Essay on Energy consumption

The consumption of energy grows all over the world. Researchers of every developed countries develop projects, decision and models of energy infrastructure improvement. These projects and models require investments to their practical implementation. On the other hand, the authorities have to study a number of models to develop the investment program and make investment decision. The project under research proposes using Google Earth service for data gathering in energy sector in the state of Iowa. As was stated in the project, “Energy consumption in Iowa primarily occurs in two ways—electric and transportation” (p.4). The state needs comprehensive and interactive model of the state’s energy infrastructure. The project proposes innovative solution with the use of the modern data gathering technologies.  The authors think the end product can help to create a valuable insight of Iowa infrastructure because of it simple, user-friendly graphical interface. Moreover, they claim data gathered for this project can become the basic for long-term (30 years and more) investment solution in the energy sector of Iowa.

Operating Environment

The authors of the project define the operating environment of their product was the following: “The operating environment of our final product will be any internet browser on any computer (Windows, Mac, some mobile phones, etc.) that supports the Google Earth plugin and the necessary JavaScript”(p.6). Thus, the project will not require principally new equipment or software solutions. On the other hand, the authors mention the necessity of data coding. The data of Google Earth cannot be used in the primary form: it should be coded. It means the project will require a working team with strong skills of programming. The programming team also should collect and utilize data to create the future investment project. Thus, the operating environment should be widened according to this purposes and intentions.

Intend Users and Intended Use

Project authors define the intended primary users of their project as investors. Development of the project should be invested by state and private investors with the interests in the sectors of energy and transportation. Authors think their primary intended users group can include people and organizations interested in “a variety of things like power plants, wind farms, transmission lines, natural gas lines, coal, liquid fuel lines, rail, or highways” (p.6) Authors also mention the secondary group of intended users as anyone interested in the topiс of energy.

The intended use is informative function of Google Earth in energy and transportation sector. Authors plan provide the most recent data regarding the energy use and transport routes to their investors. This data should help investor feel the work if their investments and plan future investment decisions.  In the future the data will be used for Iowa energy infrastructure visualization.

Assumption and limitations

There are some assumptions should be made and some limitations should be discussed. The specific of the project requires that users should be familiar with basic computer operations. The use of computers and mobile devices with the corresponding software is the basic assumption for program users.

Next, the final users should be members or associates of NETSCORE21. The 21st Century National Energy and Transportation Infrastructures Balancing Sustainability, Costs, and Resiliency (NETSCORE-21) research project was developed in Iowa State University to  increase rapidly as hybrid electric transportation systems, including hybrid electric trains and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Next, infrastructure data collected from companies should be accurate. The errors in data can prevent to complete the long-term objective of the project.

The important issue in this project is the data continuation. The code of previous project should be used as a basis of handling extension of new project data. It can help to save the resources in data collection.

The energy use and transportation system is dependent of climate. The important assumption in this project is the stability of climate in Iowa over the next 30-50 years.

Natural disasters like the recent hurricane Katrin can change the energy and transportation infrastructure in the state.

At last, it is necessary to remember about the budget limitations. All efforts to collect the data are limited by the budget up to $10000.

Other limitations for the project are the following:

–       Some inaccuracies in Google Earth data in location of data points;

–       Software platform compatibility to be used by anyone with a computer with any platform;

–       Regular and fast updates of infrastructure data.

Expected End Product and Other Deliverables

The following will be delivered at project’s end to the client, according to authors:

–       The most current available information about Iowa’s electric infrastructure (transmission, generation, capacity), transportation infrastructure, and wind turbine generation (turbine location, generation capacity and proximity to transmission lines).

–       An interactive visual representation via Google earth that allows the user to see major electric transmission lines, wind turbine locations, generation plant locations, other types of energy transportation routes (such as natural gas), and other important elements like ethanol plants and other large loads.

–       A proposed long term (30 year+) minimum cost energy plan for the state of Iowa that will address the problem of reducing carbon emissions, satisfying predicted future energy needs, and appealing to public option.

–       All of the documentation and data used and generated during the project. This will be easily accessible through the project team’s website as well a the Google Earth implementation.

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