Energy Center

Kenninger Renewable Energy and Power Systems Seminar

April 21 @ 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Room ME 2054

The Energy Center is pleased to welcome Dr. Laurent Pilon from Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California – Los Angeles. He will speak on April 21, 2014 at 10:30 am in Room ME 2054. His lecture is titled: “A Technology Portfolio for a Renewable Energy Future”


Abstract
Industrial and developing nations are facing an unprecedented combination of economic,
environmental, and geopolitical challenges. First, they need to meet their everexpanding
energy needs without further impacting the climate and the environment.
Second, continued population growth in developing countries and the emergence of a
global economy are creating unprecedented stress on natural resources. Third, potential
conflicts over access to remaining supplies of inexpensive fossil fuels, often
concentrated in politically unstable or unfriendly regions, pose a threat to energy
security worldwide. In order to face these formidable challenges and to create
technological and economic opportunities, the United States should increase the energy
efficiency of buildings, transportation systems, and industrial processes. In addition, the
United States must rely increasingly on innovative technologies for energy storage and
renewable energy conversion.

This seminar will present a portfolio of renewable energy conversion, storage, and
efficiency technologies at different stages of development. First, it will briefly review
advances in physical modeling and design of electrochemical capacitors for applications
ranging from hybrid vehicles and wind turbines to smart grid. Second, it will introduce
new solid-state power cycles for direct conversion of waste heat and/or mechanical
energy into electricity using pyroelectric materials. Third, the seminar will present
efforts in optimizing and controlling light transfer in photobioreactors for converting
carbon dioxide into biodiesel using microalgae. Finally, it will assess the use of
microencapsulated phase-change materials embedded in concrete to reduce and shift the
peak energy demand of residential and commercial buildings.

Biography:
Laurent Pilon received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in
2002. He then joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA
where he is now Full Professor. His research group engages in a wide range of
interdisciplinary research projects for renewable energy conversion, storage, and
efficiency technologies at the intersection between interfacial and transport phenomena,
material science, and biology. He is the recipient of the 2005 U.S. National Science
Foundation CAREER Award, the 2008 Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award in
Heat Transfer from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the 2009 Young
Scientist Award in Radiative Transfer from the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy
and Radiative Transfer. He was elected Senior Member of SPIE in 2011. He is also the
recipient of multiple teaching awards from UCLA.

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