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University Partners with Center for Sustainable Energy for Green Energy Research

Mahajan lab

Sustainable energy research will be accelerated though a partnership between Stony Brook University and the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) that will support, foster and accelerate cutting-edge research being conducted in Stony Brook’s Research & Development Park. A memorandum of understanding signed by both parties will also work to secure additional funding for projects and assess the regional and global commercial potential of clean energy strategies that contribute to the U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy.

The collaboration combines the research and development expertise of Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) and Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) with the market transformation and program management experience of the CSE. CSE efforts will focus on fostering research that transitions to low carbon technologies, provide energy technology gap analysis, incorporate workforce training and education, and seek global R&D collaborations.

Mahajan lab
Professor Devinder Mahajan, upper right, will lead clean energy demonstration projects as part of the collaboration between Stony Brook University and the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Mahajan stands next to a fuel cell in his laboratory. Shawn Jones of CSE, holding the fuel cell monitoring device, will aid with technology integration for the demonstration projects. Chemical and Molecular Engineering graduate students Jake Lindberg, front left, and Kun Tan, are part of the research team.

An overarching aspect of the collaboration will be to target greenhouse gas reduction projects that advance the goals of existing programs focusing on climate change, including New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and National Grid’s Northeast 80×50 Pathway.

The initial focus at Stony Brook University will be on two demonstration projects led by Devinder Mahajan at the Institute of Gas Innovation and Technology (I-GIT). One project is a power-to-gas (P2G) concept that stores excess wind and solar power as hydrogen. The produced hydrogen would then fed to a fuel cell or react with captured carbon dioxide to produce biomethane for distribution in existing natural gas networks to decarbonize fossil gas. Another project involves a biomass thermal conversion process that can produce off-grid electrical power from wood waste using a 30 kilowatt smokeless gasifier.

“The goal of these projects for commercialization on Long Island and elsewhere would be to help decarbonize fuels in the power generation and transportation sectors,” Mahajan said.

CSE has successfully teamed with other universities and institutions to accelerate sustainable energy projects including its agreement with the University of California San Diego to test multiple technologies on its campus microgrid, including solar power, CHP, battery storage and electric vehicles; supported UC Berkeley and city administrators to address barriers to implementing a citywide mirogrid; and with Santa Rosa Junior College to secure $5 million from the California Energy Commission to install microgrid hardware and software, solar pv, and energy storage.

“Our researchers are developing cutting edge technologies in energy storage, low carbon energy fuels, and renewable natural gas. We are looking forward to this partnership, as CSE has an impressive record in managing renewables programs in the state of California,” said Robert Catell, Chairman of the AERTC Board. “Combining available expertise of both institutions — AERTC in technology development and CSE in technology deployment and data management of renewables – would create a formidable group at the Stony Brook’s R&D park to respond to the renewable energy needs of New York State, the Northeast and the nation.”

“We are excited to combine our program design and administration expertise with the great research work being done at Stony Brook to create the go-to-market capabilities that we believe are essential to power the low-carbon transformation we need today,” said Lawrence Goldenhersh, CSE president, who will serve on the AERTC Advisory Board.

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