Matching Items (6)

A Consequential Life Cycle Assessment of the SCEIP Financing Program for Residential Photovoltaics in Sonoma County, CA: Determining the Life Cycle Carbon and Energy Cost Benefit

Description

Sonoma County, CA is on an ambitious pathway to meeting stringent carbon emissions goals that are part of California Assembly Bill 32. At the county-level, climate planners are currently evaluating

Sonoma County, CA is on an ambitious pathway to meeting stringent carbon emissions goals that are part of California Assembly Bill 32. At the county-level, climate planners are currently evaluating options to assist residents of the county in reducing their carbon footprint and also for saving money. The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) is one such county-level measure that is currently underway. SCEIP is a revolving loan fund that eligible residents may utilize to install distributed solar energy on their property. The fund operates like a property tax assessment, except that it only remains for a period of 20 years rather than in perpetuity.

This analysis intends to estimate the potential countywide effect that the $100M SCEIP fund might achieve on the C02 and cost footprint for the residential building energy sector. A functional unit of one typical home in the county is selected for a 25 year analysis period. Outside source data for the lifecycle emissions generated by the production, installation and operations of a PV system are utilized. Recent home energy survey data for the region is also utilized to predict a “typical” system size and profile that might be funded by the SCEIP program. A marginal cost-benefit calculation is employed to determine what size solar system a typical resident might purchase, which drives the life cycle assessment of the functional unit. Next, the total number of homes that might be financed by the SCEIP bond is determined in order to forecast the potential totalized effect on the County’s lifecycle emissions and cost profile.

The final results are evaluated and it is determined that the analysis is likely conservative in its estimation of the effects of the SCEIP program. This is due to the fact that currently offered subsidies are not utilized in the marginal benefit calculation for the solar system but do exist, the efficiency of solar technology is increasing, and the cost of a system over its lifecycle is currently decreasing. The final results show that financing distributed solar energy systems using Sonoma County money is a viable option for helping to meet state mandated goals and should be further pursued.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-05

Challenges and Opportunities for Complexity Analysis in Food-Energy-Water Interdependent Systems

Description

The Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus is the interaction and the interdependence of the food, energy and water systems. These interdependencies exist in all parts of the world yet little knowledge exists

The Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus is the interaction and the interdependence of the food, energy and water systems. These interdependencies exist in all parts of the world yet little knowledge exists of the complexity within these interdependent systems. Using Arizona as a case study, systems-oriented frameworks are examined for their value in revealing the complexity of FEW nexus. Industrial Symbiosis, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Urban Metabolism are examined. The Industrial Symbiosis presents the system as purely a technical one and looks only at technology and hard infrastructure.

The LCA framework takes a reductionist approach and tries to make the system manageable by setting boundary conditions. This allows the frameworks to analyze the soft infrastructure as well as the hard infrastructure. The LCA framework also helps determine potential impact. Urban Metabolism analyzes the interactions between the different infrastructures within the confines of the region and retains the complexity of the system. It is concluded that a combination of the frameworks may provide the most insight in revealing the complexity of nexus and guiding decision makers towards improving sustainability and resilience.

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Pricing schemes in electric energy markets

Description

Two thirds of the U.S. power systems are operated under market structures. A good market design should maximize social welfare and give market participants proper incentives to follow market solutions.

Two thirds of the U.S. power systems are operated under market structures. A good market design should maximize social welfare and give market participants proper incentives to follow market solutions. Pricing schemes play very important roles in market design.

Locational marginal pricing scheme is the core pricing scheme in energy markets. Locational marginal prices are good pricing signals for dispatch marginal costs. However, the locational marginal prices alone are not incentive compatible since energy markets are non-convex markets. Locational marginal prices capture dispatch costs but fail to capture commitment costs such as startup cost, no-load cost, and shutdown cost. As a result, uplift payments are paid to generators in markets in order to provide incentives for generators to follow market solutions. The uplift payments distort pricing signals.

In this thesis, pricing schemes in electric energy markets are studied. In the first part, convex hull pricing scheme is studied and the pricing model is extended with network constraints. The subgradient algorithm is applied to solve the pricing model. In the second part, a stochastic dispatchable pricing model is proposed to better address the non-convexity and uncertainty issues in day-ahead energy markets. In the third part, an energy storage arbitrage model with the current locational marginal price scheme is studied. Numerical test cases are studied to show the arguments in this thesis.

The overall market and pricing scheme design is a very complex problem. This thesis gives a thorough overview of pricing schemes in day-ahead energy markets and addressed several key issues in the markets. New pricing schemes are proposed to improve market efficiency.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Energy management in solar powered wireless sensor networks

Description

The use of energy-harvesting in a wireless sensor network (WSN) is essential for situations where it is either difficult or not cost effective to access the network's nodes to replace

The use of energy-harvesting in a wireless sensor network (WSN) is essential for situations where it is either difficult or not cost effective to access the network's nodes to replace the batteries. In this paper, the problems involved in controlling an active sensor network that is powered both by batteries and solar energy are investigated. The objective is to develop control strategies to maximize the quality of coverage (QoC), which is defined as the minimum number of targets that must be covered and reported over a 24 hour period. Assuming a time varying solar profile, the problem is to optimally control the sensing range of each sensor so as to maximize the QoC while maintaining connectivity throughout the network. Implicit in the solution is the dynamic allocation of solar energy during the day to sensing and to recharging the battery so that a minimum coverage is guaranteed even during the night, when only the batteries can supply energy to the sensors. This problem turns out to be a non-linear optimal control problem of high complexity. Based on novel and useful observations, a method is presented to solve it as a series of quasiconvex (unimodal) optimization problems which not only ensures a maximum QoC, but also maintains connectivity throughout the network. The runtime of the proposed solution is 60X less than a naive but optimal method which is based on dynamic programming, while the peak error of the solution is less than 8%. Unlike the dynamic programming method, the proposed method is scalable to large networks consisting of hundreds of sensors and targets. The solution method enables a designer to explore the optimal configuration of network design. This paper offers many insights in the design of energy-harvesting networks, which result in minimum network setup cost through determination of optimal configuration of number of sensors, sensing beam width, and the sampling time.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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A framework for supporting organizational transition processes towards sustainable energy systems

Description

Economic development over the last century has driven a tripling of the world's population, a twenty-fold increase in fossil fuel consumption, and a tripling of traditional biomass consumption. The associated

Economic development over the last century has driven a tripling of the world's population, a twenty-fold increase in fossil fuel consumption, and a tripling of traditional biomass consumption. The associated broad income and wealth inequities are retaining over 2 billion people in poverty. Adding to this, fossil fuel combustion is impacting the environment across spatial and temporal scales and the cost of energy is outpacing all other variable costs for most industries. With 60% of world energy delivered in 2008 consumed by the commercial and industrial sector, the fragmented and disparate energy-related decision making within organizations are largely responsible for the inefficient and impacting use of energy resources. The global transition towards sustainable development will require the collective efforts of national, regional, and local governments, institutions, the private sector, and a well-informed public. The leadership role in this transition could be provided by private and public sector organizations, by way of sustainability-oriented organizations, cultures, and infrastructure. The diversity in literature exemplifies the developing nature of sustainability science, with most sustainability assessment approaches and frameworks lacking transformational characteristics, tending to focus on analytical methods. In general, some shortfalls in sustainability assessment processes include lack of: * thorough stakeholder participation in systems and stakeholder mapping, * participatory envisioning of future sustainable states, * normative aggregation of results to provide an overall measure of sustainability, and * influence within strategic decision-making processes. Specific to energy sustainability assessments, while some authors aggregate results to provide overall sustainability scores, assessments have focused solely on energy supply scenarios, while including the deficits discussed above. This paper presents a framework for supporting organizational transition processes towards sustainable energy systems, using systems and stakeholder mapping, participatory envisioning, and sustainability assessment to prepare the development of transition strategies towards realizing long-term energy sustainability. The energy system at Arizona State University's Tempe campus (ASU) in 2008 was used as a baseline to evaluate the sustainability of the current system. From interviews and participatory workshops, energy system stakeholders provided information to map the current system and measure its performance. Utilizing operationalized principles of energy sustainability, stakeholders envisioned a future sustainable state of the energy system, and then developed strategies to begin transition of the current system to its potential future sustainable state. Key findings include stakeholders recognizing that the current energy system is unsustainable as measured against principles of energy sustainability and an envisioned future sustainable state of the energy system. Also, insufficient governmental stakeholder engagement upstream within the current system could lead to added risk as regulations affect energy supply. Energy demand behavior and consumption patterns are insufficiently understood by current stakeholders, limiting participation and accountability from consumers. In conclusion, although this research study focused on the Tempe campus, ASU could apply this process to other campuses thereby improving overall ASU energy system sustainability. Expanding stakeholder engagement upstream within the energy system and better understanding energy consumption behavior can also improve long-term energy sustainability. Finally, benchmarking ASU's performance against its peer universities could expand the current climate commitment of participants to broader sustainability goals.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Power management interface circuit for MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) bio-sensing and chemical sensing applications

Description

Power supply management is important for MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) bio-sensing and chemical sensing applications. The dissertation focuses on discussion of accessibility to different power sources and supply tuning in sensing applications.

Power supply management is important for MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) bio-sensing and chemical sensing applications. The dissertation focuses on discussion of accessibility to different power sources and supply tuning in sensing applications. First, the dissertation presents a high efficiency DC-DC converter for a miniaturized Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). The miniaturized MFC produces up to approximately 10µW with an output voltage of 0.4-0.7V. Such a low voltage, which is also load dependent, prevents the MFC to directly drive low power electronics. A PFM (Pulse Frequency Modulation) type DC-DC converter in DCM (Discontinuous Conduction Mode) is developed to address the challenges and provides a load independent output voltage with high conversion efficiency. The DC-DC converter, implemented in UMC 0.18µm technology, has been thoroughly characterized, coupled with the MFC. At 0.9V output, the converter has a peak efficiency of 85% with 9µW load, highest efficiency over prior publication. Energy could be harvested wirelessly and often has profound impacts on system performance. The dissertation reports a side-by-side comparison of two wireless and passive sensing systems: inductive and electromagnetic (EM) couplings for an application of in-situ and real-time monitoring of wafer cleanliness in semiconductor facilities. The wireless system, containing the MEMS sensor works with battery-free operations. Two wireless systems based on inductive and EM couplings have been implemented. The working distance of the inductive coupling system is limited by signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) while that of the EM coupling is limited by the coupled power. The implemented on-wafer transponders achieve a working distance of 6 cm and 25 cm with a concentration resolution of less than 2% (4 ppb for a 200 ppb solution) for inductive and EM couplings, respectively. Finally, the supply tuning is presented in bio-sensing application to mitigate temperature sensitivity. The FBAR (film bulk acoustic resonator) based oscillator is an attractive method in label-free sensing application. Molecular interactions on FBAR surface induce mass change, which results in resonant frequency shift of FBAR. While FBAR has a high-Q to be sensitive to the molecular interactions, FBAR has finite temperature sensitivity. A temperature compensation technique is presented that improves the temperature coefficient of a 1.625 GHz FBAR-based oscillator from -118 ppm/K to less than 1 ppm/K by tuning the supply voltage of the oscillator. The tuning technique adds no additional component and has a large frequency tunability of -4305 ppm/V.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012