Energy Bites Seminar April 27, 2023

Thursday, April 27, 2023  |  12PM-1PM

Bite 1: Fossil-Free UC/UCD
Stephen Wheeler, EGG/CDGG/Human Ecology

Bite 2: Greenhouse Gas Emission Impacts from Heat Pump Installation over Furnaces in Residential and Office Buildings
Subhrajit Chakraborty, EGG/WCEC

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Energy Bites Seminar April 20, 2023

April 20, 2023  |  12PM-1PM

Bite 1: Enabling Decarbonization of Buildings through Optimized Control of Electrified Loads
Armando Casillas, LBNL

Bite 2: Digitization and Interoperability for Building Controls and Analytics
Marco Pritoni, LBNL

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Are Southern California students and teachers breathing clean air?

The air purifier in teacher Andres’ classroom at MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School in Santa Ana was installed in 2021. But the first time the light went red no new filters could be found, a result of supply chain woes. Now, about two months after installing a replacement, the warning signal is back.

Andres, a sixth-grade math teacher who’s taught in the same class, Room 7, for 30 years, said the air problem isn’t just about COVID-19.

“We have mold issues,” she said. “There are issues like this all over the county. Some of these schools are old.

“Teachers just want to know that the air quality is good,” she added.

The issue isn’t trivial, or misunderstood. Studies have linked dirty air inside of schools — particularly in communities with dirty air outside of schools — to a variety of health conditions and learning delays. It’s also known that a proven, cost-effective way to clean up school air is to improve a school’s ventilation system.

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Fighting Climate Change with Heat Pumps

Geez, it’s hot. We’ve been sweltering through record-high temperatures here in California. Our house is one of the 30% of California homes without air conditioning. And our furnace is getting older. If we replaced our furnace with a heat pump, we could get efficient heating and efficient cooling all in one. And we’d be doing our part to move the decarbonization-via-building-electrification ball forward. So we’re getting heat pump curious.

Joe Biden is excited about heat pumps. He recently invoked the Defense Production Act to ramp up domestic production, and the Inflation Reduction Act includes generous heat pump tax credits and rebates. Governor Gavin is also heat-pumped. He’s offering rebates to California households that will help him meet his target of 6 million new residential heat pumps by 2030.

Some recent research out of UC Davis finds that, for households that are installing AC for the first time, or households that need to replace their old air conditioner with a new unit, it makes climate sense to make the AC a heat pump and replace the furnace. We’re pretty convinced we have a heat pump in our future. For us, the question is not whether to heat pump…but when?

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Hydrogen Transportation Systems in California: Prospects and the State of Play

Friday, November 4, 2022
Lewis M. Fulton
Director, STEPS (Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways)

Lewis Fulton has worked internationally in the field of transportation, energy, and environment analysis and policy development for over 25 years. He is Director of the Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways Program (STEPS+) within the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. There he leads a range of research activities around new vehicle technologies and new fuels, and how these can gain rapid acceptance in the market. He also coordinates research across five STEPS+ Centers: Energy Futures Center, the Sustainable Freight Center, the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center, the 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program, and the China Center for Energy and Transportation.

From 2007-2012 he was a Senior Transport Specialist with the International Energy Agency, Paris, as well as Division Head for Energy Technology Policy during 2011-2012. He returned to the IEA in 2007 after working there originally from 1999-2005. During 2006-2007 he worked in Kenya with the UN Environment Program, developing and implementing GEF-funded sustainable transport projects around the world. During the 1990s he also worked at the US Department of Energy for 4 years, and taught at the Independent University of Bangladesh and the University of Maryland.

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Alumni Panel

Friday, December 2, 2022
Alumni Panel: Kristen Bush, Rhys Davis

Kristen Bush:

Kristen Bush is an Engineer/Scientist I on the Electric Transportation team at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). She currently assists with various projects with research topics including transportation equity, infrastructure design, and inventories related to medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles.

Prior to joining EPRI, Bush completed her M.S. in Energy Systems and conducted research through the Energy Graduate Group. There she completed her thesis titled, “Examining Perceptions and Priorities of Heavy-Duty Transportation Electrification Projects: How Considerations of Justice Can Improve Project Implementation in Environmental Justice Communities.” Bush also interned at the California ISO as a Market and Infrastructure Policy Intern where she developed code and used programming to understand the liquidity of bilateral transactions within the region of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC).

Having participated in projects related to energy access, clean transportation, equity, and energy justice, she hopes to contribute to similar efforts throughout her career.

Rhys Davis: 

Rhys Davis is a technical consultant specializing in codes and standards with Resource Refocus, a small energy and building science consulting firm. He is currently developing climate-aligned building codes as well as researching low carbon building design in New York state. As an EGG student at UC Davis, he worked with SMUD to model the grid, carbon, and occupant impacts of multifamily building electrification retrofits. He also worked with the UCD Energy & Engineering team on small building HVAC control and retrocomissioning. As an undergraduate, he studied mechanical engineering at the Ohio State University with a focus on water consumption for power production. Prior to graduate school, he worked in energy efficiency consulting for Go Sustainable Energy in Columbus, and also worked on a farm in central Virginia growing produce and raising chickens. He now lives in Berkeley and still does farm work, now with the UC Gill Tract Farm.

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Developing the Western US Power Grid through Markets

Electricity demand is growing across the Western United States as economies boom and the transition to electrified transportation and buildings begins. At the same time, state policies are rapidly transforming the mix of power generation sources, from fossil fueled to carbon free. The grid across the Western US has long been interconnected, but its operation has been disunited, with dozens of utilities having responsibility for their individual territories. Regional stakeholders have come to recognize that the lower-carbon grid of the future requires more coordination that is institutionalized through markets. This presentation will discuss the drivers of the current trend toward cooperation, the ongoing success of the Western Energy Imbalance Market and efforts underway to establish a west-wide market operator.

Andrew Campbell is Executive Director of the Energy Institute at Haas at the University of California, Berkeley and serves as a Governing Body Member for the Western Energy Imbalance Market. At the Energy Institute Mr. Campbell serves as a bridge between the research community and business and policy leaders on energy economics and policy topics. Prior to UC Berkeley, Mr. Campbell worked for residential energy management company, Tendril, and grid sensor provider, Sentient Energy. For five years Mr. Campbell served as an advisor at the California Public Utilities Commission. There he led successful efforts on grid modernization and data access, electric vehicle charging, demand response and dynamic pricing. Mr. Campbell has also worked in Citigroup’s Global Energy Group and as a reservoir engineer with ExxonMobil. Mr. Campbell earned bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics from Rice University and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Friday, November 18, 2022
Andrew Campbell, Executive Director, Energy Institute at Haas, University of California, Berkeley
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