Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Real-time emissions feed

There is no end to the amount of detail that may need to be incorporated into assessing a company's carbon emissions. For example, the conversion tables supplied by Defra in the UK provide 20 fuel types split by three greenhouse gases (each with a different conversion factor) to come up with a CO2e figure. In addition there are separate conversion tables for process emissions, passenger transport fuel, freight transport fuel, refrigeration and more. No wonder that the Carbon Emissions Management Software (CEMS) market is taking off.

Until now, though, anyone in the UK trying to understand the carbon impact of the electricity they use has only had a single static conversion factor for grams CO2 per kWh of electricity, updated a few times a year.

However, Real Time Carbon, a joint project by AMEE and Demand Logic limited, has launched an online, real-time carbon calculator which shows the grams of CO2 emitted per kWh of electricity currently being generated.

It's not just about more accurate recording of emissions. According to the web site "The aim is to encourage incorporation of the feed into embedded computing devices that already control electrical loads. That will include Building Management Systems that control heating, ventilation and air conditioning loads in commercial buildings".

It may seem over the top for most purposes at the moment, but every year achieving incremental emissions savings will be harder and harder and getting down to this sort of real time detail and using it to automatically control energy use is going to be inevitable. (There is also the potential to combine this with the increasing use of data centre power capping - of which more later - to reduce emissions).

© The Green IT Review

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