UT Austin Energy Bulletin
A Monthly Update from the Energy Institute of The University of Texas at Austin
|The UT Austin Energy Bulletin is a monthly update on energy-related research, recent and upcoming events, grants, awards and special announcements – a recap of all things energy at The University of Texas at Austin.
DOE awards Austin Technology Incubator and partners $745,000 to create regional clean energy initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) $745,000 to form the Southwest Regional Clean Energy Incubation Initiative, an integrated network that will connect industry and energy sector partners and increase access to information about clean energy technologies emerging from universities and federal laboratories. ATI partnered with Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Texas at Arlington on the winning proposal, one of four projects DOE selected to receive funds under the National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy. For more, read the DOE announcement.
Research holds promise for advanced energy storage devices
Scientists in UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences (CNS) and the Cockrell School of Engineering have developed the first of a new class of pseudocapacitors that could lead to devices that store electricity more densely and charge / discharge more quickly. Researchers, led by Dr. Keith Stevenson, hope further advances could one day allow electric car batteries to recharge in minutes instead of hours and help load leveling on electric grids. For more, read the research team’s article in Nature Materials and the summary on the CNS website.
UT Austin students visit Germany to present designs for water and energy efficient solar-powered housing unit
Researchers in UT Austin’s School of Architecture (SoA) returned from Munich, Germany, recently after looking at several options for designing and constructing an affordable, solar-powered house that is water and energy efficient. A team of undergraduate and graduate students will further develop the design and construction before building a prototype unit in spring 2015 to submit as an entry in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Solar Decathlon. Read more.
Graphene could supplant silicon in microprocessors, new research shows
UT Austin Mechanical Engineering Professor Li Shi is exploring novel ways of supporting and connecting graphene, an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. The slim graphite material could be a replacement for silicon and other substances used in microprocessors and next-generation energy devices. Shi, along with graduate research assistant Mir Mohammad Sadeghi and post-doctoral fellow Insun Jo, observed the effects of thermal conductivity when increasing the thickness of graphene. For more, read an article on the Texas Advanced Computing Center website.
Center for Energy Economics: surge in industrial projects could boost U.S. industrial sector gas demand by 19 percent
A surge in gas-to-liquids investments and other U.S. industrial projects likely will lead to a significant boost in demand for natural gas through the end of the decade, a new analysis from the Center for Energy Economics (CEE) in UT Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology’s shows. For more, read coverage of the CEE analysis in an article in the Houston Chronicle.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“The design is being developed specifically for Central Texas, and will be responsive to the region’s physical and cultural climate.”
School of Architecture Professor Petra Liedl on researchers’ efforts to devise an affordable, energy and water efficient solar-powered home.
Law school convenes international energy and arbitrationconference in Santiago, Chile
UT Austin’s Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law convened a conference in Santiago recently for the exchange of ideas between Latin American experts and specialists from the United States and Europe on energy and arbitration. Panelists representing energy companies, law firms, and universities discussed investor-state disputes, the jurisdiction of arbitrators and the roles of courts in reviewing awards, and the importance of human rights and environmental considerations in arbitration proceedings. Read more.
UT Austin to Host 2014 International Greenhouse Gas Technologies Conference
UT Austin has been selected to host the 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT-12) October 5-9, 2014, at the Austin Convention Center. Since its inception in 1997, the GHGT series has developed into the leading international conference on greenhouse gas technologies addressing climate change mitigation options. The conference is held every two years on an informal rotation between major cities in Europe, Asia, and North America and attracts more than 1,500 attendees. Leaders from the scientific, industrial and policy communities exchange new knowledge, information and ideas on reducing greenhouse gases.