Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's all about Power!

Now we're approaching two full months from the devastating quake and tsunami and with the aftershocks easing up considerably the last few weeks, people here in Tokyo have gotten back to their old routine. The weather has also, up to today, been quite comfortable with little need for air conditioner or heaters. So even though the actual electric supply problem with limited volumes remain, I think that a lot of people have just forgotten about it and gotten back to their old routine.

However, today was an abnormally hot day, quite humid and up to 27 degrees Celsius during the day making people turn up the air conditioner for the first time in many months... One of my latest obsessions has been to follow the usage of power online through the yahoo page (here) with data from TEPCO showing the percentage of available power used almost live (there's one hour lag or so on the data) and today I slowly saw how the percentage started to rise up during the day, creeping up to almost 90% during the afternoon... Earlier in the day, the forecast for the week also showed a projected level of over 100% later in the week...

...I think we're going to see more power outages as the real summer heat comes in over Tokyo but I still can't shake the doubt that if they only closed down all the pachinko parlors, turned off the vending machines and hi-tech toilet seats that 50% of the power could be freed up for use in other critical places such as hospitals, elderly homes and our bedroom during night...

8 comments:

Chris said...

It's gonna be a hot and dark Summer for fucking sure! Power usage must tax the electric grid in August even when it's not melting down....this Summer will be the hottest you've ever spent in Japan....that much is clear.

Fernando said...

Pachinko and arcades as well...those damn things take up tooo much energy

BTW...That IMG made my day hahaha "honey"

Eva said...

Wow! Thanks for the link! I guess it's almost certain that there'll be planned outages this summer eh? I wonder how TEPCO will cope because they are very bad at planning for changes.

jvk said...

I don't know if you wrote this in jest, but it's actually not far off the mark: according to The Economist, Japanese toilets account for about 4% of domestic electricity use, while all pachinko parlours in Tokyo consume 840 MW at peak hours, about the output of a medium-sized, average nuclear power plant.

See: http://econ.st/f8iopq

TheOctopus said...

What exotic device you have in your bedroom which requires so much power at night?

Martin said...

Well Octupus. It must be the An*l intruder from Top secret?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbpPIYy_YQk&feature=related

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - Meanwhile, in West Japan Chris is putting the aircon to "freezing", adjusting the temperature with an electric heating fan... It's clear that West is better than East this summer...

Fernando - Yeah, energy suckers!

Eva - Well, to be honest, at this stage the ball is with the Japanese public and industries... Not much TEPCO can do I think other than try to encourage ppl to save energy and implement the rolling blackouts again if not possible...

Jvk - Haha, I wrote it as a "half-joke" but I'm really not surprised that I seem to be close to the mark!

Octopus - Mostly a very sensitive salaryman who needs a cool dark environment to be able to hibernate properly...

Martin - Well, that goes on the wishlist!

aimlesswanderer said...

Surely the talking toilets of Japan are more important that mere air conditioners. Toilets>aircon

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