"Smart grid" technologies significantly reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions resulting from power production and usage. Taken together, smart grid and intelligent buildings mechanisms could reduce national carbon emissions by 12 percent by 2030, according to one estimate. But, surprisingly, sometimes the opposite is true for an individual project. It all depends on a dizzying variety of factors, but a new tool developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory makes estimating those emissions impacts easy.
The free, web-based tool enables utilities and industry to evaluate not only the environmental impacts of adopting smart grid technologies, but can give organizations the operational data to sift through factors to justify the investment.
A paper outlining the science behind the tool is featured as a best conference paper at the IEEE Power & Engineering Society meeting in Boston on July 18.
The Emissions Quantification Tool calculates the resulting changes to carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, and the energy and financial savings that may be achieved by integrating smart grid technologies. The evaluated technologies include coordinated electric vehicle charging schedules, battery-stored energy, and devices that enable integration of solar generation into the power grid.
"Users can quickly and easily screen different scenarios by varying the type of smart grid technology and other variables to best characterize their specific set of circumstances and location," said Karen Studarus, a power systems engineer at PNNL and project lead. "The modules we've assembled are being used right now to explore the impacts of proposed projects and understand the sometimes counterintuitive tradeoffs."
Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Date: Jul 15, 2016