I am learning about grid level stabilization services. My native language is German and I am translating the specific terminology. If I use the English terms incorrectly please edit my below sentences.
I have read that consumers are using energy mainly inductive. In my understanding, inductors are coils of wire that build a magnetic field.
This can be used in electric motors to create motion from electricity.
So, pumps (e.g. fridges), washing machines, electric lawn mowers and air conditioners are inductive electric devices.
Sidenote: PCs, TVs, stoves, ovens and lamps don't produce motion. Are they mainly inductive or are they capacitors? With stoves and lamps I guess that they are only resistors and therefore neither.
If you use electricity via an inductor or a capacitor there is a phenomenon, where the device is sending electricity back into the grid, but current and voltage are phase shifted by 90°.
This phase shifted electricity can't be used by other devices, but needs to be transported via the electric grid. This is not good because in that case we transport unusable power we have to account for. Transmission lines, transformers and other equipment needs to be bigger to handle the flow of current.
The unusable power from inductors and capacitors cancels each other out. So, there are service providers who feed electricity into the grid to balance the shifts from inductors and capacitors. At least in Germany, household end users don't pay for this service (or at least the costs are hidden in the electricity price.) Companies must pay for the phase shift they are responsible for.
- Why do inductors and capacitors cause this phase shift?
- Why can the phase shifted electricity not be used anymore?
- How can you balance this phase shift as a service provider? Which devices do they use?
- What happens to the electricity that is fed back to the grid? Is the phase shift corrected at some point or does the current flow in circles until all the electric energy has been turned to heat in the conductors?
- Why are there no policies to force electric equipment designers to prevent current backflow into the grid? If a device has an inductor you could add a capacitor to prevent the problem, right?
Please mark your answers with the number of the question that you are answering to, to avoid confusion.