1731 Ozone and Particulate Matter Attainment

Ozone and particulate matter attainment focuses on the requirement that all geographical areas in the U.S. must not have ambient troposphere ozone and particulate matter concentrations in excess of either federal or state standards (not all states have separate standards). There are over eighty areas in the U.S. that do not meet current or proposed ozone standards, primarily east of the Mississippi (an area called the ozone transport region or OTR) and in the large metropolitan areas of the far west (e.g., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Seattle). Particulate matter (PM), with several standards at stake (annual and daily PM10 and PM2.5 values), also impacts hundreds of rural and metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. While electric utilities or distributed generation technologies do not directly emit ozone, PM10, or PM2.5, they do emit NOx and VOCs which are precursor compounds for the production of ozone, PM10, and PM2.5.

It is uncertain what impact a competitive electric market and the integration of DG into the electric utility infrastructure will have on either ozone or par-ticulate matter attainment strategies. This is a complex problem consisting of many broad air quality policy and engineering questions requiring mediation resolution at both state and federal levels. An increase in NOx emissions could exacerbate the regional transport of ozone from relatively clean upwind areas in the Midwest to severely polluted downwind areas on the northeastern seaboard that do not emit significant concentrations of ozone, PM10, and PM2.5 precursor compounds. The impact of transferring electricity loads from hundreds of large utility generating stations (i.e., point sources of air pollutants) to tens of thousands of distributed generation units (i.e., area sources of air pollutants) could reduce peak (i.e., one-hour ozone concentrations) ozone values but increase daily ozone levels (i.e., eight-hour ozone concentrations), thereby threatening compliance with the proposed eight-hour ozone standard. A fundamental theme underlying these policy uncertainties is the resolution of jurisdictional authority between state agencies and the federal government. In the past, the state-regulated utility system meshed reasonably well with the state-implemented air quality controls. As the utility industry becomes more competitive and potentially more regional and as air quality also becomes more regional (regional haze, long-range pollutant transport), state-directed controls on existing sources may prove to be less efficient and effective.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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