Solution

Background

Clean air is a key element for the quality of life. Air quality is very variable over tima and space. Meteorologic factors play an important role concerning the dispersion and dilution of air pollutants; however, local emissions play a decisive role as ultimate causes of ambient air pollution. That is why it is important for an efficient air quality management to determine as accurately as possible, through emission inventories, the causes for air pollution and their contribution to the pollutant emission in a temporal and spatial dimension.

For greenhouse gases that usually do not contribute to ambient air pollution this is vene more important: authorities must know the existence and extent of all greenhouse gas emission sources in order to implement the legally binding reduction goals for specific emitter groups and administrative regions.

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) has developed the emikat.at emission data management system in order to provide authorities and expert institutions a tool for defining their decisions and strategies for improving ambient air quality and reducing greenhouse gases.

Data management system

emikat.at is a data management system for emission inventories, capable of holding and combining emission scenario data sets. It allows the administration of large data sets concerning emission-generating activities of very different source groups as well as the calculation of the resulting emissions. emikat.at permits the integration of data coming from surveys, statistics and models. Large point sources are included with their accurate spatial locations, traffic is represented on the relevant road or rail network, and the many heterogenic small sources such as domestic heating are assigned to their relevant areas.

Air pollutant emissions are calculated from input data and appropriate calculation models, assigned to their respective spatial entities, and temporally disaggregated to all months of the year. Thus contributions of different pollution sources can be quantified and evaluated in a transparent and quality-assured way.

Since emission-generating activities are associated in large part from the energy input, the emikat system can also be used for the establishment of small scale energy usage  inventories. This in turn enables the definition of spatially resolved energy supply plans.

emikat.at is a central data system, which is accessible for authorized users through a secured internet connection. This allows a decentralized processing and evaluation, carried out by several users at the same time.

Scenario manager

The emikat system manages all in specific versions; all revisions are controlled and logged. In this way newly available data or assumptions of emission-generating activities can be integrated in form of scenarios. The scenarios allow a comparative examination of different versions of emission inventories – for example the overall effects of trends of emission generating activities and pollution control measures or the influence of different calculation models on estimated results.

With emikat.at scenarios can be created, saved, calculated, displayed and compared. In this way it also possible to assess the impacts of intended measures and to evaluate their efficiency.

Application possibilities

  • Version-specific administration of datasets concerning emission-generating activities, emission factors and calculation models
  • Central administration of datasets with decentralized access for several users
  • Flexible hierarchical organization of the datasets in data groups
  • Continuous organization of all data inventories according to multiple criteria
  • Calculation, freely selectable by the user, of emissions on the basis of input data, emission factors and assumptions
  • Consideration of the spatial and temporal distribution of emissions by means of data organization criteria and disaggregation models
  • Calculation of point, line and area emissions
  • Visualisation of emission and energy input inventory maps
  • Creation and comparison of emission and energy input scenarios
  • “What-if” simulations of air pollution control measures
  • Online export of data including direct web-access of data from Microsoft Excel for fast compilation of data charts

User-Services

The emikat.at system, using the adequate security measures, can be operated by the AIT for its users. AIT ensures the secure operation of the entire emikat.at system, including the daily backup.

The access of authorized emikat.at users is possible via internet by means of a Java application running in all local PC environments. In that way work teams from different departments and locations can work simultaneously with the emikat.at system.

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