Nick Melosh, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Solar conversion is usually divided into two classes: quantum-based conversion, such as photovoltaics (PV), and thermal conversion, such as solar dishes and power towers. Because these two processes operate at very different temperatures, they have remained separated. While traditional fossil fuel power conversion technology can enjoy the benefits of a combined cycle approach to reach greater than 50% conversion efficiencies, this has not been possible for solar technology. An ideal combination would be to first absorb sunlight in a PV panel which could operate at very high temperature, and use the waste heat from this process to drive a thermal engine. However, due to PV physics they cannot operate at the high temperatures necessary for thermal systems. Here we describe a new physical mechanism that combines both photon and thermal energy sources, and can operate at high temperatures (200-1000ºC). This new mechanism, called photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE), uses similar materials as traditional solar cells, yet the mechanism is fundamentally different. Theoretical estimates of the PETE process show it can be more efficient than a single junction solar cell, yet its true importance is that it could work in tandem with a thermal engine. Estimated efficiencies of combined cycles reach over 50%, though are still quite a ways from being demonstrated. We will show the first proof-of-concept results from the PETE process showing the mechanism is valid, and discuss what the current obstacles to obtaining high efficiency are.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
What happens when you put lots of wind and solar power onto the power system? Do you need more storage? Do you need more reserves? When does the system 'break'? What actions can be taken to integrate wind and solar power into the power system without large cost increases to consumers?
Wind and solar power are inherently variable and uncertain. This causes difficulties for power system operators who must maintain reliability. Over the past several years, utilities and researchers have simulated power system operation with various penetration levels of renewable energy, examining increased costs due to integration of the renewables and mitigation measures to more cost-effectively accommodating the renewables. Debbie will present an overview of recent renewable energy integration studies in the US and Europe. She will focus on the recently released Western Wind and Solar Integration Study, one of the largest wind and solar integration studies to date, that examines the integration of up to 35% wind and solar energy into the power system. Issues addressed include: utility cooperation, tradeoffs between local and remote renewable energy resources, geographic diversity, storage, reserves, and improved forecasting.
followed by a MAP Energy Social (details announced at the seminar)
- Zhi-Xun Shen, Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Science (SIMES)
- Sally Benson, Global Climate and Eneregy Project GCEP
- Stacey Bent, TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
- Jim Sweeney, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC)
- Frank Wolak, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD)
- Larry Goulder, Stanford Environment and Energy Policy Analysis Center (SEEPAC)
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.
Note different time and location - 3:45-5:15pm, McCaw Hall
- John Krenicki, President and CEO, GE Energy
- Roy Johnson, former CEO, Calisolar
- Dick Swanson, President Emeritus and CTO, SunPower
- Uma Chowdhry, Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Technology Officer, DuPont
Held in conjunction with the GCEP Annual Research Symposium
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | 03:45 PM - 05:15 PM | McCaw Hall, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center | Free and Open to All
Andrew Revkin, editor of Dot Earth, will moderate a discussion with leaders from industry about the opportunities for businesses and countries to participate in the energy economy and the "energy innovation ecosystem" that will be needed to stimulate, support, and sustain innovation in the energy sector. This panel takes place in conjunction with the Annual Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) Research Symposium which this year has the theme of “Creating a Sustainable Energy System for the 21st Century and Beyond”.
Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Most stakeholders agree that solar energy can provide a significant percentage of U.S. electrical needs over the coming decades. National public support of solar energy projects, and large scale solar projects, is strong. Despite the support and excitement, the first of the newly proposed, and fast-tracked, large scale solar projects are facing significant hurdles. Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment recently hosted a two-day forum in which industry, NGOs, policy makers and scientists discussed these challenges and brainstormed ideas to meet them. Margot Gerritsen, who led the forum, will discuss the outcomes of this fascinating forum. Questions addressed in her talk include: Why is there broad excitement about large scale solar? What are fast track projects, and why are they facing high hurdles? What do tortoises have to do with large scale solar projects? How can we make large scale solar work, and what role can Stanford play?
Thomas Jaramillo, Stanford University
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Solar energy is an attractive option that could potentially provide our energy needs in sustainable fashion, but a number of major scientific challenges stand in the way of developing cost-effective methods to capture and store solar energy at the terrestrial scale. One means to store this energy is in the form of fuels, i.e. using solar energy to drive redox reactions such as splitting water into H2 and O2 or the conversion of atmospheric CO2 to alcohols and hydrocarbons. This talk will focus on the development of the three key components needed to synthesize liquid and gaseous fuels from sunlight: (1) semiconductors with appropriate electronic band structure for solar photon absorption and for sufficient photovoltage to drive redox reactions, (2) water oxidation catalysis to provide the protons and electrons needed for the fuel synthesis reduction reactions, and (3) electro-reduction catalysis for the evolution of hydrogen and/or the reduction of CO2 to liquid fuels. The exploitation of nano-scale effects will be discussed as a means to tailor material surface and bulk properties to fit these needs.
Paul De Martini, Vice President of Advanced Technology, Southern California Edison
Jim Detmers, Vice President of Operations, CA Independent Systems (CAISO)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
During the Energy Seminar’s 4-part series on the future of the Grid we have explored what the “Smart Grid” is, a case study integrating more than 50% wind on the grid, issues and solutions for extending the grid, and with this talk we will examine the requirements for integration of utility-scale renewable energy. Paul De Martini, Vice President of Advanced Technology at Southern California Edison, and Jim Detmers, Vice President of Operations at California Independent Systems Operator, will speak from a utility and grid operator’s perspective about operations today and opportunities in the future as we move into an age of renewable energy and distributed generation.
California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is one of the most ambitious standards in the country, and they will discuss how smart grid technologies would contribute to make the 2020 targets realistic. They will examine the business case for smart grid investments and strategies for implementing smart meter demand-side management and incentives for consumer’s households. Additionally they will address the added complexities of managing our electricity distribution system while integrating renewables, meeting peak demands, and possibly responding to increased electricity demand for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
How will smart grid technologies contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Is the electric utilities sector in California structured properly to move into the age of renewable energy and distributed generation? How would you define a successful rollout of smart grid technologies? The speakers will address these questions as well during their discussion.
Reyad Fezzani, Chief Executive Officer, BP Solar
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Reyad Fezzani is CEO of BP Solar, a pioneering, global solar energy company of BP. Reyad has lived and worked in many parts of the world from which he has developed a deep knowledge and understanding of global business and economics. He will speak from first-hand experience about the peaceful rise of Chinese capitalism, including its recent and growing influence in the solar energy industry.