Future Seminar Summaries
Commercializing Wind, Photovoltaics, Lighting, and Batteries: The Impact of Government Policies During the Past 25 Years
Cathy Zoi, Consulting Professor at Stanford University
Monday, March 10, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
On March 10th, Cathy Zoi will present the findings from Energy 158, a research seminar held during the Fall of 2013, that investigated the progress of wind, photovoltaics, lighting and batteries over the past 30 years, and the impact that government intervention had on this progress. She will then apply these lessons from history to propose a framework policy makers can use in the future.
Rationale for the research: Public policy imperatives have created a drive for energy technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve national security, and boost domestic economic activity. To accelerate the development and commercialization of these new technologies beyond what the market would deliver on its own, governments frequently use policies like direct R&D funding, financial incentives or penalties (e.g. through the tax code, state funds, or utility rates), mandatory targets or caps, information disclosure, and performance codes and standards to create market conditions that favor emerging technologies. There is significant public debate about the most effective mix of these policy interventions.
Ann Marie Sastry, President and CEO, Sakti3, Inc.
Monday, March 31, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Critical, imminent changes in the world energy portfolio have amplified pressure on development of advanced energy storage technology, for the grid, automotive and consumer electronics sectors. Technology advances are not only required to enable the largest entry of people to the middle classes in human history, but also to avert disastrous consequences of irrevocable climate change and environmental harm. Present Li-ion batteries (LiB), with a total addressable market of over $12B, expected to grow to over $23B in the next four years, cannot meet these burgeoning needs, for reasons of cost, performance and safety.
Present manufacturers of the incumbent technology all employ liquid electrolytes and lamination processing in highly conserved plant designs, producing cells that are not differentiated in cost, performance or safety. Additionally, lamination processing of LiBs has enormous built in costs, including up to two months’ of careful, pre-processing time for cells before they can be shipped to customers, comprising tremendous work-in-process (WIP) and additional, unremovable process cost and time. These formation and aging costs, coupled with limitations in construction due to lamination, physical limits of transport and mechanics and limited ability to integrate new materials into the existing manufacturing approach, will severely limit gains in performance and safety in this generation of technology. The incumbent technology further requires massive downstream costs to assure the safety of these liquid-based systems, in the form of safety and containment systems. Examination of a mapping of the available materials against their probable effect on cell properties yields a simple conclusion: the incumbent technology benefits have essentially reached their limit, as established holistically by laboratory developments, optimization simulations, and recent commercially reported properties.
Solid state battery technology, though offering a very different development path enabling breakthrough performance and safety, has been relegated to the realm of R&D due to intrinsically high cost, unscalable manufacturing processes that result in high cell cost. Recently, however, Sakti3, a University spinout founded by researchers and engineers with decades of experience in battery research and thin film and other manufacturing, developed an approach for production of cells which offers all of the benefits of the theoretically highest energy density materials available. These massively replicable, cheap and reliable production methods enable cell manufacturing in a single, unified line and produce product that is ready to ship.
Integration of new, environmentally benign energy generation technologies will require improved energy storage both for regulation of load, and for storage of solar and wind power. Non emissive automobiles and use of existing electrical power grids to power them, require safe, onboard traction storage systems. And finally, the democratization of information and the use of mobile devices as the primary, and often the only, connectivity to the internet and commerce, requires safe, high energy density storage technology be available to the consumer. We discuss our vision for technology deployment and future product development using solid state processing of energy storage technology and integration into existing and new infrastructures.
Saving Time and Energy through Bus-Rapid-Transit Project Around the World
Sharareh Tavafrashti, PE, Principal Engineer, San Francisco County Transportation Authority
Elkin Bello, Program Manager, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
Monday, April 7, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
As the cost of providing space and energy for personal transportation options have increased both on the capital side as well as its energy footprint and consequences, mass transportation is gaining priority for developing and developed countries. In this presentation, we will provide a few examples of the successful and not so successful implementations for the bus rapid transit system around the world. The lecture will compare key features of various BRT projects around the world and attempt to address their impact on sustainable development and transportation solutions in each environment.Related Themes: