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Userlevel 2
Personally @Transparent (and my opinions in no way reflect those of OVO Energy 😉), I think there is a lot to be said for the ease of use for the internet based consumption monitor. Yes there's a few more steps involved, but these steps shouldn't effect the customer, they will effect the IHD manufacturer (in our case Chameleon) and the suppliers themselves.

Even if it's the old 'have I left the oven on?' type of interaction, to 'Is my fridge/freezer efficient or wasting energy?'. These are things that the CAD system can one day (I hope soon) answer.

Our raison d'être is to make customers lives easier and also energy suppliers cannot make more money than they already do off of half hourly data.

I'd like to think that the industry isn't thinking of profit when it comes to CAD (consumer access device) technology. I could always be wrong of course.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Personally @BenS_OVO (and my opinions reflect what is generally called Blue Sky Thinking 😜), I think OVO are pursuing these product developments from a mish-mash of ideas rather than a single, robust strategy.


A. Whyever does the current concept of an IHD have anything to do with this?

The "Control Device" needed to set the preferences for Smart Electrical Loads in the home is quite different from the Chameleon IHD you are currently buying in.

We discussed this on the OVO VIP Day in your 'Chalet Room' a couple of months ago. Two other customers present pointed out that if you hadn't withdrawn the Smart Gateway in May'18, the tech-savvy customer base would have developed the control device you now need.

It doesn't take too much to pull together an Arduino or Raspberry Pi with a colour touch-screen, WiFi and Zigbee interface.

"We need to change the way we look at the energy model. We need to look more at collaborating rather than trying to solve everything on our own."
Stephen Fitzpatrick; 27mar19.


B. I don't have issues with customers using the internet to send their device preferences to OVO.

However, I do have several issues with the Commands being sent directly to those load devices using the internet/WiFi.


B1. For the same reasons that we can't allow a 3rd party to send Disconnect Commands to my SMETS2 Electricity Meter, I don't want a hacker or other hostile action telling my EV Charger to stop operating or turning my storage radiators full on!

The Sanity-checks and encrypted command protocols are inbuilt to the SMETS2 systems, which is why Device Commands should employ ALCS for their implementation.


B2. Regardless of which manufacturer supplies my Smart Devices, the Commands to run them need to be collated into a single common structure which hangs together.

I wouldn't want my Kaluza V2G charger to be sending power back to the grid from my car battery at the same time as my Sadia Immersion Heater switches ON because it thinks there's lots of wind-power available in my area. The sanity-checks which would be employed to compile the ALCS Commands for that customer would spot such an anomaly and prevent it.

Until your designers within OVO actually start listening to the range of preferences which users think they'd like to configure, you won't appreciate the wide range of opinion with which customers will attempt to set up their Demand Side Responses.

That's why Ofgem/Western Power have engaged seven Community Groups to kick off their monitored substation project (OpenLV). They don't want to start making 230,000 substations "smart" only to find out that the public can't make use of the majority of the data, or interpret it differently.


C. There is a world of difference between configuring a washing machine or dishwasher to run outside of Peak Electricity periods, and driving heavy-wattage devices such as Home Storage Batteries, EV Chargers and Immersion Heaters.

It makes naff all difference to your annual energy bills to do the former, but if we get the timing of the latter wrong, then we'll be burning out the underground cables feeding our homes!

This isn't just down to "user preference".

If just 10% of the homes on the same phase of a 440v substation feed all request that they want their EVs charged after 11pm, the "system" must step in to prevent that from occurring.

Not only would the underground cable be overloaded, but the phase imbalance at the substation transformer would cause significant losses (which in turn generates heat).

The "correct" command for those EVs would be based on the time in the morning by which they must have achieved a defined level of charge (which may not be 100%). The data from that substation LV-Cap Unit gets combined with the user-preferences to create the actual SMETS Commands and timings which are required for each home.

Simply releasing a CAD and allowing "ease of use" for customers is folly.


In short, OVO shouldn't be releasing any sort of CAD Product or Internet-based Load Controller until it's undertaken an Area Trial across multiple substations and subsequently involved a Consumer Feedback Panel.

Only then is it possible to assess what benefits or damage(!) could occur should such a product be made available commercially.


Thanks for listening. Now, where do I send the consultancy bill?
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Personally @BenS_OVO (and my opinions reflect what is generally called Blue Sky Thinking 😜), I think OVO are pursuing these product developments from a mish-mash of ideas rather than a single, robust strategy.


A. Whyever does the current concept of an IHD have anything to do with this?

The "Control Device" needed to set the preferences for Smart Electrical Loads in the home is quite different from the Chameleon IHD you are currently buying in.

We discussed this on the OVO VIP Day in your 'Chalet Room' a couple of months ago. Two other customers present pointed out that if you hadn't withdrawn the Smart Gateway in May'18, the tech-savvy customer base would have developed the control device you now need.

It doesn't take too much to pull together an Arduino or Raspberry Pi with a colour touch-screen, WiFi and Zigbee interface.

"We need to change the way we look at the energy model. We need to look more at collaborating rather than trying to solve everything on our own."
Stephen Fitzpatrick; 27mar19.


B. I don't have issues with customers using the internet to send their device preferences to OVO.

However, I do have several issues with the Commands being sent directly to those load devices using the internet/WiFi.


B1. For the same reasons that we can't allow a 3rd party to send Disconnect Commands to my SMETS2 Electricity Meter, I don't want a hacker or other hostile action telling my EV Charger to stop operating or turning my storage radiators full on!

The Sanity-checks and encrypted command protocols are inbuilt to the SMETS2 systems, which is why Device Commands should employ ALCS for their implementation.


B2. Regardless of which manufacturer supplies my Smart Devices, the Commands to run them need to be collated into a single common structure which hangs together.

I wouldn't want my Kaluza V2G charger to be sending power back to the grid from my car battery at the same time as my Sadia Immersion Heater switches ON because it thinks there's lots of wind-power available in my area. The sanity-checks which would be employed to compile the ALCS Commands for that customer would spot such an anomaly and prevent it.

Until your designers within OVO actually start listening to the range of preferences which users think they'd like to configure, you won't appreciate the wide range of opinion with which customers will attempt to set up their Demand Side Responses.

That's why Ofgem/Western Power have engaged seven Community Groups to kick off their monitored substation project (OpenLV). They don't want to start making 230,000 substations "smart" only to find out that the public can't make use of the majority of the data, or interpret it differently.


C. There is a world of difference between configuring a washing machine or dishwasher to run outside of Peak Electricity periods, and driving heavy-wattage devices such as Home Storage Batteries, EV Chargers and Immersion Heaters.

It makes naff all difference to your annual energy bills to do the former, but if we get the timing of the latter wrong, then we'll be burning out the underground cables feeding our homes!

This isn't just down to "user preference".

If just 10% of the homes on the same phase of a 440v substation feed all request that they want their EVs charged after 11pm, the "system" must step in to prevent that from occurring.

Not only would the underground cable be overloaded, but the phase imbalance at the substation transformer would cause significant losses (which in turn generates heat).

The "correct" command for those EVs would be based on the time in the morning by which they must have achieved a defined level of charge (which may not be 100%). The data from that substation LV-Cap Unit gets combined with the user-preferences to create the actual SMETS Commands and timings which are required for each home.

Simply releasing a CAD and allowing "ease of use" for customers is folly.


In short, OVO shouldn't be releasing any sort of CAD Product or Internet-based Load Controller until it's undertaken an Area Trial across multiple substations and subsequently involved a Consumer Feedback Panel.

Only then is it possible to assess what benefits or damage(!) could occur should such a product be made available commercially.


Thanks for listening. Now, where do I send the consultancy bill?
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I have an interesting update for @NoPoke regarding your comments about the Mary Tavy hydroelectric station.

The Manager, Karl Jones, has read your description with interest, particularly where you mentioned "no magnets" and also, "no slip rings to wear out".

Karl responds as follows:

All of the alternators at Mary Tavy and Morwellham date back to the thirties and do have magnets and slip rings. @NoPoke is describing beautifully a more modern alternator.

The power supply for the electromagnets at Mary Tavy and Morwellham, is obtained from a "Pilot Exciter", which produces "unidirectional pulsating current". This can casually be described as Direct Current, by merit of the fact that the sinewave doesn't pass through the "0 volt line". Cables from the Pilot Exciter connect, via slip rings, to the magnets, which on Number Two Water Plant is on the rotor.

However, on Number One Water Plant, the magnets are fixed on the Stator and the induced voltage is taken from the rotor via four large slip rings and twenty eight carbon brushes.

It's as though they wanted to fully demonstrate Michael Faraday's theory of induction to the nth degree!!


So there we have it. Book your places now for a fully guided tour next month!

Personally I think OVO should send @Amy_OVO. Can you imagine how enlightened she'd be once she's been shown the finer details of a Pilot Exciter? 🤦🏼
Userlevel 4
1930s : No suitable rectifiers to place on the rotating shaft 😞 I probably should have spotted the age of the equipment but I didn't. I wonder how that Pilot exciter works to produce the pulsed ac. I think I could do that with a commutator but not with slip rings.
Userlevel 5
Badge +1
Was just trying to remember the heavy electrical bits of my degree from 1966 but @NoPoke came to the rescue.

My contribution @Transparent is that you arrange yourself a visit to Dinorwig Turbo station, the one built inside a mountain in Wales, it is awesome, especially as my GEC supplied all the kit for it.

Peter
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
That would be interesting to see @PeterR1947. I have already toured Ffestiniog (Pumped-storage) power station, and Wylfa (nuclear) which is now being decommissioned.

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