Category: Systems Science

Renewable vs Zero Carbon Energy Resources

Renewable vs Zero Carbon Energy Resources

Renewable vs Zero Carbon Energy Resources

08/20/18

“Is there a difference between a renewable energy resource and a zero carbon one?”

 

Renewable energy is often tied to the idea of having zero carbon emissions. But not all net carbon zero energy resources are renewable. Some like Nuclear is run off elements with finite supply but do not add any more CO2 to the atmosphere. This is the prime difference Renewable and Zero Carbon Energy Resources, with the former meaning that the original source is replenishable and the latter meaning the use of this energy source does not (directly) contribute to climate change. This little piece of knowledge is vital for making policy decisions, where we might have to compare the trade-offs between the viability of renewables and meeting climate goals.

 

Quasi-static Time Series

Quasi-static Time Series

Quasi-static Time Series

08/02/18

“How can we work with time-dependent and discrete data?”

 

Distributed Energy Resources can have many different discrete processes that are time dependent such as solar panels producing usable current and batteries absorbing energy. And sometimes these time-dependent processes might actually have multiple different time periods. Since normal analysis is too difficult to integrate with this, we can use something called Quasi-static Time Series to quantify our data.

Resilience Outcomes

Resilience Outcomes

Resilience Outcomes

08/01/18

“How can we evaluate resilience performance?”

 

Resilience Performance is great for seeing how well a system can cope with sudden disasters. However, sometimes we will also need to analyze how effective its response is. This is where we can apply the metric of Resilience Outcomes. Common examples of Resilience Outcomes include reduced damage from disasters and resumed economic activity growth.

Resilience Performance

Resilience Performance

Resilience Performance

07/31/18

“How can we quantify what is produced by critical infrastructure systems?”

 

Critical Infrastructure Systems are one the most important bedrocks of society. However, how can we apply a metric to quantify its outputs? Well, by applying something known as Resilience Performance, we can evaluate a system’s output. Examples of Resilience Performance include energy produced by solar panels or their fault tolerance. Resilience performance is commonly used to evaluate Resilience Capabilities.

Resilience Capabilities

Resilience Capabilities

Resilience Capabilities

07/30/18

“How can we measure how effective resilience capabilities are organized?”

 

Resilience Capacities are necessary to organize Resilience Inputs. But some have more flexibility than others. So how can we apply a metric to this? Well, by using Resilience Capabilities we can evaluate the effectiveness of how the resiliency response can be carried out, such as how the ability to repair damaged power lines.

Resilience Capacities

Resilience Capacities

Resilience Capacities

07/29/18

“How can we organize resiliency inputs?”

 

Resiliency Inputs are the foundation for creating long-lasting critical infrastructure systems. But without any form of organization, they’re quite useless. This is where Resilience Capacities come in. Resiliency Inputs to Resiliency Capacities is like bones to a skeleton. Examples of Resiliency Capacities include emergency response teams of repair workers to downed power lines after a natural disaster.

 

Resilience Inputs

Resilience Inputs

Resilience Inputs

07/28/18

“What are the building blocks of Resilience?”

 

With the ever-changing climate, critical infrastructure systems are going to have to become more resilient. To develop this, engineers and policymakers have developed a series of metrics to quantify the resilience of such systems. The most fundamental of which is the Resiliency Inputs to a system. Inputs are the like the bones of a skeleton. Although they compose the physical structure, on their own they are ineffective. Examples of Resilience Inputs in energy systems are budgets, equipment, spare parts, and personnel to support recovery operations.

Resiliency Metrics

Resiliency Metrics

Resiliency Metrics

07/24/18

“How can we quantify a system’s  resilience ability?”

 

With the ascent of climate change, cities all over the world will have to change their infrastructure to be resilient against the winds of climate change. However, how can we quantify how resilient a given system is? Well, by breaking down an infrastructural system into multiple components (namely inputs, capacities, capabilities, performance, and outcomes), we can apply Resiliency Metrics to each to evaluate a system’s readiness. Resiliency metrics can be applied to any type of infrastructure, whether it be power systems, gas pipelines, or transportation networks.

A visualization of reversible vs nonreversible processes

A visualization of reversible vs nonreversible processes

A visualization of reversible vs nonreversible processes

08/08/17

“What exactly is the difference between reversible and non-reversible systems?”

 

Reversible and non-reversible systems are two of the most fundamental and confusing concepts in thermodynamics. But this visualization should help clarify them. Let’s take a ping pong game. If we are playing without score, then after a round is over, everything goes back to normal with no change in the system, making it reversible. However, if we are keeping score, then after every round the number of points change forever, making this process non-reversible