Assessment of Fugitive Emissions from the Natural Gas System-Commercial Buildings
Developing a field method to plan, conduct, and analyze measurements of fugitive methane leaks/emissions from commercial buildings in California.
The project is completed. The researchers developed measurement techniques for fugitive emissions from piping components and combustion equipment and validated them in the field for most of the commercial equipment encountered. The majority of those fugitive emissions came from a relatively small number of appliance and piping component types. This suggests it may be possible to significantly reduce fugitive emissions from the commercial food service sector by identifying and repairing a relatively small number of problem areas. The results are shared with the California Air Resource Board (CARB). CARB is considering using the results from this study and other Energy Commission funded methane emission studies to improve its GHG inventory.
This project developed and validated a field method to measure after-meter methane leakage from natural gas-fired appliances and gas piping. The researchers took field measurements at 20 commercial food service sites and two inpatient healthcare facilities in California. Using data collected from these buildings, the project team performed a variety of statistical analyses to estimate the magnitude of methane emissions from the food service sector for several scenarios. These scenarios include cities and regions that have different numbers of food service sites with different sizes of operation.
The project results assist in quantification of after-the-meter methane leakages from commercial sectors. This information will help California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by informing the greenhouse gas inventory calculation managed by the California Air Resource Board. This project began the process of better estimating the impact of these sectors on total statewide emissions.
Key Project Members
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory