UMEI: University of Michigan Energy Institute – UROP Symposium

UMEI: University of Michigan Energy Institute

Adoption of improved cookstove technologies and energy use patterns of urban households in Lusaka, Zambia

Conner Harwood | UMEI

Conner Harwood and Pamela Jagger

Low- and middle-income households in Lusaka, Zambia rely heavily on charcoal burned in stoves with very low combustion efficiency as their primary source of cooking and heating energy. Reliance on biomass fuels contributes to climate change and deforestation and has negative impacts on human health and well-being. Improved cookstove technologies, offering more efficient cooking (e.g., the EcoZoom rocket stove sold by VITALITE), or motivating a transition to clean cooking (e.g., biomass pellets burned in the Mimi Moto microgasification stove sold by Supamoto), may mitigate the negative consequences of heavy reliance on charcoal…




Algorithm for Analysis of Transmission Electron Microscopy Videos

Jack Liu | UMEI

Jack Liu

Recently, a method was developed to study nanowire growth events through Electrochemical Liquid-Liquid-Solid (ec-LLS) using a liquid Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) holder cell. To understand the ec-LLS process, in-situ movie recordings of nanowire growth by this method have been obtained. Instead of analyzing each frame by hand, which is time-consuming and not efficient, this presentation will describe my work to develop an automated algorithm. Specifically, I developed a program to compute the growth rate and kinks (growth angle) of all visible nanowires grown by ec-LLS in the TEM videos. To obtain these data, the algorithm tracks the position of the liquid metal nanodroplets in solution since the nanodroplets have higher contrast to the background compared to the nanowire body. By considering and removing the overall drift, a trajectory of the nanodroplets can be plotted and used to compute the length and kinks of nanowires. I am developing a GUI interface so that it is accessible to everyone who wants to perform similar analyses without extensive knowledge of coding.




Analysis of reservoir characteristics through machine-learning segmentation

Tyler Olson | UMEI

Tyler Olson, Ellen Thompson, Kira Tomenchok, Brian Ellis

The analysis of core-scale rock properties such as porosity, permeability, and pore size distribution are a vital part in determining the effectiveness of geothermal energy systems. If the rocks that make up a geothermal system are found to be highly reactive under fluid transport, the system may experience unwanted problems (e.g., leakage) that reduce the efficiency of the system. These issues may also hold potential to cause harm to the environment…




Carbon dioxide emissions effects of electrolytic hydrogen for large scale flexible energy storage within electric power systems

Isaac Bromley-Dulfano | UMEI

Isaac Bromley-Dulfano, Julian Florez, Michael Craig

This project seeks, first, to identify the potential contribution of wind and solar generators to power systems across the Western United States, and, second, to examine the geo-temporal relationships that drive the relative value of generators in different regions. Capacity values quantify the reliable contribution of a generator toward meeting system demand and improving overall system adequacy. This allows for an informed transition from conventional, fossil-fuel to renewable systems while maintaining reliability. We develop a model for estimating capacity values of variable renewable energy generators as their effective load-carrying capability (ELCC), defined as the additional load that can be met at the same reliability level by added renewable capacity…




Carbon dioxide emissions effects of electrolytic hydrogen for large scale flexible energy storage within electric power systems.

Adam Levey | UMEI

Adam Levey

Energy storage will play a pivotal role in decarbonizing the eclectic power sector which is a critical step in the mitigation of global warming and will help reduce the extent of global temperature rise. In an attempt to analyze operational CO2 emissions reductions due to energy storage, we model the effects of renewable hydrogen production by water electrolysis in tandem with traditional Lithium-ion storage as a means of short term energy storage and seasonal load shifting within the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system. To better understand the effects of short- and long-term storage, we modeled both strong and moderate emissions reductions goals with and without storage technologies through 2050…




Computational Modeling Electromagnetic Energy Converter for Photovoltaics

Justin Seablom | UMEI

Justin Seablom, Matthew Perez, Mojtaba Akhavan-Tafti, Nilton Renno

The use of photovoltaic cells (PV) to generate solar power large land areas. PV cells are the component of solar panels that collect sunlight and convert it to electrical power. Solar panels must be laid relatively flat and spaced out to prevent the shading of neighboring panels. The goal of Electromagnetic Energy Converter (EMEC) project is to Develop compact panels such that less the power generate per area covered increases compared to commercially available panels, creating an EMEC device with more applications than current commercial panel applications…




Economic Analysis of a Future use of Small Modular Reactors for Industrial Heating and Electricity

James Pelkey | UMEI

James Pelkey, Michael Craig

Making nuclear power an integral part of our energy future is vital in order to achieve lower carbon emissions, as nuclear is already our nation’s greatest source of carbon-free electricity. Approximately 22 percent of global CO₂ emissions are due to heavy industry. Of this percentage, about 40 percent, or 10 percent of total emissions, is caused by combustion used for high-quality heat. This necessitates the decarbonization of heat sources for industrial processes. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) have grown in importance in order to create the safest, cleanest, and most affordable power sources in the nuclear energy industry…




Electrocatalytic CO2 Reduction to Methane Using Functionalized Hedgehog Particles

Jessica Wolking | UMEI

Joel Graves, Elizabeth Wilson, Nicholas Kotov

Electrochemical CO2 reduction offers a unique and green production scheme for useful C1 and C2 hydrocarbon fuels and species such as methane, methanol, and ethylene.[1][2][3] However, traditional aqueous CO2 electroreduction requires high overpotentials and offers limited Faradaic efficiency due to low solubility of CO2 in water and competition with the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).[1][3] Supercritical phase CO2 (scCO2) offers an advantage over an aqueous system by greatly increasing the relative concentration of CO2 available for reduction at the electrode. However, scCO2 exhibits poor ionic conductivity, so the introduction of an electrolyte is necessary to facilitate ion transfer.[5] A multifaceted solution to these issues is the use of supercritical phase CO2 in a biphasic emulsion system stabilized by novel Hedgehog particles (HPs)[6]…




Energy Policy in National Party Platforms and Congressional and Presidential Actions

Ori Rattner | UMEI

Ori Rattner

United States national political party platforms have been published for every presidential election cycle since the early to mid 19th century. The format, content, and significance of this platform has changed greatly over the course of the past couple centuries. In more recent presidential election cycles, especially since both parties reformed the principal method of winning delegates at the convention to primaries and open caucuses, the party platform has become more of a symbolic set of positions that tends to reflect the views of the presidential candidate from a given party on issues of concern to voters (Mann, 2000). Due to the current significance that party platforms hold, they are good barometers for how an elected official, especially the president, from a given political party will address those areas if elected. This research analyzes the content of national party platforms with regards to energy policy in order to attempt to assess the degree to which positions in national party platforms have translated into federal energy policy implementation over the last half century…




Evaluating the Passive Radiative Cooling Potential of Various Geographic Regions using Satellite Information

Spencer Cira | UMEI

Spencer Cira, Hannah Kim, and Andrej Lenert

Radiative sky cooling is a well-documented physical phenomenon in which a surface emits infrared radiation to Space, effectively at ~3 K. Applications of this phenomenon for local thermal management, such as passive buildings, occupant thermal comfort and cooling of solar panels, are receiving a growing amount of interest. Beyond these local applications, radiative cooling has the potential to favorably alter the Earth’s energy balance if deployed on a large enough scale (10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.010). However, we currently lack an understanding of the techno-economic and environmental impacts of such a global cooling approach…




Influence of Surface Treatments on the Structure and Properties of GaN Layers

Jiaheng He | UMEI

Jiaheng He, Maggie Chen, Guanjie Cheng, Davide DelGaudio, Fabian Naab, Zishen Wang, Bin Li, Jung Han, and Rachel S. Goldman

Although silicon-based electronics are used to power light-emitting diodes and electric vehicles, their utility in high power applications is limited by low breakdown voltages. The most promising alternatives are vertical GaN devices, but these involve etching and selective-area re-growth, both of which enhance near-surface atomic displacements to the detriment of device performance. In this work, we utilize ion beam analysis and cathodoluminescence spectroscopy to examine the influences of ambient exposure, dry etching, and metal-organic precursor surface treatments on surface/interface defects and their electronic signatures…




Integrated Software Development for the Scale-up of Perovskite Photovoltaics with Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition Processes

Enpei Zhao | UMEI

Enpei Zhao, Daniel Penley, Tae Cho, Neil Dasgupta

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a useful manufacturing technique that allows one to control surfaces and interfaces by depositing thin films on high-aspect ratio surfaces utilizing self-limiting reactions. The precursors in a traditional ALD process are separated temporally, but can be separated spatially in a process called spatial atomic layer deposition (SALD). SALD can achieve up to two orders of magnitude higher throughout compared to conventional ALD primarily because the process can be performed at atmospheric pressure. Furthermore, it can be integrated with roll-to-roll manufacturing system. This manufacturing advantage results in drastically reduced cost and complexity that could help to address the large-scale manufacturing needs of the perovskite photovoltaic solar cells as well as battery production…




Integrating Negative Emission Technologies to Power Systems

Shagun Parekh | UMEI

Shagun Parekh, Dr. Michael Craig

In order to be in compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement and limit global average temperature rises to below 2°C, it is imperative that we see large-scale deployment of negative emission technologies like direct air capture (DAC). However, little research highlights how the deployment of these NETs would change the behavior of current power systems. Our research project aims to make this connection more clear, and more specifically quantify the importance of power system operational constraints in estimating net carbon dioxide (CO2) removal by DAC…




pH Analysis of PtxRuy/C Alloys for the Nitrate Reduction Reaction

Evan Ortiz | UMEI

Evan Ortiz, Zixuan Wang, Nirala Singh

Nitrate is a pollutant primarily generated from agriculture and septic waste. High concentrations in water sources can cause algae blooms, and subsequently dead zones. Consumption of water with high levels of nitrate contaminants have been linked to blue baby syndrome and cancer. One method of remediation is to electrochemically reduce nitrate to other benign or commodity products. However, there does not exist an active, stable, selective, and inexpensive material to catalyze such a reaction. Current research has explored alloys as potential electrocatalysts…




Photo-assisted Flow Battery Charging

Wes Fermanich | UMEI

Wes Fermanich, David Kwabi




Prospect of a Zero-Energy Skyscraper in Chicago

Brianna Kucharski | UMEI

Brianna Kucharski, Jong-Jin Kim

With increasing concern about the effects of energy inefficiency within the built environment, the architectural field and beyond are challenged to think more critically about the environmental impact of our designs. Within the city of Chicago, large scale buildings (i.e. greater than 50,000 square feet) make up less than 1% of the total number of buildings within the city yet account for about 20% of the total building energy consumption…




Semiconductor Quantum Dots: Dopant versus Free Carrier Profiles

Grace Fedele | UMEI

Grace Fedele, Christian Greenhill, Jenna Walrath, Alex Chang, Davide DelGuadio, Hongling Lu, Eric Zech, Rachel Goldman

Semiconducting quantum dots (QDs) can be used to enhance the performance of a variety of devices encompassing optoelectronic, thermoelectric, and alternative energy technologies. Often, a small amount of another element (a dopant) must be added to the semiconducting QDs to provide extra electrons and improve conductivity. Since each QD is expected to contain fewer than 10 dopant atoms, both the extra electrons and their “parent” dopants have been difficult to locate. In an earlier study, fewer electrons were observed within the interior of the QD than in the surrounding substrate, which could be due to a preference of the dopant to stay outside of the QDs (1)…




Simulating the Liquid-Liquid Extraction of Acetic Acid during Wastewater Treatment using Aspen Plus

Joe Shangraw | UMEI

Joe Shangraw, David Speer, Anish Tuteja

Wastewater treatment is a highly energy-intensive process that burdens many municipal governments, both economically and environmentally. Our team at Michigan is part of a larger, Department of Energy sponsored project to find energy efficient methods of converting waste into valuable by-products. One important step in the process is the extraction of carboxylic acids, such as acetic acid, which can be sold and reused as a chemical precursor. Previous research at our lab has prepared a method for a membrane-assisted liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) of acids from the treated waste. The purpose of this remote research was to review literature relating to the LLE of acetic acid and to attempt to model these reactions with different organic solvents using Aspen Plus, a chemical process simulator…




System Modeling and Material Data Analysis for Heat-Storing Salt Hydrates

Patrick Girard | UMEI

Patrick Girard, Steven Kiyabu, Donald Siegel

Thermal energy storage (TES) is a potentially advantageous method for storing heat from hours to even months in a “thermal battery”. The methods for TES are sensible, latent and thermochemical. Thermochemical energy storage (TCES) is the most promising due to high energy densities and nearly loss free storage. The main operating principle for TCES technology is a reversible reaction…




The Energy Efficiency Equity Baseline: Investigating Utilities’ Investments into Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Michael Zimmerman | UMEI

Michael Zimmerman

Across the United States, low-income households pay over three times more of their monthly income for energy and heating than higher income households. To reduce low-income households’ disproportionate energy burden, utilities invest in low-income energy efficiency programs. These programs improve the energy efficiency of qualifying households by upgrading insulation in ceilings and walls, or installing more efficient appliances…




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