A long time ago in a galaxy…here. The world of Star Wars seems so far far away; Wookies, the Force, Tatooine and the ice planet Hoth. Star Wars was full of unlimited technology that also seemed to run on unlimited energy. Without an endless supply, energy management would be key for any Star Wars character.
If Luke Skywalker lived in Ontario and his lightsaber was powered by Ontario’s grid in Niagara-on-the-Lake…what would his monthly bill look like? Well…
|MONTHLY COST FOR LIGHTSABER USAGE|
|Free-Wheeling Luke||Semi-Conservative Luke||Energy-Conscious Luke|
THE BORING STUFF
LIGHTSABER ELECTRIC DEMAND
A quick google search shows that the energy output of a lightsaber could be equivalent to 20MW (the same power used by 333,333 light bulbs (60W). We’ll use this as our base-case assumption in calculations (though a Jedi can lower their lightsaber power output for training).
LIGHTSABER MONTHLY USAGE
We must assume that Jedi train daily; so Luke would train for 3 to 4 hours daily. Combat is likely limited but we will assume that Luke Skywalker (in his prime) is efficient in his combat and would have a maximum monthly combat of 1 hour. At 31 days with 3.5 hours of training per day, plus 1 hour of combat, Luke would have his lightsaber active for 109.5 hours per month. At a 20MW demand, this equals 2,190,000kWh per month.
THESE AREN’T THE RATES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR…
Due to the high 20MW demand of the lightsaber, Luke Skywalker would be considered a Class A customer in Ontario. This means that his Global Adjustment charge could be tied to his actual demand compared to Ontario’s during peak periods. Global Adjustment is the difference in the costs to generate (and some provincial programs) electricity and the wholesale cost for generating electricity. It is included in time-of-use rates and is charged as a separate line item in other account types.
Due to having a demand of 20MW, Luke must consider enrolling in Ontario’s Class A pricing structure. Large commercial customers over 1MW (with some exceptions for those over 500kW) are able to choose between Class A and Class B for their global adjustment charges. Class A customers pay a percentage of the GA based on their actual usage during the highest 5 peak hours for Ontario from May 1st to April 30th. A Class B customer pays a rate per kWh that they consume through-out the month.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT ADVISE FOR LUKE
- Luke’s best option would be to practice using his lightsaber with a dummy saber that does not use electricity. Using his lightsaber at 50% power would save him approximately 2.17 million kWh per month in consumption costs. Who knew lightsabers can be tuned down for training (apparently)?
- Luke should regularly check http://www.ieso.ca/en/sector-participants/settlements/global-adjustment-for-class-a for updates on the coincidental peak periods in Ontario and adjust his lightsaber training appropriately. If he does not use his lightsaber during these hours, then he could conceivably have a $0 global adjustment charge. Every 5-minute battle during each coincidental period would increase his Global Adjustment charge $47,931.95 per month so Luke should try to avoid combat during these periods. As a Class B customer under the March 2018 GA charge, Luke would have paid $207,612.00 in GA charges (20MW x 109.5 hours x 9.48cents/kWh).
- If Luke can save an additional $57,086.00 per month in Retail Transmission Network Charges if he trains and partakes in combat only in the hours of 7pm to 7am.
- Lightsaber Demand – http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/science-may-the-fourth-1.4099007
- Class A Material – http://www.ieso.ca/en/sector-participants/settlements/global-adjustment-class-a-eligibility
- Class A Peak Tracker – http://www.ieso.ca/en/sector-participants/settlements/global-adjustment-for-class-a
- Class B Material – http://www.ieso.ca/en/sector-participants/settlements/global-adjustment-for-class-b