1732Global Warming

Global warming is climate change postulated to be caused by the release of greenhouse gases. While CO2 emissions are the primary global warming pollutant, other anthropogenic compounds of concern include nitrous oxide and halogenated fluorocarbons. The electric utility industry accounts for approximately 35% of total U.S. CO2 emission inventory. CO2 is not currently regulated under the CAA. However, if the U.S. ratifies the Kyoto Protocol (i.e., the international treaty mandating control of global CO2 emissions), the U.S. would be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels. Both conventional utility and select distributed generation technologies will release CO2 emissions with significant increases predicted in a deregulated electric utility environment (Parker and Blodgett, 1998). The absolute amount is dependent on the efficiency design criteria for the combustion processes. For example, a defined maximum allowable heat rate for distributed energy sources (i.e., minimum efficiency) will lower combustion gas emissions by minimizing rate of fuel use. Maximum allowable heat rate will also reduce use rate of nonrenewable natural capital (e.g., natural gas).

The global warming situation is complicated by the observation that for select combustion technologies (i.e., turbines), CO2 emissions will be inversely proportional to NOx emissions. This relationship is critical for understanding the air quality policy implications of distributed generation technologies. Each pollutant has unique air quality implications and, therefore, will require individual policy initiatives. For example, if CO2 is prioritized for emission reduction strategies, ambient ozone control strategies will require recalibration to offset increases in the NOx inventory.

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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