Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Greenies don't do physics

Once again, there is more evidence that Big Green and the Brussels bureaucrats acting at their behest don't understand the basics of physics.

It started with the ban on powerful lightbulbs. This was understandable; there was a "greener" alternative in the form of compact fluorescent bulbs and it seemed a logical move by the manufacturers of these compact fluorescents bulbs to lobby for the competing product to be banned. However, it saved almost nothing in the way of power in the grander scheme of things.

This new move, to ban the more powerful hairdryers and vacuum cleaners, is completely bonkers. Not only does there not appear to be anyone who could gain out of such a ban, but it takes the same amount of energy to dry someone's hair, regardless of the rate at which that energy is supplied.

So less powerful appliances will have to be used for longer. No energy will have been saved, the same amount of CO2 will have been produced and the same number of polar bears will be left swimming around looking for an ice floe to stand on.

15 comments:

Lola said...

It's worse than that. Arguably the lower power appliances are likely to be pushed beyond their most efficient power delivery point, in much the same way that a bigger engine car of the same model can be more economical in real world conditions since it does not have to be used so hard. Plus, as these appliances are likely to be pushed hard they will wear out quicker leading to a more rapid replacement cycle.....er, hang on. Oh yes. Did the manufacturers collude in this bonkerness by any chance?

Walter said...

What it would do, at least in theory, is reduce peak domestic load. Given the utter incompetence in energy planning over the last few decades, this is probably an easier win than to sort out reliable energy production.

paulc156 said...

On the other hand if enough people will only spend a strictly limited amount of time drying their hair [about 30 seconds for me]will they be unwilling to increase the time allotted just to get their hair completely dry... bearing in mind all the other parts of their anatomy that need attending to. eyelash extensions, nail painting, fake tan application, bottom waxing etc.

ThomasBHall said...

I think we all agree it is a horrible idea. Peole have to spend more precious time getting the same result, probably at lower overall energy efficiencies, and likely with the need to replace the units more often.
Walter, I'm not sure it would reduce peak demand at all- if at any time a certain number of people are using appliances like these, then while the potential peak demand might be different, in reality, the fact that the appliance will be on for longer, make the chance of use overlap greater, and hence overall peak demand the same.

L fairfax said...

Richard North, a man who is not pro EU or concerned about CO2 thinks this is a good idea
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85174

I would have agreed with you Mark but I think he is right on reflection.

View from the Solent said...

Lf, maybe. For vacuum cleaners anyway, Good design can get more suckability for a given nominal wattage.
Hair dryers? Nah. That's just a simple heating element and a fan.
And lower power-consumption kettles is arse about face. The quicker you heat a given volume of water, tne less heat is lost to the surrounding air. Low power input = longer to heat = more wasted up the spout.

DBC Reed said...

I did n't even know vacuum cleaners came in different strengths.
Perhaps having a really powerful cleaner will become a virility thing. There was a very funny Seinfeld when all the men competed to get the highest powered Shower Head (name of episode)resorting to the black market to get illegal,Yugoslavian
models.These were so powerful they blew the users out of the shower cubicle.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm with LF on this one, let's give North, who knows a lot about stuff, the benefit of the doubt and give the EU the benefit of the doubt.

Plus, low-power vacuum cleaners must be a good thing for blokes, because as we know, women use them as a passive-aggressive technique to signal disapproval when their husband is trying to watch his favourite TV show, have a lie-in or make a telephone call.

Short of installing vacuum cleaners with headphone sockets, lower power must be a good thing. And if it keeps them busy (and hence out of the way) for longer then that's a bonus.

DBC Reed said...

According to the Seinfeld syndrome, men might take an interest in Hoovers and willingly use them if they were very loud and powerful and a bit transgressive.Manufacturers could design cleaners which came in camouflage colours with all kinds of useless controls to appeal to men. I can't see this as abating the war of the sexes over the Hoovering though which men have won through passive resistance.My father ran the Hoover round the lounge (wearing a dressing gown) on a Sunday morning only and never stopped talking about it all day.It never averted the Sunday evening melt-down when my mother grew desperate with having her all-male family in the house all day.

Lola said...

DBCR - I am a pretty handy bloke, and I disagree about complicated hoovers. IMHO the simpler the better, but powerful - yes. My garage hoover (yes, really) is a Henry. It is excellent and is the only make to survive the abuse I give it.

DBC Reed said...

MW
Garage Hoover!That's definitely alpha male!And you're abusing it to be even more alpha.
The point of lots of controls is not to use them: designers have found that men find loads of random knobs(!) and switches intriguing even satisfying (even if they make no perceptible difference).
I think you should have the courage of your convictions and camouflage-paint your Henry and fix an aerial to the top.

Lola said...

DBCR. Clearly I have a problem as I do not like lots of knobs and switches. I like stuff as simple as possible. Off and On are good enough for me. That's why I like the Aga. One V hot plate. One not so V hot plate. One V hot oven. One not so V hot oven. No controls at all.

So what camouflage should I use? I need it red so I can find it easily.

Derek said...

Sounds like you need 18th & 19th century British Army camouflage.

DP said...

Dear Mr Bayard

It seems that the good Dr North is a Big State Interventionist at heart:

"Personally, I regard efficient use of electricity as a desirable and necessary objective – a public "good". If voluntary action or the market cannot deliver, then there is a legitimate role for legislative intervention."

http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85178

I suppose someone has to be ...

DP

Bayard said...

LF, Mark, DP, I've read Dr North's piece and he segues neatly from banning high-powered vacuum cleaners to improving their energy efficiency without offering one iota of evidence that the lower powered cleaners are more energy efficient than the higher powered ones. For all his attacks on Daniel Hannan, he's just as bad, just a bit more sophisticated.