Nanophotonic Control of Thermal Radiation and Energy Applications

Shanhui Fan, Professor, Electrical Engineering, Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University

Monday, April 20, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Nanophotonic structures provide new opportunities to control both the near and far field of thermal electromagnetic fields. Exploiting these opportunities can lead to significant novel energy device and system applications. In this talk, we review some of our recent theoretical and experimental efforts towards developing some of these nanophotonic structures. Specifically, we show that combining near and far field effect results in a thermal extractions scheme, where the total thermal emission of a macroscopic thermal emitter can exceed the apparent blackbody limit of the emitter. We also show that nanophotonic structures can be applied to demonstrate radiative cooling under direct sunlight. Finally, we explore the new thermal physics as enabled by the use of non-reciprocal thermal emitters, where maximum violation of detailed balance between absorption and emission becomes possible.

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Modeling Post 2020 Global Climate Change Policies (Confessions of an Integrated Assessment Modeler)

Max Tavoni, fellow, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), associate professor, Politecnico di Milano

Monday, November 3, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Implementing measures which allows us to start reducing global emissions is an important objective of international climate policy. Against the limited progress being observed so far, there are rising expectations about a post 2020 climate agreement - to be agreed upon in the Paris UNFCCC meeting in 2015. This talk will summarize the state of knowledge of the modeling work on global climate and energy policies. Reporting from the literature of energy-economy-land use integrated models -which provided major input to the IPCC 5th assessment report WGIII- I will assess the relation between short term mitigation actions and long term temperature objectives, the impacts of climate measures in the major economies, the difficult relation between efficiency and equity, and the role of abundant natural gas for climate change.



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Energy Data: Big Decisions, Miniseries Part 3 of 3 | Which Problems to Solve, What Data to Use?

Dr. Carrie Armel, Research Associate, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) at Stanford University

Ian Kalin, Director of Open Data, Socrata

Adam Rein, Principal, Mission Point Capital Partners

Monday, November 11, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Carrie Armel Adam Rein Ian Kalin

What energy challenges are best served with data, and what data sets are available for these applications? Adam Rein of Mission Point Capital will outline the most promising opportunities from a VC’s perspective. Ian Kalin, Director of Open Data at Socrata and a former White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, will survey this administration’s mission to jump start data sharing initiatives and compile data sets. Carrie Armel will provide examples of the diverse ways in which Stanford’s ARPA-E funded initiative has utilized energy data, such as that from smart meters, to reduce energy consumption. Following the panel will be an opportunity to engage the speakers and other knowledgeable professionals in lively discussion and brainstorming.


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The Energy Balance of the Photovoltaic Industry: Is the PV Industry a Net Energy Provider?

Michael Dale, Global Climate & Energy Project, Stanford University

Monday, April 2, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

A combination of policy measures and reduced costs have driven a rapid growth in global installed capacity of solar photovoltaics. This rapid growth has prompted concerns over the net energy yield of PV energy production. Mik will analyze the energy balance of the PV industry given historic and projected growth in capacity. Results suggest that, despite the large amount of energy required to manufacture and install PV systems, there is a high likelihood (greater than 80%) that the industry became a net provider of electricity between 2009 and today. If current trends continue, the industry will almost certainly be a net electricity producer by 2015 and will have ‘paid back’ the energy subsidy required for its early growth by the end of this decade. This analysis raises a number of implications for PV research, development and deployment including: further reducing the energy embodied within PV systems, including balance of system components; designing more efficient and durable systems; and deployment in regions that will achieve high capacity factors.

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California's Energy Future Study: Portraits of the Energy System in 2050

Jane Long, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Monday, October 17, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The California Council on Science and Technology has undertaken a study of California's energy system in 2050. By executive order, the state is to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The study identifies energy system descriptions (call "portraits") from a technical perspective that would meet this standard and allow for population and economic growth. The requirement for growth means that the energy system should have nearly zero emissions. The portraits are constructed by evaluating four key questions: How much can we control demand? How much heat and transportation will be electrified? How will electricity be de-carbonized? How much sustainable biofuel could be available? Results show an energy system that dramatically different than today, but largely relies on technology we know about.

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Powering the World for all Purposes With Wind, Water, and Sunlight

Mark Z. Jacobson, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

Monday, May 16, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

This talk discusses a plan to power 100% of the world’s energy for all purposes with wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) within the next 20-40 years. The talk starts by reviewing and ranking major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security while considering other impacts of the proposed solutions, such as on water supply, land use, resource availability, reliability, wildlife, and catastrophic risk. It then evaluates a scenario for powering the world on the energy options determined to be the best while also considering materials, transmission infrastructure, costs, and politics. The study concludes that powering the world with wind, water, and solar technologies, which are found to be the best when all factors are considered, is technically feasible but politically challenging. Relevant papers can be found at

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Low Energy Building: European Design & Control

Clas Jacobson, United Technologies Corporation, Building Control Systems

Monday, May 9, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All


Buildings consume nearly 40% of the world’s energy which is significantly more than either the transportation or industrial sectors. Any comprehensive plan to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions and to enhance energy security must include actions to increase energy efficiency in the building sector. This talk will focus on the current understanding of the options available to reduce energy usage in buildings and will highlight the role of a systems approach and controls in increasing energy efficiency. The delivery process for buildings will be used to highlight where energy is lost in the design, construction and operation of buildings and both current approaches and research opportunities will be highlighted for increasing energy efficiency.

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Well-Being, Consumption, and Climate Change Commitment

Noah Diffenbaugh, Stanford University

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

Part 2: Miniseries on Energy Impact


Governments are currently considering policies that will limit greenhouse gas concentrations, including negotiation of an international treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol. Designing effective climate change mitigation and adaptation measures requires rigorous, comprehensive, detailed analyses of the response of climate dynamics to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations, and of the potential impacts of those climate changes on natural and human systems. Using a high-resolution climate modeling system, we find that the potential impacts of very high greenhouse gas concentrations are largest where critical thresholds are crossed, with fine-scale climate processes amplifying the climate change – and therefore the impacts – in many regions. We also find that substantial intensification of hot extremes could occur within the next 3 decades, below the 2 ˚C global warming target currently being considered by policy makers. However, the critical importance of energy consumption to human development and well-being creates a tension for both development priorities and climate policy. Indeed, we find that closing the gap in energy consumption between rich and poor populations via intensive consumption and emissions profiles causes global warming of 1.75 to 4.75 ˚C, along with seasonal warming that exceeds two standard deviations of interannual variability over most land areas. This level of climate change is independent of any future emissions by the 28 countries that exhibit the highest levels of well-being at present, suggesting that simultaneously ensuring human well-being and avoiding dangerous climate change requires intensive efforts to enable low-carbon energy consumption.



No video or speaker slides available

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Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford: The Grand Challenge

Lynn Orr, Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor in Petroleum Engineering, Energy Resources Engineering Department Director, Precourt Institute for Energy



Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr. became the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford upon its establishment in 2009. He served as director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2008. Orr was the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University from 1994 to 2002. He has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1985 and holds the Keleen and Carlton Beal Chair of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, and is a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. His research activities focus on how complex fluid mixtures flow in the porous rocks in the Earth's crust, the design of gas injection processes for enhanced oil recovery, and CO2 storage in subsurface formations. Orr is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and he chairs the Science Advisory Committee for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and was a foundation board member from 1999-2008.

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Sustainable Aviation: Future Air Transportation and the Environment

Ilan Kroo, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

January 21, 2009 - Ilan Kroo, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, discusses the impact of aviation on the environment and the idea of "sustainable" aviation. Transport is responsible for 13-20% of all greenhouse gases, and aviation accounts for about 13% of transportation. Additionally, burning fuel at higher altitudes has an increased effect on global warmingcompared to the same emissions at lower altitudes, which gives the airline industry a disproportionate impact on climate change. Kroo shows that airplane efficiency has improved by 70% since the first airplane design, but has a number of design recommendations for further increasing the fuel efficiency of planes. These include autonomous aerial refueling, formation flight, and altered wing shape for reduction of drag. Kroo recommends systems of fleet design, new configurations and technologies, and a new climate model as critical for future improvements.

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