Measure & Model
Measurement devices are all around us, from clocks to speedometers. Ed has worked with measurement devices throughout his professional career. Currently, his focus is on measuring the depth of water in residential wells, using an instrument that bounces sound waves off the water surface to measure how far down the water is. This information, along with knowing how deep the pump is in the well, provides valuable insight in the possibility that the well will run dry at some point.
Measurement and modeling often go hand in hand. The raw data from measurement of electricity demand for water pumping needs sophisticated modeling to understand if the pump is wasting energy. Modeling can provide estimates of how much money can be saved on the electricity bill with various upgrades to the pumping system.
For the typical models ECMC develops, principles of physics and chemistry, resource availability, costs, and so forth, are turned into math equations within computer software. Today, computer spreadsheet and database applications allow incredibly complex calculations to proceed quickly. This allows us to consider complex calculations with many inputs, scenarios, and results, which would have been unthinkable in the days of pencil and paper.
Two key skill sets are required to model: 1) Expertise in computational software applications, such as spreadsheets and databases, along with word processing, so the results can be documented; 2) Understanding and applying the laws of science to what is being modeled.
The modeling services ECMC offers today help clients predict the outcome of proposed initiatives. In water and wastewater energy efficiency, modeling is key to predicting cost and energy savings, and directing the retrofit design efforts for the best outcome. To understand the effectiveness in slowing climate change, a spreadsheet model allows users test strategies and observe the resulting emissions impacts.