Recent News

From Theory to Microgrid: New Ideas from the Sustainable Power and Energy Center Research Summit

Software that can design new materials for energy storage. X-ray visualization techniques to “see” inside batteries and solar cells. Green processes for making batteries. These were some of the projects presented at the Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC) Research Summit at the University of California San Diego on July 18. Full Story

Nanoengineer receives award from Energy Department to advance solar power technologies

University of California San Diego nanoengineering professor David Fenning has received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to lead a new project aimed at advancing research in solar photovoltaic technologies. The project will focus on developing a high resolution tool that can detect moisture in photovoltaic modules and predict how it will affect the modules’ performance. Full Story

Electrolytes made from liquefied gas enable batteries to run at ultra-low temperatures

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed new electrolytes that enable lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance -- in comparison, today's lithium-ion batteries stop working at -20 degrees Celsius. The new electrolytes also enable electrochemical capacitors to run as cold as -80 degrees Celsius -- their current limit is -40 degrees Celsius. Full Story

Nuvve and UC San Diego to Demonstrate Vehicle-to-Grid Technology through Energy Commission Grant

The United States is home to more than half a million electric vehicles. What if all those vehicles could be turned into virtual power plants, feeding energy back into the grid while connected via a charger? Thanks to a $7.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission, San Diego-based Nuvve Corporation will demonstrate how this technology could work on a large-scale with help from UC San Diego. Full Story

South 8 Technologies wins Clean Tech prize at UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge

A new battery technology that will allow electric vehicles to travel farther on a single charge -- with significant improvement in safety and cold weather performance -- received the Clean Tech top prize of $60,000 in the 10th annual UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge pitch competition on May 30, 2017. Full Story

Printed, flexible and rechargeable battery can power wearable sensors

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics. The work appears in the April 19, 2017 issue of Advanced Energy Materials.    Full Story

UC San Diego nanoengineers developing next-gen solar cells in collaboration with EMSL

To engineer the next generation of low-cost, high-efficiency solar panels, the team is using capabilities and expertise at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, or EMSL, a DOE Office of Science user facility, to understand how solar cells work at the molecular level. Full Story

Nanoengineer Shirley Meng among battery experts featured in NOVA program

Battery experts including UC San Diego Nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng explain the needs and challenges for better batteries in new NOVA program. Full Story

Engineers Receive $2.9 Million to Transform Power Distribution on the Grid

A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego and the University of Illinois has been awarded a $2.88 million grant by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a government agency that advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. The researchers, led by Professor Sonia Martinez from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, will develop methods that are poised to transform the way electric power is distributed on the grid. Full Story

Getting to a Zero Carbon Future

Avoiding the worst consequences of climate change by reducing global carbon emissions to as close to zero as possible is one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. The University of California San Diego has launched the Deep Decarbonization Initiative to do just that. And they plan to do so in the real world—where costs matter. The initiative is a collaborative effort of UC San Diego faculty from across campus working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. It embeds the study of modern societies—economics, politics and social organization—within expert technical research on energy systems. The goal is to understand not just how energy systems function, but also how policy and social movements can transform energy and protect the planet. Full Story