Forum for ecoinvent Version 3

Electricity transformation proccess

Written on: 26.05.2019#1


Hi all,

I am new to ecoinvent and LCA, I have modeling question as per description of a process I could not conclude how it should be used. I am working in openlca with ecoinvent 3.4 cutoff database. 

I have created el mix process with different technologies contributing to it (%coal, %wind ete) in high voltage producing el mix of 1kWh, as my topic is households el consumption and to make it more realistic, I would need to transform the high to medium voltage. How the transformation process should be used? If I consider it as input to el mix adding up all the technologies used which amounts to 1 kWh as mentioned, the transformation process has the highest impact, which should not be correct. How it should be regarded as input, output, another system? Should my technolgies be modeled to 50% of el mix and the transformation as 50%? Is that the correct way? Or I am not looking at it in correct way, I would appriciate help. 

Written on: 31.05.2019#2

Dear Julija,

in the case of household electricity consumption, I would generally advise using low voltage electricity rather than medium voltage, unless otherwise specified 


If you are looking for the national electricity mixes, you  can find those for all three voltage levels (high, medium, low) and all geographies readily available in ecoinvent, e.g. market for electricity, low voltage in France. If you look at the undefined (gate-to-gate) version of the dataset you can see how the modeling of the supply chain (high voltage – transformation – medium voltage – transformation – low voltage) is done in ecoinvent. If you would like to model your own electricity mix, you can follow the same structure:

The high voltage mix (the 1kWh you mention) feeds into “electricity voltage transformation from high to medium voltage”. This, in turn, feeds into the medium voltage market. Consider losses for transformation and transmission. Possibly some electricity production technologies produce at medium voltage level and hence feed into this market, while there is also some consumers (commonly large industry) consuming at medium voltage level. After considering all this your medium voltage mix can then feed into “electricity voltage transformation from medium to low voltage” which in turn feeds the “market for electricity, low voltage”. Again consider losses for transformation and transmission/distribution, as well as technologies (such as photovoltaic) which feed into the low voltage level and supply the household consumer.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Florentine Brunner, Data Analyst, ecoinvent