Gas Smart Metering - What's So Hard? Part II

In the previous post Whats so hard Part 1 you can read
Why Is Gas Smart-Metering so far behind Electricity ?There are four fundamental differences on the measuring side of the coin and far more on the management side. 
The post goes on to look at the complexity of measuring Gas Consumption.  In this post the focus is not so much on reading gas meters but making sense of the reading.

For simplicity's sake I'm going to imagine you know have data and can manipulate it as you need. (If you spend much of your time collating data as an energy manager seek help - really!! - almost all aspects of the task can be automated and your time and the need for consistent precision are far too valuable)

So for example using an adequate tool you can maybe average gas consumption by time of week (an averaged "top-hat" profile) and then chart one period against another (maybe filtering to only look at cold days etc).

Average Weekly Gas Consumption Profile

Disclosure : Pushing our own wares for one paragraph...
These examples are by kWIQly (using data from an anonymous office building in Germany) . kWIQly sources the local weather data and collates the smart meter data daily completely automatically - No installation is required and  the user simply accesses in a web browser - We can do this for any building anywhere.

We see seven fairly uniform but spikey gas consumption patterns with slightly lower use on the last day - Sunday.

Average Weekly Electricity Consumption Profile (Same building)

We see much more uniform but electircity consumption patterns with slightly lower use on the last day - Friday, and only base loads on Saturday and Sunday.

Shurely Shum Mishtake - Ed

Yup its crazy - Four points leap to mind:
  1. Gas is switched off at midnight and immediately back on again (year round)
  2. Though the building is unoccupied Saturdays and Sundays the boilers are fully occupied
  3. There are two "jumps" in boiler activity - one when they switch them on at midnight, and another, later when they start moving heat around the building (8:00am - tooltip pops up in kWIQLY not shown in diagram).
  4. The eight a.m consumption spike represents the cost of warming all the radiators one a day before they give off heat.
Learning to read these charts is a skill, and one that any energy manager can benefit from as they become more widely available, but the point made in todays blog is that Gas is fundamentally Harder to understand. If you switch a light off you stop consuming electricity  - if you close a heating circuit off, the boilers don't stop firing, instead they fire less efficiently.  Water circuits take time to heat  (also applies to wet chilling) and anything that stores heat has delayed time response to input energy.

So "Why is Gas Smart-Metering so far behind Electricity?" - simply because it is more of an art, and there are fewer practitioners, with less data, less practice and decent tools are not widely available.

I hope these early insights are interesting and that you might point other people to them who could benefit.  (Comments very welcome)

Thanks - We are in this together...

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