Thursday, June 28, 2007

Playing with a Calculator #2: Appliance Emissions

For those who like Wonky sites, check out the "Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center"--yes there is such a center--which is part of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy. The site is a factoid lover's dream.

From their site:
Q. How much CO2 is emitted as a result of my using specific electrical appliances?

A. For this answer, we refer you to an excellent article, "Your Contribution to Global Warming," by George Barnwell, which appeared on p. 53 of the February-March 1990 issue of National Wildlife, the magazine of the National Wildlife Federation. The article, assuming that your electricity comes from coal, calculates CO2 emissions corresponding to the use of various electrical appliances. For example, one hour's use of a color television produces 0.64 pounds (lb) of CO2, and each use of a toaster produces 0.12 lbCO2, whereas a day's use of a waterbed heater produces 24 lb CO2.

In general, the coefficient is about 2.3 lb CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. You can calculate the kWh of electricity by multiplying the number of watts (W) the appliance uses times the number of hours (h) it is used, then dividing by 1000. For example a 60-W light bulb operated for 24 h uses

(60 W) x (24 h) / (1000) = 1.44 kWh.

This use of electricity would produce an emission of

(1.44 kWh) x (2.3 lb CO2 per kWh) = 3.3 lb CO2

if the electricity is derived from the combustion of coal.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center

Green Factoid has spent long hours, calculator in hand, fooling around with these equations. For example, our 1998 side-by-side GE fridge is rated at 71kwh/month or 852 kwh/year. That equals about 1960 lbs./year. Send Green Factoid some of your own calculations.


green-houseeffectca2dn3 said...

Great post - thanks for your insight - Keep 'em coming!Thanks!P. Lanet IIIConcerned Earth DwellerIs Global Warming A Scam...? Want to learn more?

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