Matching Items (5)

Future Life-Cycle Footprints of Passenger Transportation in San Francisco

Description

Vehicle trips presently account for approximately 50% of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions (San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 2008). City and county officials have developed aggressive strategies for the future

Vehicle trips presently account for approximately 50% of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions (San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 2008). City and county officials have developed aggressive strategies for the future of passenger transportation in the metropolitan area, and are determined to move away from a “business as usual” future. This project starts with current-state source data from a life-cycle comparison of urban transportation systems (Chester, Horvath, & Madanat, 2010), and carries the inventoried emissions and energy usage through by way of published future scenarios for San Francisco.

From the extrapolated calculations of future emissions/energy, the implied mix of transportation modes can be backed out of the numbers. Five scenarios are evaluated, from “business as usual” through very ambitious “healthy environment” goals. The results show that when planners and policymakers craft specific goals or strategies for a location or government, those targets, even if met, are unlikely to result in the intended physical outcomes. City and state governments would be wise to support broad strategy goals (like 20% GHG reduction) with prioritized specifics that can inform real projects leading to the goals (for instance, add 5 miles of bike path per year through 2020, or remove 5 parking garages and replace them with transit depots). While these results should not be used as predictions or forecasts, they can inform the crafters of future transportation policy as an opportunity for improvement or a cautionary tale.

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  • 2012-05

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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Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Energy efficiency policy in Arizona: public participation and expert consultation in the policy implementation process

Description

Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may

Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may slow the energy policy process rather than expedite it. The absence of a state energy policy or plan raises questions about how multiple actors and ideas engage with state energy policy development and whether the absence of a comprehensive state plan can be understood. Improving how policy development is conceptualized and giving more focused attention to the mechanisms by which interested parties become involved in shaping Arizona energy policy. To explore these questions, I examine the future energy efficiency. Initially, public engagement mechanisms were examined for their role in policy creation from a theoretical perspective. Next a prominent public engagement forum that was dedicated to the topic of the Arizona's energy future was examined, mapping its process and conclusions onto a policy process model. The first part of this thesis involves an experimental expert consultation panel which was convened to amplify and refine the results of a public forum. The second part utilizes an online follow up survey to complete unfinished ideas from the focus group. The experiment flowed from a hypothesis that formal expert discussion on energy efficiency policies, guided by the recommendations put forth by the public engagement forum on energy in Arizona, would result in an increase in relevance while providing a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration that is atypical in today's energy discussions. This experiment was designed and evaluated utilizing a public engagement framework that incorporated theoretical and empirical elements. Specifically, I adapted elements of three methods of public and expert engagement used in policy development to create a consultation process that was contextualized to energy efficiency stakeholders in Arizona and their unique constraints. The goal of the consultation process was to refine preferences about policy options by expert stakeholders into actionable goals that could achieve advancement on policy implementation. As a corollary goal, the research set out to define implementation barriers, refine policy ideas, and operationalize Arizona-centric goals for the future of energy efficiency.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Regression tree-based methodology for customizing building energy benchmarks to individual commercial buildings

Description

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to which an individual building consumes energy in excess of its peers is the first step in initiating energy efficiency improvement. Energy Benchmarking offers initial building energy performance assessment without rigorous evaluation. Energy benchmarking tools based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) database are investigated in this thesis. This study proposes a new benchmarking methodology based on decision trees, where a relationship between the energy use intensities (EUI) and building parameters (continuous and categorical) is developed for different building types. This methodology was applied to medium office and school building types contained in the CBECS database. The Random Forest technique was used to find the most influential parameters that impact building energy use intensities. Subsequently, correlations which were significant were identified between EUIs and CBECS variables. Other than floor area, some of the important variables were number of workers, location, number of PCs and main cooling equipment. The coefficient of variation was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the new model. The customization technique proposed in this thesis was compared with another benchmarking model that is widely used by building owners and designers namely, the ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. This tool relies on the standard Linear Regression methods which is only able to handle continuous variables. The model proposed uses data mining technique and was found to perform slightly better than the Portfolio Manager. The broader impacts of the new benchmarking methodology proposed is that it allows for identifying important categorical variables, and then incorporating them in a local, as against a global, model framework for EUI pertinent to the building type. The ability to identify and rank the important variables is of great importance in practical implementation of the benchmarking tools which rely on query-based building and HVAC variable filters specified by the user.

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Date Created
  • 2013

Unified framework for energy-proportional computing in multicore processors: novel algorithms and practical implementation

Description

Multicore processors have proliferated in nearly all forms of computing, from servers, desktop, to smartphones. The primary reason for this large adoption of multicore processors is due to its ability

Multicore processors have proliferated in nearly all forms of computing, from servers, desktop, to smartphones. The primary reason for this large adoption of multicore processors is due to its ability to overcome the power-wall by providing higher performance at a lower power consumption rate. With multi-cores, there is increased need for dynamic energy management (DEM), much more than for single-core processors, as DEM for multi-cores is no more a mechanism just to ensure that a processor is kept under specified temperature limits, but also a set of techniques that manage various processor controls like dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), task migration, fan speed, etc. to achieve a stated objective. The objectives span a wide range from maximizing throughput, minimizing power consumption, reducing peak temperature, maximizing energy efficiency, maximizing processor reliability, and so on, along with much more wider constraints of temperature, power, timing, and reliability constraints. Thus DEM can be very complex and challenging to achieve. Since often times many DEMs operate together on a single processor, there is a need to unify various DEM techniques. This dissertation address such a need. In this work, a framework for DEM is proposed that provides a unifying processor model that includes processor power, thermal, timing, and reliability models, supports various DEM control mechanisms, many different objective functions along with equally diverse constraint specifications. Using the framework, a range of novel solutions is derived for instances of DEM problems, that include maximizing processor performance, energy efficiency, or minimizing power consumption, peak temperature under constraints of maximum temperature, memory reliability and task deadlines. Finally, a robust closed-loop controller to implement the above solutions on a real processor platform with a very low operational overhead is proposed. Along with the controller design, a model identification methodology for obtaining the required power and thermal models for the controller is also discussed. The controller is architecture independent and hence easily portable across many platforms. The controller has been successfully deployed on Intel Sandy Bridge processor and the use of the controller has increased the energy efficiency of the processor by over 30%

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  • 2013