Energy Research at the University of Washington

Announcement Archives

2011 Arts & Sciences Spring Lecture: A New Dawn for Solar Energy

Meeting the demand for clean, low-cost energy in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way is one of the defining issues of our time. Solar power can be a big part of the solution; however, ensuring it is affordable and scalable requires significant scientific and engineering breakthroughs. Explore the potential of solar energy and learn how UW researchers are combining basic scientific research in chemistry and physics with the powerful tools of molecular engineering, advanced materials and device design to meet this monumental challenge. This webcast is presented by the UW College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and the UW Alumni Association. See the video at: http://www.uwtv.org/video/player.aspx?mediaid=1872545448

Tidal power: another blessing from Puget Sound? See the article on crosscut.com

Energy researcher Brian Polagye discusses tidal power in an article on crosscut.com. See the article at: http://crosscut.com/2011/03/31/energy-utilities/20695/Tidal-power:-anoth...

UW Today: Dimmable windows with solar panels could power zero-energy buildings (2/23/11)

Windows – typically a drain on a building’s energy consumption – are being re-imagined to help boost buildings’ energy efficiency. UW engineers and architects are collaborating on smart windows that can change transparency, depending on conditions, and actually harvest energy from the sun’s rays. Read more at:
http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/dimmable-windows-with-solar-pane...

Brookings Article: Around the Halls: 'Cut to Invest' at the Department of Energy (2/11/11)

The new budget request proposes growing the DOE budget by a substantial 12% over FY 2010 spending levels. R&D accounts would increase by 1/3 to about $8 billion. The outline would increase funding of the DOE’s Office of Science to $5.4 billion, on course to meet the President’s long-term commitment to double the budgets of key research agencies.
Read the full article at: http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2011/0216_budget_energy_muro.aspx

Shwetak Patel named 2010 top innovator of the year by Seattle Business Magazine and newsmaker of the year from TechFlash

Shwetak Patel named newsmaker of the year for his work on energy monitoring in the home.
http://news.cs.washington.edu/2010/12/01/techflash-newsmaker-of-the-year/

Shwetak Patel named top innovator of the year by Seattle Business Magazine for his work on energy monitoring
http://news.cs.washington.edu/2010/10/21/shwetak-patel-top-innovator/

Zensi, Shwetak Patel’s Energy Monitoring Startup, Purchased by Belkin

Zensi, an energy monitoring company based on technology developed by UW CSE professor Shwetak Patel and collaborators, has been purchased by Belkin.

Zensi’s technology was licensed from the University of Washington and from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Patel’s Ph.D. institution. The technology includes single-point-of-attachment sensors for electrical power, water, and natural gas — a single sensor in a home or business uses signal processing and machine learning to identify sources and rates of consumption. This dramatically reduces the cost of instrumenting the home or business and providing occupants with the information they need to behave in more economical and environmentally responsible ways.

According to Patel, this is just the beginning for using software to help consumers better conserve energy. “This puts UW on the map as a premier place for energy work in the residential space,” says Patel.

UW to study state biomass supply

OLYMPIA — The state has picked the University of Washington School of Forest Resources and TSS Consultants to do a 10-month study of the biomass supply in state forests. The study, the first of its kind in the nation, will be funded through a $1 million U.S. Forest Service grant. It will look at what biomass is available as well as access, infrastructure and location.

Read more at the Penninsula Daily News:
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20101209/news/312099989/forest...

Read more at the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (with subscription):
http://www.djc.com/news/en/12024353.html

Testing the Waters with Tidal Energy

Tidal power may be destined to remain a niche player in the U.S. energy portfolio, but the low-carbon energy source has one key advantage over wind and solar--it's as dependable as the moon's phases. UW professor Brian Polagye quoted in this Scientific American article. Read more at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=testing-the-waters-with...

7 Projects Paving the Way for Ocean Power

What if we could tap the power of the ocean to produce electricity?

The University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Scientists in Seattle will be evaluating three technologies — echo sounders, acoustic cameras and multibeam sonar — for their ability to monitor animal densities at sites where hydrokinetic projects are proposed. The team, which scored a $746,000 grant over two years, plans to deploy instruments at the site of a tidal energy demo project proposed by the Snohomish Public Utility District, in Washington’s northern Admirality Inlet.

Read more about companies involved in technologies to capture energy from waves, tides, currents and the ocean’s thermal gradients on a scale that could eventually make the sea a major contributor to the nation’s clean energy supply at GIGAom: http://gigaom.com/cleantech/7-projects-paving-the-way-for-ocean-power/

Molecular imaging and therapy center to develop, commercialize technologies

Ultrasound, best known by many for snapping pictures of babies before they are born, could soon be a way to spot cancerous cells before a tumor develops, precisely monitor how a person responds to treatment, or deliver genetic therapies to their targets.

The Ultrasound-based Washington Molecular Imaging and Therapy Center was established this spring with a $5 million grant from the Life Science Discovery Fund. The UW center will discover, develop and commercialize new medical technologies.

Read more at University Week: http://www.washington.edu/news/archive/61001

UW Wins Green Washington 2010 Award

The University of Washington (UW) was selected as the government/academic winner of the Green Washington 2010 Award, presented by Seattle Business magazine. Evans School Dean Sandra O. Archibald accepted the award on behalf of the university. Archibald has chaired the UW's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee for a number of years. See the article at:
http://seattlebusinessmag.com/article/governmentacademic-university-wash...

UW team builds sensors that run for decades on 1 battery

Researchers at the University of Washington and colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology have figured out a way to make electronic sensors run for perhaps 50 years on a single battery.They're starting a company to commercialize the invention, which is already attracting potential customers. Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering is the PI. Read more: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2012909014_brie...

UW invention could someday make gasoline obsolete (watch a video)

Technology invented by Aaron Feaver during his PhD work at the UW led to the founding of Seattle-based EnerG2 and the licensing technology that is transforming the way energy is stored. Provost Phyllis Wise called it a, "...wonderful success story."

The high-level vision for EnergG2 is to make gasoline obsolete. CEO Rick Luebbe said, "We can do that with electrical energy storage."

EnerG2 - New manufacturing plant was dedicated August 10, 2010. See the plant dedication video at: http://www.youtube.com/user/EnerG2Seattle

"Energy Storage and America's New Energy Economy" - a presentation by Congressman Inslee

Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduces views from eight experts on energy storage. This gallery of thought leaders provides insight into the role of energy storage on the new energy economy, opportunities to advance energy efficiency and the overall impact of energy storage on movement to improve the sustainable use of our planet's resources. To download this presentation visit: http://www.energ2.com/SiteTemplet.asp?tableName=content&key=58

Lidstrom and Baker in collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks and Berkeley were selected for a $6M ARPA-E grant from DOE in the area of "electro-fuels"

April 29, 2010: Ginkgo, along with our collaborators Jay Keasling at UC Berkeley and Mary Lidstrom and David Baker at University of Washington, was selected for a $6M electro fuels ARPA-E grant from DOE. "Together, we will be engineering the bacterium E. coli to produce liquid transportation fuels from electricity and carbon dioxide."

Vist Ginkgo at: http://ginkgobioworks.com/news.html
Visit ARPA-E at: http://arpa-e.energy.gov/ProgramsProjects/Electrofuels/EngineeringEColia...

UW, Tribal Partnership to Develop Bioenergy

UW researchers and local Native American tribes are examining bioenergy solutions that make sense for the Pacific Northwest while considering feasibility and political, environmental, and social boundaries. See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O523U00fsnk

Shwetak's start-up Zensi has been acquired by Belkin International

Zensi, a research startup that uses simple technology to monitor home electricity and water use, has been acquired by electronics company Belkin International Inc. The startup was based on technology developed by Shwetak Patel, a University of Washington assistant professor in the departments of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering. More at: http://www.washington.edu/news/archive/57299