Sustainable Power and Energy Center

SPEC.UCSD.EDU


From theory to microgrid, we innovate.

Better solar panels and wind turbines are important to help ensure a low-carbon future. But they are not enough. The energy from these intermittent sources must be stored, managed, converted and then accessed when it’s needed most. And the cost of future battery systems that will do this work needs to drop. This is where the new Sustainable Power and Energy Center comes in.

The Center collaborates across academic disciplines and works directly with industry partners to solve key technical challenges that are holding back distributed-energy storage and generation, as well as accompanying power-management systems. Center researchers just published a breakthrough that could lead to rechargeable batteries that function at record-breaking voltages (see opposite page).

Many industry areas such as electric vehicles, microgrids, photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and wearable sensor devices stand to benefit from the Center’s work.

At the same time, the Center trains and mentors students to become tomorrow’s workforce for green and advanced energy. UC San Diego’s world-renowned microgrid serves as a real-world test bed for the work, which is rooted in thoughtful analyses of the economics of distributed energy.

Interfaces are the “demons” in energy devices

“Devices for energy storage and conversion live and die at materials interfaces, and yet materials behavior at crucial interfaces is often a mystery. Our research teams have developed unique expertise to design, control and characterize energy-materials interfaces like never before. We work from the atomic level up through nano, micro and macroscales. Through the synergy of interfacial science and engineering, we are uniquely positioned to design, predict and characterize what is occurring — sometimes in real time — at key materials interfaces.”

  • — Shirley Meng, Ph.D.
  • Sustainable Power and Energy Center Director
Cycling of experimental batteries

CENTER DIRECTOR

  • Shirley Meng
  • Professor
  • NanoEngineering
  • THEORY AND
    COMPUTATION

  • CHARACTERIZATION
    AND DIAGNOSIS

  • MICROGRID
    TESTING

  • SYNTHESIS AND
    FABRICATION

  • MANUFACTURING
    AND INTEGRATION

  • ECONOMIC
    EVALUATION

  • Table of Contents