Calculating an Accurate Carbon Footprint from Electricity Consumption

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Calculating an Accurate Carbon Footprint from Electricity Consumption

Fossil fuel generation of electricity is directly related to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and regardless of the regional differences in power generation profiles, a substantial portion of the electricity supplied to facilities worldwide is generated from some fossil fuel source. Those GHG emissions are considered when calculating the carbon footprint from electricity consumption of a company or location. In every methodology of calculation used to determine a carbon footprint, there is a section that explicitly examines Electricity consumption.


Electricity Consumption and Calculating a Carbon Footprint

There is no uniform formula to calculate a carbon footprint from electricity. The typical carbon footprint Calculator includes some variation of combining the amount of electricity consumed, the average emissions released based on the regional power generation profile, and the average emissions released by the industry equivalent sites.


Typical Carbon Footprint from Electricity Calculation


This methodology does not take into account the quality of the electricity being consumed. If the efficiency of generation, distribution and consumption of electricity is low, there is an increase in energy consumed by loss rather than energy consumed by loads. In other words, large amounts of the electricity is generated and subsequently lost as heat or vibration contributing only to the carbon footprint.


Power Quality Rating

Power Quality Rating (PQR) is a metric which represents the overall efficiency of the electrical network. The number is a multiplicative parameter that combines the 3 most common and harmful disturbances that reduce electrical network efficiency. Lower efficiency means poor power quality which leads to higher costs, more frequent power disturbances, and an increase the wear and tear to the assets.



PQR is calculated on each phase and then averaged together for a single number percentage that indicates the efficiency of the electrical energy flow.


PQR is a dynamic metric that changes in response to the real time electrical network demand and integrates power factor, Total Harmonic Distortion and phase imbalance.


Including Power Quality Rating of Electricity When Calculating a Carbon Footprint



When the Power Quality Rating is considered in the calculation of a carbon footprint from electricity, it accounts for the variation in demand side power quality and quality of electrical service. For example, you can have a state of the art electrical network supplied with poor quality power or good quality power supplied to an outdated and poorly maintained electrical network. Using Power Quality Rating is a much more accurate methodology for calculating carbon footprint from electricity consumption.


Perfect Power Quality Rating – Is it Possible?


To sustain a perfect Power Quality Rating, an electrical network must be free of electrical distortions and the electricity must be balanced equally across the phases. Maintaining a perfect Power Quality Rating means that the electricity consumption is at the highest possible efficiency and therefore the lowest possible carbon footprint.


While every electrical environment is unique, electrical energy flow is universal, following the exact same rules precisely every time. Software-Defined Power interfaces with electricity at subcycle speeds, instantly responding to the live environment to maintain stability and balance.



3DFS Software-Defined Power is the only technology that maintains a near perfect Power Quality Rating guaranteeing the lowest possible carbon footprint when consuming electricity.



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