26 May 2011 @ 9:31 AM 

When I completed my MS Thesis at Humboldt State University (HSU), I was quite busy. The weekend of May 16th, I played Trombone with the band I managed, the Humboldt Firkin Tappers, at the Legendary Boonville Beer Festival. Two weeks later, Sharyn and I got married at the 3-day wedding we had spent a year and half planning (it went very well). A week after the wedding, I defended my thesis while we worked on packing up the house. Two weeks later, we moved to Texas! Needless to say, I was mildly distracted. Updating my blog with an official post about my completed thesis was not really at the front of my thoughts.


A Distributed Renewable Energy System Meeting 100% of Electricity Demand in Humboldt County: A Feasibility Study.

A model of electricity supply and demand in Humboldt County, California over the course of one year is presented. Wind, ocean–wave, solar, and biomass electricity generation are simulated using available hourly data and efficiencies of extraction for each. Hourly electricity demand is simulated using US Census 2000 data and county load data. A simulated two-dimensional geospatial map of Humboldt County power distribution is updated each hour of the simulation as demand and supplies fluctuate over one year. Given zero input from fossil fuel power generation sources, the model will show that without sufficient transmission to import power in times of deficit, the intermittent nature of each renewable power source cannot be compensated for even when all are harvested simultaneously. The model goes on to show that with reasonable renewable power plant sizes and as transmission capacity increases, Humboldt County could not only meet 100\% of electricity demand year round, but could become a net electricity exporter.
HSU Digital Library Page:
Direct Link to PDF at HSU Digital Library:
I will be uploading some extra bits of information regarding the thesis including videos of parts of it down the road. When I do I will link to them from here.
Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 26 May 2011 @ 09:38 AM

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Categories: Math, Thesis, Wedding
 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:50 PM 

I have not posted on here in some time. My previous post where I say that I am super busy was quite accurate. A lot has transpired since then.

(1) To my own astonishment, I completed my Masters Thesis. I defended, completed the paper, and have recently submitted both the PDF version and printed version to the HSU Graduate Studies Office. I decided to get 7 (seven) bound copies of the thesis. Since figures in my thesis are not possible to fully understand without color and there are a lot of figures, the entire thesis (all 107 pages) needed to be printed in color. As it turns out, 749 pages printed single-sided on acid-free (100% cotton) paper is not cheap. It came to the tune of $700. Instead of paying someone to do this, I bought a $900 color laser printer that was on sale for $250. The toner that came with the printer covered all seven drafts and now we have a super nice color laser printer to boot!

(2) Sharyn and I got married at the beautiful Mendocino Woodlands. Many who read this were in attendance. The wedding surpassed most of our expectations succeeding in being our dream wedding. There were a few rough patches but overall an incredibly memorable event. I know that we got more time than most newly-weds to say hello and spend time with their guests but it was not enough time. I think a week might have covered it. I am still in the process of uploading the hundreds of photos we got. I am so happy with Sharyn and us together and the wedding and everything to the point where I keep waiting for my “bad luck” to come around. I hope it never does. 🙂

(3) Eight days after we returned home from the wedding, we picked up the U-Haul and stuffed it full of our belongings. We completed our move-out and began the long trek to Texas. We stopped at some favorite spots along the way — Ruth McGowans Pub for a final burger and beer; Grover Beach to visit some of Clan Ross; Sun City and San Diego to visit some of the Radke’s, Werdeman’s, and more; then on to Phoenix to visit Ruth, Dave, and Makayla. Laurie kept us company on the drive from Humboldt to LA and then Ron helped us tremendously by driving the U-Haul while Sharyn and I switched off on the Jeep out to Abilene. We are all moved in here. I start work in three days.

Texas-isms #1 – In Texas, in order to register your vehicle, it must pass the “State Inspection” similar to the “Smog Check” in California. The difference is that Texas does not look at emissions of the vehicle. Texas wants to make sure your wiper blades work, your headlights work, your blinkers work (by the way if one of the lenses is cracked, it must be replaced).

Texas-isms #2 – Capris – that apparel somewhere in between shorts and pants – are called Crops. No wonder the sales assistant was confused!


On another note, this site will likely be overhauled sometime soon-ish. Well maybe not so soon. But WordPress is a bit old and Joomla is my new favorite. Soon… ish.

Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 28 Jun 2009 @ 01:36 PM

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 14 Apr 2009 @ 10:37 PM 

The second scenario in my analysis section looks at power supplied by 140MW of wind (purple), 50MW of solar (yellow), 50MW of ocean–wave (blue), and 64.3MW of biomass (green). This scenario leaves out the fossil fuel (brown) and the transmission (red). A one week run of the model in the summer from Sunday July 1, 2008 through Saturday July 7, 2008 is shown below.

July 1, 2008 through July 7, 2008 power supplied where purple is wind, solar is yellow, ocean-wave is blue, and biomass is green. The black curve at the top is power demand.

July 1, 2008 through July 7, 2008 power supplied where purple is wind, solar is yellow, ocean-wave is blue, and biomass is green. The black curve at the top is power demand.

December 14, 2008 through December 20, 2008 power supplied. The high winds really help in the winter.

December 14, 2008 through December 20, 2008 power supplied. The high winds really help in the winter.

As you can see, without more biomass or another way of compensating for the intermittency of wind, solar, and ocean-wave power, a purely renewable portfolio for Humboldt County would not be adequate.

Please ask me questions if you like. I’d be happy to answer them.

Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 14 Apr 2009 @ 10:37 PM

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