Lighting Revolutions in Technology, Design, and Application

Speaker: Morgan Pattison, Senior Technical Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy Lighting R&D Program
Host: Energy and Efficiency Institute
Date: 2/6/2020
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Abstract: LED lighting technology is already enabling massive energy savings with more to come. However, we must look beyond the job of just providing the same light more efficiently.  Advanced LED technology is the key enabler for improved lighting quality and control of light. With new lighting designs and form factors, LED lighting can improve human health and productivity, enable more efficient and effective food production, and reduce light pollution and associated impacts of light on the environment. To fully capture these benefits, we need ongoing technology research, innovative thinking in lighting design and integration, and new research and understanding of all lighting applications.

This talk will discuss the basic optoelectronic device and materials science of state-of-the-art LEDs, new understanding of the health implications of lighting, and the latest understanding of plant physiological responses to light and the large-scale implementation of LED lighting for horticulture. In addition, the talk will touch on how LED technology can reduce skyglow and light pollution that can adversely affect wildlife. LED lighting technology is a unique opportunity to directly connect advancements in semiconductor and luminescent materials to human benefits in terms of environmental and ecological benefits, human health, and more efficient food production at very large scale.

Bio: Dr. Morgan Pattison serves as consulting Senior Technical Advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy Lighting R&D Program through his consulting business SSLS, Inc. In this capacity, Morgan manages R&D strategy, monitors funded R&D efforts, and evaluates new LED technologies and application understanding for the DOE, including efforts in human physiological responses to light and horticulture. Morgan has worked for the DOE Lighting R&D Program for over 12 years and works with the National Park Service to develop lighting practices that preserve the natural ecosystem. Other SSLS clients include investors, product developers, growers, and lighting buyers. Morgan has a PhD in Materials Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara with thesis research on advanced LED device design and fabrication.

Understanding Transport and Chemical Phenomena in Solar Fuel Generators for Water and Carbon Dioxide Splitting

Speaker: Rohini Bala Chandran, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Host: Energy and Efficiency Institute
Date: 11/18/2019
Time: 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Location: 1605 Tilia Street, West Village, UC Davis

Abstract: Green plants make complex hydrocarbons from available sunlight, water and carbon dioxide – can we take a leaf from nature’s book? Solar-fuel technologies offer the potential to harness and store the Earth’s most abundant, yet intermittently available, energy resource in the form of energy dense chemicals such as hydrogen and hydrocarbon compounds, derived from water and carbon dioxide. I will present two routes for solar-fuels production, with a focus on probing the complex coupling of mass, momentum, energy and charge transport, and kinetic processes, and its impacts on the materials-to-device scale performance. One approach utilized concentrated solar power to drive an isothermal, cerium dioxide based redox cycle for carbon dioxide and water splitting at temperatures as high as 1500 °C. I will describe how the development of a computational transport and kinetic reactor model was key to achieve design innovations in the reactor, optimize operating conditions, and facilitate physical interpretation of experimental data. In the second approach, a particle-suspension reactor was designed to effect photoelectrochemical solar-hydrogen production from water via a Z-scheme mechanism with two photosystems comprising of semiconductor light absorbers and soluble redox shuttles, similar to natural photosynthesis. In addition to the optical properties of the semiconductors, transport and surface-specific kinetic properties of the redox shuttle have implications on the solar-to-fuel energy conversion efficiency. I will conclude with a discussion on central challenges for solar-fuel technologies and current research directions in my on the topics of radiative transport in particle- laden flows, and solar-powered devices for wastewater treatment.

Bio: Rohini Bala Chandran is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan since January 2018. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and obtained an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in Mechanical Engineering. At Michigan, Prof. Bala Chandran leads the Transport and Reaction Engineering for Sustainable Energy Lab (TREE Lab), where she and her students perform multidisciplinary research in the areas of thermal and fluid sciences, multiscale computation, electrochemical engineering, and semiconductor physics. Specifically, the group applies computational models integrated with experimental analyses to probe the interplay of heat and mass transfer, radiative transport and chemical reactions that play a central role in a host of thermal, thermochemical, and electrochemical energy systems. Prof. Bala Chandran and her students apply this knowledge for applications of concentrated solar power technologies, solar fuel generators and wastewater treatment devices.