Research

Sustainable Energy Research

Sustainable energy research involves studying and developing novel and sustainable energy sources. This includes wind, hydroelectric, and solar energy. Typically involves heavy experimentation.


MNETC-ParkMicro/Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion Laboratory

Our research interests are to understand fundamental physics of energy interactions and conversions at the micro/nanoscale and (2) to apply the obtained fundamental knowledge to various engineering applications, including tip-based nanoscale imaging and spectroscopy, renewable energy harvesting in various scales, manufacturing of micro/nanoscale devices and structures, and nanoscale thermal metrology. The nature of our research is highly multidisciplinary across diverse disciplines in a good balance between experimental and theoretical studies.

Director: Dr. Keunhan Park (kpark@mech.utah.edu) | 1361 MEB


RETLRadiative Energy Transfer Lab

The mission of the Radiative Energy Transfer Lab is twofold. Our first objective is to provide to the scientific community a fundamental understanding of radiative transfer at nanoscale. Our second objective is to bridge the fundamental physical concepts and the engineering applications by developing cutting-edge radiation-based devices in diverse areas such as energy conversion. Current applications of interests include photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic power generation, design of materials with unique radiative properties and optical characterization of nanostructures.

Director: Dr. Mathieu Francoeur (mfrancoeur@mech.utah.edu) | 2155 MEB


U-solar-panels-960x350Site-Specific Energy Systems Lab

The Site-Specific Energy Systems research group at the University of Utah studies alternative energy systems and how they can support the goals of environmental and economic sustainability. We consider energy systems from central power stations to individual buildings, exploring how they integrate with other engineering systems and earth systems, and analyzing their impacts. Our goals are to advance the adoption of cleaner, more efficient energy systems and promote solutions that address economic, societal, and environmental sustainability pillars with a systems-level, cross-disciplinary view. Specific areas of interest include: simulations for decision making around distributed generation in the built environment; computationally efficient modeling of thermal energy storage devices; studies of the pressure retarded osmosis process toward hydroelectric power generation; quantifying building-related emissions; understanding impacts on water resources from both conventional and distributed, renewable power generation.

Director: Dr. Amanda Smith (a.smith@mech.utah.edu) | 2121 MEK


SustainableEnergy_FrontPageSustainable Research Lab

Research in the Sustainable Energy Lab is focused on ways to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Specific areas of interest are Seasonal Energy Storage where technologies to “Tivo” the weather are being developed, Enhanced Geothermal Energy production, Advanced Solar-Assisted Compressed Air Energy Storage, Radiative Exchange and nighttime “Cool” thermal energy storage, and Thermal-Chemical Batteries for indefinite storage of waste heat for subsequent heating, air-conditioning, or power production applications.

Director: Dr. Kent Udell (udell@mech.utah.edu) | 1157 MEB


wind-tunnellTurbulence & Renewable Energy Lab

Research interests in the Turbulence & Renewable Energy Lab center around turbulent boundary layers, pollutant dispersion, sensor development, unmanned aerial vehicles and sensitivity analysis.

Director: Dr. Meredith Metzger (m.metzger@utah.edu) | Bldg. 60


wet-direcotryWind, Energy & Turbulence Lab

Research interests in the Wind, Energy and Turbulence Lab center around atmospheric sciences and turbulence, hydrology, fluid mechanics and wind farms physics.

Director: Dr. Marc Calaf (marc.calaf@utah.edu) | 2547 MEK