The coronavirus pandemic has changed the ups and downs of everyday life in countless ways. Are Americans cozy food, watch wince and using their cell phones for actual Voice call. And in New York City (and undoubtedly in other places where a stay is arranged at home), people stay under the covers a little longer.
This is just one of several changes that have been recorded by researchers who looked at the electricity consumption in hundreds of Manhattan apartments before and after the city closed in March. People use up to 25 percent more energy during the day when they work or go to school from afar or cook or watch more.
They even seem to burn the midnight oil a bit more. Weekdays are becoming more and more weekends.
“You can actually see in the electricity data that people are much more at home,” said Christoph Meinrenken, physicist and associate scientist at Earth institute at Columbia University.
On normal weekdays, there is usually a rapid increase in electricity consumption from around 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. But now, said Dr. In my opinion, the ramp-up is delayed without commuting to work or preparing children for school or both. “People only seem to get up later” he said.
The start of the morning ramp-up on weekends is similar to that of days before the closure. However, the energy consumption during the day is still higher than before.
The data comes from a two years ago by Dr. Meinrenken and his colleagues created a study in which special electricity meters, which are installed in around 400 apartments, provide information on energy consumption every few seconds. When New York was banned The researchers realized that they could do it easily Track chase patterns.
Utilities across the country have also seen a general increase in residential consumption. However, they say that overall electricity consumption has decreased by 10 percent or more in part because the decline in commercial and industrial demand more than offsets the rise in residential property.
These numbers are sure to change when the weather warms up and when the closures continue or when some restrictions are lifted and more companies are reopened.
The Columbia researchers found that there is little need for cooling in April and that the power distribution network is therefore not very stressed. In the warmer months, however, energy consumption will continue to increase, as more and more house residents work longer with air conditioning systems. “If you extrapolate to May, June, July, you could get to an area where you can no longer say, so the grid, no problem,” said Dr. Thinking.
“The challenge with this material is that it can occur, but on site,” said Vijay Modi, a mechanical engineering professor at Columbia University, who is involved in the study. “A weekday peak is what the utility needs to worry about.”
Anne Marie Cobalis, a spokeswoman for Con EdisonThe power company that powers the city said the crews are working to harden the peak summer network and replace and improve transformers, cables, and other infrastructures.
“If things stay as they are in the summer months, we expect an increase in residential use and additional commercial use for air conditioning,” she said. If part of the network is stressed, the utility company is ready to provide temporary devices such as mobile generators.
At the national level, the decline in overall demand is likely to continue into the summer, even if a larger part of the economy is reopened, said Adam Jordan, an analyst Genscapethat provides prices and other forecasts to the electricity industry. The drop in demand is unlikely to cause major network reliability issues this summer, even as residential property consumption increases, Jordan said. “To keep the lights on, this is not a major threat.”
However, Mr. Jordan said there could be distribution bottlenecks at some point as many utilities postpone scheduled power plant shutdowns for maintenance to reduce the risk of employee infection with the corona virus.
Rescheduling work for fall or next year, when other downtimes are planned, could reduce generation capacity and force grid operators to juggle electricity from various sources, including wind and solar power generation, which are further from the Population centers is away, he said.
The New York Department of Housing was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy with the goal of developing ways that residents can reduce energy consumption.
Before the corona virus was blocked, the data showed the power consumption on weekdays It dropped sharply after 9:00 am when the apartments became empty. But Electricity consumption increased throughout the day in the analyzed week after the April blockage, using computers and other electronic devices. (Even at the weekend, it continues to rise, although the daily increase before the block is only around 10 percent, the researchers said.)
Over the entire 24-hour period, the average consumption on weekdays was 7 percent higher than on days before the block. On weekend days, energy consumption rose by an average of 4 percent.
With more people at home all day, the evening run-up, where people usually come home and turn on lights and devices, is less abrupt. However, the data showed that people use more energy at night when it is blocked and that consumption remains somewhat higher even around midnight.
Dr. Meinrenken not only woke up later, but also said: “People seem to go to bed a little later.”