Advanced Technologies for Converting Energy
A clean, sustainable energy system requires conversion of energy from one form into another dependent on need and application. Examples include solar energy to electrons or heat, electrons to fuels and vice versa, electricity to mechanical work, etc. Berkeley Lab's Energy Conversion group is working on developing, advancing, and understanding the various technologies needed to minimize use of energy and maximize use of next-generation green energy feedstocks. This includes:
- Development of metal-supported solid-oxide architectures and synthesis of their components for both fuel cell and electrolysis operation.
- Optimization of polymer-electrolyte fuel cell performance and durability using multiscale mathematical modeling and associated advanced diagnostics
- Examination of structure/function/property relationships of ion-conducting polymers and thin films
- Production of renewable hydrogen using electrochemical technologies
- Chemical transformations of molecules using electrochemical synthesis in fuel-cell architectures
- New technologies and materials for interconversion of thermal, electrical, mechanical, and chemical energy
The Energy Conversion Group approaches these challenges mainly through understanding how materials operate and come together using various tools including physics-based, multiscale modeling, advanced material and interface characterization, and diagnostics of cell properties and phenomena. The work spans from exploring and tailoring materials properties and fabrication procedures to mitigation of identified degradation issues to optimizing charged and neutral species transport phenomena to focusing on operating conditions to improve overall device operation and lifetime.
The group comprises a multidisciplinary team of electrochemists, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, theorists, and material scientists. We have active collaborations between industry, academia, and national laboratories including being key members in various DOE-sponsored consortia.
The Energy Conversion Group is part of HydroGEN (www.h2awsm.org/) an innovative consortium that brings together national laboratories, industry and academia to deliver technology solutions to the challenge of large-scale renewable hydrogen production.