I have no idea how it compares to/replaces the electricity.

I was going to guess coal. I was just curious since plane production uses so much electricity.

I don't look for 10 days and you suddenly appear posting again - LOL. I don't want an internet tied in system. Of course since I have no actual plans to use the (probably inept) air conditioning in this house, it really wouldn't matter much.

Ingineer--In fact, you had even proffered coal as our source of power. While I'm thinking of it: In my above-listing of aircraft plants in the Wichita area, I failed to mention that Airbus has an engineering office - but no manufacturing AFAIK.

Bogie--Love our new system. Once it got the house cooled down the first time it became the quietest system I've ever (barely) heard - inside and outside near the (huge) heat radiative unit. As set, the (inside) fan runs all of the time - very, very quietly. One really has to be paying attention to know when the cooling unit is actually active. Of course, that was one of the reasons that I recommended the system to your dad - it was supposed to be quiet. However, I was a bit nervous about what Carrier considered to be quiet. The system was quite expensive, but we are loving it!

BTW: A few years ago, when we replaced the exhaust system above the cooking range, that system was supposed to be quiet. Well...it isn't - at least not when it is operating at higher than the minimum speed. Thus, my nervousness about the HVAC. Oh! Additionally, we can save the programming of the thermostat to a flash drive.

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