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Dim Lights And Low Mains Voltage

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Not strictly about house prices (although relevant to the economy)

Have noticed many evenings in the last year or so that our home lights look a little dim. I'd put it down to worsening eyesight, but yesterday (saturday evening) it was really dim.

So I thought to check the mains voltage. (and I'll give a strong warning - that is not something you should do unless you are very sure what you are doing, and what the risks are).

I found it was only 213V at around 7pm, and has risen again to 220V by 11pm.

I wonder if this is a symptom of

1) A lack of power generation in my area (Southern Hampshire)

2) A lack of investment in transmission and generation (thanks to the privatisation)

3) The generators finding fuel (gas) expensive and thus turning down the voltage to limit power consumption??

Now 213V doesn't sound much lower, but remember power in the lights goes like voltage squared, so corresponds to a 7% fall in power in your light when you work out the numbers.

I was also surprised to see that the UK can reduce its standard voltage from 240V to 230V to harmonise with Europe. Whether they'll do so depends on

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity

That also means that all your old bulb will get less voltage, be less bright (and less efficient in terms of putting out light). An unwanted side effect will be that they will last a long time at the lower voltage before you replace them (with 230V Euro bulbs).

Again from wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring_(UK)

"The continued deviation in the UK from the harmonised European voltage has been criticised in particular by light bulb manufacturers, who require tighter voltage tolerances to optimise the operating temperature and lifetime of their products, and who currently have to continue producing separate 230 V and 240 V versions."

Thanks Uk Government for the thoughtless adoption of Euro bulbs. I love the dim and dingy look in the evening, reminds me of the Presbyterian ideals espoused by the Lord Protector and his Brownheads. Amusingly my wife wondered if it was a move to standardise across the EU on the quality of lighting of somewhere like Slovenia.

Optobear

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Interesting where I am we've had power problems for the last two weeks at work, thought it was the building but it turned out to be the whole town. This is the dorset area by the way.

Not strictly about house prices (although relevant to the economy)

Have noticed many evenings in the last year or so that our home lights look a little dim. I'd put it down to worsening eyesight, but yesterday (saturday evening) it was really dim.

So I thought to check the mains voltage. (and I'll give a strong warning - that is not something you should do unless you are very sure what you are doing, and what the risks are).

I found it was only 213V at around 7pm, and has risen again to 220V by 11pm.

I wonder if this is a symptom of

1) A lack of power generation in my area (Southern Hampshire)

2) A lack of investment in transmission and generation (thanks to the privatisation)

3) The generators finding fuel (gas) expensive and thus turning down the voltage to limit power consumption??

Now 213V doesn't sound much lower, but remember power in the lights goes like voltage squared, so corresponds to a 7% fall in power in your light when you work out the numbers.

I was also surprised to see that the UK can reduce its standard voltage from 240V to 230V to harmonise with Europe. Whether they'll do so depends on

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity

That also means that all your old bulb will get less voltage, be less bright (and less efficient in terms of putting out light). An unwanted side effect will be that they will last a long time at the lower voltage before you replace them (with 230V Euro bulbs).

Again from wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring_(UK)

"The continued deviation in the UK from the harmonised European voltage has been criticised in particular by light bulb manufacturers, who require tighter voltage tolerances to optimise the operating temperature and lifetime of their products, and who currently have to continue producing separate 230 V and 240 V versions."

Thanks Uk Government for the thoughtless adoption of Euro bulbs. I love the dim and dingy look in the evening, reminds me of the Presbyterian ideals espoused by the Lord Protector and his Brownheads. Amusingly my wife wondered if it was a move to standardise across the EU on the quality of lighting of somewhere like Slovenia.

Optobear

Edited by Ipodjunky

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It may be voltage.

I do think that energy efficient bulbs are going to cause a lot of eyesight problems in the future. I don't know why but they only seem to be any use when they are bare bulbs - put a shade on and all becomes gloomy.

Does their output suffer more than tungsten bulbs if the voltage drops?

p-o-p

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It'll be the appalling weather that's probably blown a few overhead lines down which puts pressure on the rest of the system as they try and sort it out.

How many extreme weather warnings have we had this year so far/

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At significant risk of turning myself into a cgnao-like figure of mockery I am obliged to say, you ain't seen nothing yet:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...st&p=987613

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

First sunspot in weeks is still related to solar cycle 23

26 02 2008

Calling cycle 24, calling cycle 24……where are you?

The first new sunspot in weeks has emerged today. The spot that has emerged is small and on the equator, so it appears that it is a cycle 23 spot rather than one from the cycle 24 that gave one spot on January 8th, signaling a start of cycle 24, but has given no cycle 24 type spots since.

Based on what we know about the sun, a cycle 24 spot would be reverse polarity to cycle 23 spots and high latitude. The longer cycle 24 continues to delay producing its spots heightens the concern that we may be in for a longer inactive period on the sun, such as a Dalton type minimum.

From the current pattern of sunspots and other solar activity it is clear that Solar Cycle 23 will be the last of the short cycles (16 to 23) that were characteristic of the last hundred years.

We are now entering a long cycle (cf. cycles 10 to 15), which tipified Victorian times.

This explains the rapid reversion to a cooler Victorian style climate that can be seen in the various news articles published between the rants of the global cooling deniers.

Combine this with the low in solar activity, and we can expect the coming winter to be similar to 1947/48 or 1963/64.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...st&p=987715

(Methinkshe @ Feb 26 2008, 06:17 PM) *

Thanks for the update, Kagiso. My emergency supplies will include woollen blankets as well as food and water rations.

Carbon trading and planning objections have prevented building of new coal plants. If we have another 1947, a lot of people's central heating systems are going to struggle, so they will plug in electric heaters to supplement.

Electrical power demand could go through the roof, just as the greens have prevented its expansion.

Rolling blackouts in the UK are a significant possibility, this would kill most central heating systems as you need electricity for the pump and valves.

On top of that Russia has been struggling to fulfil gas contracts, and if we do get a bad winter they will suffer the worst, so they might just restrict exports.

I suggest you get a calor gas heater and a couple of spare gas bottles just in case.

Also service the central heating in July/August, I am expecting hard frosts starting in September, so plumbers will be hard to come by.

(And I am the first to admit that the above might all be a bit melodramatic.)

This is not 100% guaranteed.

However it is likely, and if solar cycle 24 doesn't kick off by late spring then it will become very likely.

Keep an eye on the Southern Hemisphere winter; if Johannesburg and Buenos Aires get snow for an unprecedented second year running, then a 1947 winter here will be pretty much inevitable. (Jo-burg had its first snow for 20 years last year BA its first in 80 years).

I would also add that this is not 'the end of the world as we know it'. The countries that suffer most will be in the temperate regions, almost all wealthy, or like Russia, used to coping with extreme cold. Wheat prices will continue through the roof, but (tropical) rice and (sub-tropical) maize will hardly be affected.

However, if you loose your central heating for a few hours because of a rolling electricity blackout, and it is -5 oC outside, and you don't have a back-up heater, it will certainly feel like the end of the world.

Protect yourselves :)

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At significant risk of turning myself into a cgnao-like figure of mockery I am obliged to say, you ain't seen nothing yet:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...st&p=987613

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...st&p=987715

Carbon trading and planning objections have prevented building of new coal plants. If we have another 1947, a lot of people's central heating systems are going to struggle, so they will plug in electric heaters to supplement.

Electrical power demand could go through the roof, just as the greens have prevented its expansion.

Rolling blackouts in the UK are a significant possibility, this would kill most central heating systems as you need electricity for the pump and valves.

On top of that Russia has been struggling to fulfil gas contracts, and if we do get a bad winter they will suffer the worst, so they might just restrict exports.

I suggest you get a calor gas heater and a couple of spare gas bottles just in case.

Also service the central heating in July/August, I am expecting hard frosts starting in September, so plumbers will be hard to come by.

(And I am the first to admit that the above might all be a bit melodramatic.)

This is not 100% guaranteed.

However it is likely, and if solar cycle 24 doesn't kick off by late spring then it will become very likely.

Keep an eye on the Southern Hemisphere winter; if Johannesburg and Buenos Aires get snow for an unprecedented second year running, then a 1947 winter here will be pretty much inevitable. (Jo-burg had its first snow for 20 years last year BA its first in 80 years).

I would also add that this is not 'the end of the world as we know it'. The countries that suffer most will be in the temperate regions, almost all wealthy, or like Russia, used to coping with extreme cold. Wheat prices will continue through the roof, but (tropical) rice and (sub-tropical) maize will hardly be affected.

However, if you loose your central heating for a few hours because of a rolling electricity blackout, and it is -5 oC outside, and you don't have a back-up heater, it will certainly feel like the end of the world.

Protect yourselves :)

Understand that the summer in Oz and Nz has been unusually cold this year.

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I think this is quite normal. Where I used to work (Manchester) we had a data logger on the electricity supply and the supply varied anywhere between (I think) about 235 V and 210 V.

On another note I do notice a lot more mains hum on my guitar amplifier in an evening.

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Understand that the summer in Oz and Nz has been unusually cold this year.
Definitely:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...st&p=993733

Global cooling is world-wide and has dropped global temperatures by 0.65 - 0.75 oC. See some nice graphs here:

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/...past-12-months/

January 2008 - 4 sources say “globally cooler” in the past 12 months

All the global warming gains of the last three decades (caused by the highest level of solar activity for 8000 years) have been wiped out in a single year of very low solar activity.

And if the sun doesn't perk up, it is going to keep getting colder.

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Not strictly about house prices (although relevant to the economy)

Have noticed many evenings in the last year or so that our home lights look a little dim. I'd put it down to worsening eyesight, but yesterday (saturday evening) it was really dim.

So I thought to check the mains voltage. (and I'll give a strong warning - that is not something you should do unless you are very sure what you are doing, and what the risks are).

I found it was only 213V at around 7pm, and has risen again to 220V by 11pm.

236-237v here in Berkshire this morning.

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On another note I do notice a lot more mains hum on my guitar amplifier in an evening.

Is it the amp that's humming or your single coil pickups? I like a bit of hum myself it's more "rock and roll"!

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Definitely:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...st&p=993733

Global cooling is world-wide and has dropped global temperatures by 0.65 - 0.75 oC. See some nice graphs here:

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/...past-12-months/

January 2008 - 4 sources say “globally cooler” in the past 12 months

All the global warming gains of the last three decades (caused by the highest level of solar activity for 8000 years) have been wiped out in a single year of very low solar activity.

And if the sun doesn't perk up, it is going to keep getting colder.

Please don't put forward rational alternative possibilities that might account for climate change. Just accept that it is due to the fact that Pacific State and I smoke and do not drive around in G-Wizzs.

p-o-p

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A couple of weeks ago I had problems with high-drain appliances tripping the RCD in my consumer unit. The kettle, toaster and iron all caused it to trip out. In the end I had to make up a lead with a three-pin socket at one end and a bayonet light bulb plug at the other, and plug the kettle into an overhead light (which isn't on an RCD-protected circuit) just to be able to make a coffee! It didn't occur to me that this could be a low voltage issue, and the problem eventually went away. But I've just stuck a multimeter on the mains sockets now and am getting 218. I wonder if a substation overload or general strain on the system could cause a phase imbalance, such as to trip an RCD when the circuit comes under a lot of load, as well as a voltage drop?

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Please don't put forward rational alternative possibilities that might account for climate change. Just accept that it is due to the fact that Pacific State and I smoke and do not drive around in G-Wizzs.

p-o-p

My apologies, I am of course aware that there is a large body of scientific modelling evidence that clearly shows that my data can not be correct.

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Assuming you can trust the source ... reading in low light does not cause permanent eye damage - though your eyes would become fatigued more quickly ...

5. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight

The idea that dim light ruins eyesight probably has its origins in eye strain, said the study authors. Bad lighting makes it hard to focus, makes you blink less and leads to dry eyes, particularly if you're squinting. So reading in dim light is uncomfortable, but it doesn't cause permanent damage.

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22466538/)

Personally, I think a return to reading lights is an excellent way forward, in a world where we should be ever conscious of the finite resources we are using - what's the point of lighting up the average room in a house beyond the light level of the lowest low energy bulb ?

It may be voltage.

I do think that energy efficient bulbs are going to cause a lot of eyesight problems in the future. I don't know why but they only seem to be any use when they are bare bulbs - put a shade on and all becomes gloomy.

Does their output suffer more than tungsten bulbs if the voltage drops?

p-o-p

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- what's the point of lighting up the average room in a house beyond the light level of the lowest low energy bulb ?

We are not troglodytes. Good lighting, not necessarily bright, brings colour and atmosphere. Dull, cold low energy bulb light saps the human spirit.

I also prefer sunny days to grey overcast days. Is that unusual?

p-o-p

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Does modern electronic power meter takes into effect mains voltage drop when calculating consumed energy? I assume it measures the current and maybe the cosine of I-V phase shift but quite probably will assume V=240 for calculations.

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I've noticed gas pressure too appears to have dropped, sometimes quite significantly at peak cooking times.

Al the more reason to invest in oil and gas

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A couple of weeks ago I had problems with high-drain appliances tripping the RCD in my consumer unit. The kettle, toaster and iron all caused it to trip out. In the end I had to make up a lead with a three-pin socket at one end and a bayonet light bulb plug at the other, and plug the kettle into an overhead light (which isn't on an RCD-protected circuit) just to be able to make a coffee! It didn't occur to me that this could be a low voltage issue, and the problem eventually went away. But I've just stuck a multimeter on the mains sockets now and am getting 218. I wonder if a substation overload or general strain on the system could cause a phase imbalance, such as to trip an RCD when the circuit comes under a lot of load, as well as a voltage drop?

The RCD will trip if there is a current in the earth wire, usually due to failing insulation - maybe due to moisture etc. If you have this problem you really should get a qualified electrician to check things out as either one of your appliances is faulty or the RCD itself is. You really don't want to plug something like a kettle into an overhead light socket - its a separate circuit and is intended for 5A max load whereas a kettle is 13A which will overload the circuit.

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  • 297 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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