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Energy use and production affect the world’s climate and environmental air and water quality through a complex set of processes.

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Ivanpah Solar Electrical Generating System in California's Mojave Desert

Our challenge is to design cleaner and more efficient energy systems to improve our health and environment and to provide energy security for all.

Our energy research covers a range of topics to address this challenge, including resource availability of renewable energies, matching supply with instantaneous demand, analysis of the effects of a variety of energy technologies, energy flow in cities, and the design and operation of zero-energy buildings.

Across these topics, we explore the design and application of novel sensor technologies, analysis tools for large data sets, and data-driven and physics-based computational modeling, considering, for example, renewable power resources, transmission load flows, or building energy consumption.

Energy Efficiency and Reliability

Powernet Project

Powernet is an end-to-end, open-source system that will enable real-time coordination of utilities’ centralized, large assets with millions of distributed resources. It integrates embedded sensing and computing, power electronics, data analytics and networking with cloud computing. Powernet is meant to solve a critical need, so from the outset we have been establishing key allies to ensure rapid adoption of the technologies we develop.

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Powernet - Professor Ram Rajagopal. The Powernet research project, a collaboration between Stanford, SLAC, University of Florida, Google and the Navy, which was begun in 2016, is part of ARPA-E’s Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems program.


Codiga Resource Recovery Center

Anaerobic secondary treatment using the Staged Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Membrane Bioreactor (SAF-MBR)

Anaerobic secondary treatment of wastewater has the potential to convert wastewater treatment plants from major energy consumers into renewable power plants. The Staged Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Membrane Bioreactor (SAF-MBR) is a promising system that has been deployed as a pilot at the Codiga Resource Recovery Center testbed at Stanford and is now being tested at a full-scale wastewater treatment plant operated by industry partner Silicon Valley Clean Water in Redwood City, CA. In initial testing at Stanford, the SAF-MBR system has consistently achieved >90% chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal.

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Metabolic Redox Processes in Biogeochemistry and Bioenergy

In the last decade it has become evident that numerous microorganisms, including Shewanella sp. and Geobacter sp., are capable of transferring catabolic electrons to insoluble electron acceptors such as Fe(III) and Mn(IV) minerals as well as electrodes in microbial fuel cells. Understanding the molecular architecture of this ill-understood electron transfer is of great importance for developing microbial fuel cells and novel approaches to bioenergy, as well as to understanding microbial mineral dissolution.

Projects include: Cathodic BiofuelsMicrobial mineral and anode reductionMetabolic and genetic processes in microbial biofilmsThe Hydrogenase Gene Chip

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