In the News
UC Davis to Cut Energy Use by 60 Percent
The University of California, Davis and the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) have announced a commitment to reduce the campus’s electricity use for lighting by 60% by the end of 2015. The Smart Lighting Initiative makes UC Davis the first large institution to commit to a sweeping cut in energy use after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released a plan in September to leverage advanced products and best practices to transform the lighting market and achieve a 60-80% reduction in statewide electrical lighting energy consumption.
The UC Davis initiative would reduce campus electricity use by about 30 million kWh and its carbon footprint by about 6,650 metric tons of CO2E. The university would save an estimated $3 million annually in electric costs, in addition to savings from reduced cooling needs and maintenance costs.
UC Davis’ Western Regional Cooling Challenge inspires National Cooling Challenge
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced today its progress towards developing a national public-private partnership that will drive innovation and high-efficiency into new Rooftop Air Conditioning Units (RTUs) offered in the market. Two years ago, UC Davis' Western Cooling Efficiency Center launched a similarly designed effort to facilitate the mass-production of high-efficiency RTUs that are particularly well-suited to the dry, arid climate of the Western U.S. UC Davis' Western Cooling Challenge has been a success in generating high-efficient low peak RTU products and is a model that inspired the development of DOE's national challenge.
Fellowships available for UCD Ph.D Engineering Students
The Renewable Energy Systems Opportunity for Unified Research Collaboration and Education Program—pairs Ph.D. engineering students working on renewable energy technologies with Sacramento-area 6th grade teachers to develop and teach innovative science curriculum. This includes lessons on general energy concepts (kinds and sources of energy, renewable vs. non-renewable energy), as well as lessons related to each Fellow’s specific research (e.g., improving biofuel feedstocks, wind turbines). Fellows hone their communication, collaboration, and teaching skills plus receive an annual stipend of $30,000, in-state fees, and travel reimbursement. Applications are now being accepted for fellowships that start July 1, 2011. http://gk-12-resource.ucdavis.edu/
Use your gaming skills for research: Microsoft Kinect to control buildings
HVAC Sensors and Controls Based on the Microsoft Kinect
The Kinect is a new gaming device that attaches to any Microsoft Xbox. The Kinect has voice recognition, facial recognition, motion sensing, and skeletal tracking. Together, these features offer revolutionary new opportunities for games and
control of home electronics. These same features offer equally revolutionary opportunities for sensing and control of the indoor environment. Can they also be harnessed to save energy? Create an improved user interface to the building’s
environmental controls? Join the team to investigate and prototype environmental controls and sensors based on the Kinect and other advanced game boxes.
You can get course credit immediately and possibly a real job in future quarters. Graduate students and Juniors/Seniors (including non-engineers) are welcome.
For more information, please contact: Alan Meier akmeier [at] ucdavis [dot] edu
Alan Meier, Energy Efficiency Center Associate Director featured on Sea Change Radio
This nationally syndicated weekly radio show and podcast, which focuses on social, environmental, and economic sustainability, features Alan Meier a UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center Associate Director, scientist at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studier, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Sea Change Radio identifies Meier as "the foremost authority on standby power." Listen to the program at: http://www.cchange.net/2010/12/14/electricity-that-sucks
Associate Director Alan Meier Quoted in Washington Post Article on Energy Efficiency in the US Residential Sector
Washington Post staff writer David A. Fahrenthold discusses trends in energy efficiency of American homes. Alan is quoted on the 3rd page of the article, when the topic shifts to the prospect of future dramatic reductions in energy usage.
UC Davis Faculty and Cooling Expert Mark Modera featured in National Geographic article
Mark Modera, the Sempra Chair in Energy Efficiency, is Director of the Western Cooling Efficiency Center and Associate Director of the Energy Efficiency Center at UC Davis. He is faculty in the Civil & Environmental Engineering department and an expert on disruptive HVAC products and solutions. He is quoted in a recent National Geographic article discussing the challenges and opportunities facing advanced, energy-efficienct cooling technologies.
UC Davis selected as part of two teams that will be funded by the DOE to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of American homes
The DOE announced today that it will fund 15 multi-institution inter-disciplinary research and deployment teams across the country to help improve the efficiency of the residential sector in the United States. UC Davis has been chosen as a valuable team member for two of these selected teams. Through our CA Lighting Technology Center and the Western Cooling Efficiency Center, the campus will bring critical efficiency technology expertise to the challenge of both new construction and whole house retrofits of homes.
Announcing Professor Nicole Biggart as new Director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center and first recipient of the Chevron Chair in Energy Efficiency
Starting July 1, 2010, Professor Nicole Biggart will assume leadership of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center and have the honor of holding the Chevron Chair in Energy Efficiency. Nicole takes over this leadership role from Acting Director Daniel Sperling, who also also serves as Director for the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis), is a Boardmember on the CA Air Resources Board, and is a Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science & Policy.
Nicole joined the UC Davis Graduate School of Management in 1981, and most recently (before going on a year-long sabbatical) served as dean of the management school from 2003 to 2009. As an internationally recognized expert in organizational theory and management of innovation, her research covers economic and organizational sociology, firm networks, industrial change and social bases of technology adoption. She has studied and published on the barriers to implementation of energy efficient technologies in the commercial building industry.
Nicole's first public speaking engagement in her new role will take place next week on Thursday, June 10 at the final installment in the Roots of Energy Efficiency series. Be sure to register and attend!