Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A Rare Post About Work

Did you guys enjoy your Earth Hour on Saturday? Well, we did, for the better part of it. Emitting more COx, NOx and SOx while idling in the gridlock traffic going from Rawang to Bukit Beruntung via the old trunk road without any food only to find out that the candlelight dinner was not a viable option upon arriving at the destination at 8:45pm, 1 hour and 45 minutes later from Selayang Hospital was not exactly the best way to start the Earth Hour. The host ended up turning up the lights at around 9:10 in due sense of pressing demands of hunger, fatigue and restless kids and over-aged adults alike. All for a noble cause of visiting an elderly ailing aunt. According to the the brother of the host, he did his part the night before for 3 hours when the electricity supply was not forthcoming to his house between 12:00am to 3:00am.

How is this about work eh, you may wonder. It is all about work. Working with this KompeniKedekutLetrik, we expected to experience a reduction in demand in relative to the normal demand profile that we normally see on Saturday nights. Well, if you read the papers, our little teapot CEO, our demand dropped by about 550MW as reported here. It is really a gross figure giving the benefit of the doubt saying it in laymen's terms.

And for the benefit of laying, laid, soon-to-be-laid and will-never-be-laid men and women, I give you this little tutorial about Power which is expressed in the units of MW and Energy which is expressed in the units of MWh. If you're observant enough, you'd notice the little h in Energy which is just the measly hour. When you talk about energy, it is fixed and finite. MWh, Joule and kCal all measures the energy. For those counting the calories would know that however fast or slow you devour those teh tarik and roti canai, you would still ingest the same amount of energy that would correspondingly be converted to some milligrams of fat if it goes unused. Power (MW) however, denotes how fast the energy is consumed. So that roti canai and teh tarik would be used up faster when say, you're walking and chatting with gartblue when it is more than 10 minutes to 8:00am or half-jogging your way through swiping the door if your watch is showing the time to be 20 seconds to 8:00am. Even though some fitness buffs might refute my hypothesis, the same amount of energy would be used getting from the exact spot of parking space to that punch clock in both occasions. And the only difference would be ... time taken. Hence the Power (MW) is latter option would be much higher even though it lasts much shorter than the former. Hence I stop there before rambling on and on about the useless stuff. There's always Goog1e and Wik1 if you are curious enough, you know.

Anyway, back to the topic, I did some number crunching on the dip shown in KompeniKedekutLetrik demand profile on Saturday night and came up with this one. And to save my pretty ass, I used relative instead of absolute figures to be published here.

Viola! Err ok maybe it needs a bit of explanation. The blue curve shows the 'typical' Saturday night demand (MW) profile whereas the yellow one is for that particular rainy Earth Hour night starting from 7:00pm to 12:00am. While whatever manipulations that I have made does not account for the difference in weather patterns for those nights that I was comparing, it has minimised it to the point of hopefully not being significant enough. With that assumptions, a host of other assumptions can be derived from the change in demand pattern eh?

So, why don't anybody just give their piece of mind trying to explain the difference in demand. I'll start with one or two first and you can continue later.

1- Some people started way too early. Hey you're seeing the demand dropping already starting 8:00pm. Could it be possible some people were actually confused about the time?

2- Demand only started to recover at around 10:30pm. It seems that many people liked the darkness so much that they remained in the dark for an additional half hour after.

3- Demand never actually returned to their 'normal' level even past midnight. Some people enjoyed it too much or just too occupied to turn on the lights perhaps.

So, what's your take on it?


rotidua said...

This is my scenario - actual case:

Went out from the house just before 8pm to secure a spot on the hill. Tutup lampu sebelum keluar rumah.

Left the hill around 840pm, earlier than 930 to avoid the traffic. Plus jalan2 kat housing area tengok rumah org. Reached home at 940pm. The kids were still pretty hyped with Earth rescue stories that they decided to remain in the dark. No tv.

They got bored by 1015pm. Lights on. Yes to tv. 11-12pm tu orang dah start masuk tidur kot.

butterflutter said...

We started early sbb lapar lah, candle light dinner kat tepi rumah. I switched on 2 lights after 9pm and before long 1 light only b4 going to sleep early.

Oh...oh....I heard fr Yus (ur collegue kot) the declining for industrial consumption. Was at his hse to visit his new baby. Neighbour seberang padang, RA committee member.

Intan Saleh said...

i dun have any explanation, but i have a question.. hehe..

since u are one employee of kompenikedekutletrik ni, can u explain what this means: http://vbglau [DOT] blogspot [DOT] com/2009/03/earth-hour-my-ass [DOT] html

mosh said...

rotinotti: given your scenario multiplied by say 10,000 households in bolehland, the 8pm dip can be explained la then. I suppose collectively many people started earlier as well.

but, not to discourage you or anything, the act of driving around during the earth hour might have contributed more greenhouses than the act of switching off the lights for that one plus hours, heh. do you know that we release an approximately 1.4kg of CO2 for every litre of fuel that we burnt? :)

buttflutt: tu lah ramai yang tido awal sebab gelap tu kan? we slept early too i think. too tired after being stuck in the jam for so long. penat seh.

I think it is the same Yus that I know in the office sebab he has mentioned to me once that he's in that committee too :). Tapi kan that decreasing industrial consumption is definitely not due to environmental concerns la kan. Which is what those industrialised countries are making noise about say Russ1a's target in the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emissions limit where they had easily achieved their target not due to drastic improvements in efficiency but due to the collapse of those polluting, inefficient industries alongside the collapse of communism. Err I should not bore you with the boring details la kan.

intan: alamak need to go now. i've read the blog and i can refute that later :)

Lollies said...

can you put another graph on MW produced and the demand on the night?

I am sure the think tankers of the forecast people in your company have somewhat anticipated the drop of demand and thus the generated power has also been capped to reciprocate that?

I wonder lah now the economy suppose to be slower ni, ada banyak lagi ke congestion network kita? (why am i using kita? hello?)

Mrs.A said...

You lost me at MW and Energy.

-seorang engineer tak lama dahulu-

hah hah.. actually it was nice sitting in the dark. (we cheated slightly as we had one tiny light on, my Adeena takut). we did not go out, and since dinner was early, we just huddled on the bed together-gether until it was too hot! (aircond tak pasang kan.. :) ).

what about emissions from the all the candles burnt, all the heat emitted from the people, must sum up to something jugak kan? am rambling...

theotheraj said...

ni rupanya kerja kau kat ofis haha

earth hour is just a gimmick. kitorang pi alamanda, lepak2 kat arcade jap lepas tu main boling sampai tengah malam.

kete kat jalan pun banyak. earth hour, save the planet kemende..

mosh said...

intan again: ok now i have some time to reply.

it's kinda hard to understand the rationale behind the rocket scientist's reasoning with respect to the IPP's contract to the earth hour. Disclaimer first. I'm not a great supporter of the earth hour gimmick myself being pretty environmentally-conscious myself for it being overhyped and nothing much will come out of it, but i support it nonetheless for the awareness that it was supposed to create. And the last thing i'd do is defend IPP's right to overcharge excessively and smiling all the way to the bank. but the simplistic relation between the earth hour and renegotiation of PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) simply does not make sense at all. Well even if the IPP's were generating electricity at full blast, since electricity is not something that is viable to be stored en masse, some other generators would have to give way which in this case would be KompeniKedekutLetrik's own generators which will still result ini overall reduction, no?

lols: I doubt that you'd be reading this because you should already be on your way to umrah Alhamdulillah. Anyway, cannot la put MW figures there. Leceh lor. Since the figures are PU figures, can easily deduce the % there already.

Network congestion kita? ehehehe. Alah biasalah dia orang. It comes in a cycle apa. Whenever the economy is heating up, all projects are fast-tracked and when it slows down, all deferred and the cycle continues.

mrs a: err kalau engineer tak faham MW and Energy susah la eheheh.

yeah! those emissions also need to be considered but like i said, the reduction even though about 6-7%, pretty immaterial because 6-7% of that hour alone would be so tiny when say over the whole day etc. but I hate the gimmick la actually. Good for awareness I agree.

screwboy: ye ke kerja aku ni tu? nak kata full-time blogger, comment pun lambat nak balas ehehe.

memang la gimmick je lebih. kalau drive merata tu sah le lagi banyak GHG emitted compared to dok rumah bukak lampu je. Last2 jadi macam carnival pulak.