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#138858 - 09/29/03 11:43 AM Electric service size
C-H Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I just found a device called Power Provide from British SCS . It's simply a self-resetting circuit breaker which offers a flat-rate supply.

Current ratings are: 0.5A , 1A, 2.5A and 5A !

Imagine countries where you choose between a small .5A service or a huge 2.5A service.

Makes you think.

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#138859 - 09/29/03 03:09 PM Re: Electric service size
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
They look somewhat like a US device called a "service limiter." They are intended for chronic non-payment cases where the customer may need electric-powered medical appliances to survive.

#138860 - 09/29/03 03:17 PM Re: Electric service size
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Developing African countries immediately sprang to mind for such a device, and I see they mention Zimbabwe in their notes.

Let's see: If we go with the "massive" supply of 5A maximum, we can get up to about 28 kW/h per day, but at no more than 1200W load at any time, I think I would find such a supply a little restrictive.

I'm seeing battery banks and inverters here, along with a "smart" charging system!

#138861 - 09/29/03 04:57 PM Re: Electric service size
djk Offline

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
We have the odd 50 amp service here in very old buildings but it's as low as we go

63A, 80A & then 3 X 63A. We don't do 100A

How could you run on 5 amps? thats like a couple of lightbulbs at most!

#138862 - 09/30/03 03:28 AM Re: Electric service size
Pinemarten Offline

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 122
Loc: Edmonton, AB, Canada
I have heard of it in Canada for people who don't pay their power bills. Enough to run the gas furnace motor and one light.
No TV, stereo, microwave, stove, washer, dryer etc.
I think the message is:
Get off welfare, get a job, and pay your bills. The party is over.

#138863 - 09/30/03 01:01 PM Re: Electric service size
djk Offline

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
In Ireland old age pensioners get an electricity allowance where by the state pays part of their power bill:
All pensioners who are paying their own ESB bill are entitled to this as well as all people over 75 regardless of who they're living with.

Covering the standing charge (metering charge)

and up to 1,800 kWh of electricity per year.

250 units per bill in summer and 350 per bill in winter, in the unlikely event of unused free units they're carried forward.

A similar scheme applies to natural gas / bottled gas
they also get free TV licence and their telephone line rental and a small number of calls paid for per month.

And a winter fuel allowance which can be paid off any heating bill. If the winter is particularly cold that is increased.

Over 65s also get free public transport: bus/rail. The only restriction applied is that they should use city busses during off peak times.

Similar schemes would also apply to some other welfare recepients: disabled, people working as home carers etc etc..

If you're just plain lazy you don't get it though

Do schemes like this operate elsewhere?

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 09-30-2003).]

#138864 - 09/30/03 03:52 PM Re: Electric service size
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I remember reading about those benefits for the over 65s in Ireland some years ago and thinking how much better the Irish govt. treats its pensioners than in the U.K.

There is a winter fuel allowance here, but nothing like the level of the fuel allowances in the RoI. The UK govt. recently introduced free TV licenses for those over 75, but there is no telephone allowance.

Bus/train passes are issued by local councils for certain areas, so I think it varies considerably around the country, but again it's nothing like the Irish system where pensioners can travel free from Dublin to Kerry and back.

I remember when I visited Clearwater, Fla. back in 1992 they ran a trolley service completely free-of-charge to everybody within the city limits and to the adjacent islands. (Well, free as in no fare -- Paid for out of city taxes presumably.)

How could you run on 5 amps?

It seems very restrictive to us, but in the case of some developing African country I think we need to look at it from a very different perspective.

Leave out the high-power devices we're used to, and what could they use?

5A would be quite adequate to run half a dozen lights and a radio or TV. So long as everything else isn't running at the same time, it would even be enough for a small low-power kettle, like the 750W types that are sometimes used for caravanning here.

Even in France there are some small old cottages which still have a single-phase 15A supply.

#138865 - 10/01/03 02:25 AM Re: Electric service size
djk Offline

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
We have it easy though due to demographics the average being about 23 or so.

The scary bit is that when I retire the average will be 60+

#138866 - 10/01/03 04:24 AM Re: Electric service size
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2351
Loc: Vienna, Austria
In the 1950ies the average kitchen + 1 room apartment had a single 6A circuit @220V. Larger apartments like ours (100m2) had 2 of them. Soemtimes even 4A. Outlets had built-in 1 or 2A fuses prior to WWII. My 1930ies Bonzo Vacuum cleaner consumes 1A @220V. People didn't use that much power back then.

#138867 - 10/01/03 07:58 AM Re: Electric service size
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Let's see....

Aside from two old computer units and the icebox, I am, amazingly, not much of an electricity consumer.

I have a few lightbulbs, a couple of TV sets (rarely used). Whatever radio/stereo/recordplayer I'm listening to for a few hours doesn't use much electricity.

I have a washing machine and an electric dryer (small 110-volt portable units). They don't get used much since by the time I FIND the time to do laundry, I have more than the machines can handle and so we go to the coin-operated public laundry.

Until about 1999 or 2000, our flat used to have 30-amp service (two 15-amp fuses). We never blew a fuse because of overloads since we were moved into that place in 1997.

Two dedicated 20-amp 120-volt services for air conditioners were then added (one of thes e is used for our main computer that is running 24/7) and also what mus be a 240-volt 50-amp service that was split into two 20-amp 120-volt outlets (four outlets in one square box) for the kitchen.

This was all new and installed by, I assume, professionals and I wasn't there when they were doing the work either (I also have a job ).

Who uses so much electricity that they need a 200-amp service in their house??? What in blazes do they HAVE???

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