Developed by Dr. Liming Dai at Case Western Reserve University this technology capitalizes on the strong electron-withdrawing capability of certain polyelectrolytes to functionalize carbon nanomaterials (e.g. carbon nanotubes either in an aligned or non-aligned form) and act as metal-free catalysts for oxygen reduction reactions.
Problems: 1. Solar panel conversion efficiency decreases with increasing temperature 2. The amount of energy required to desalinate water increases as temperature of the feed water decreases Technology: This invention uses photovoltaic panels (PV) to power reverse-osmosis water filtration. A thermal controller maximizes the clean water produced by a PV/RO system by managing the temperatures of the PV panel and the RO feed water in response to changes in the incoming solar radiation ambient air temperature and source water temperature.
Barley alpha-glucosidase is an important enzyme in the conversion of barley starch to fermentable sugars during the industrial production of ethanol. However it is relatively thermolabile which is a disadvantage for an enzyme used in industrial processes at elevated temperatures. UW-Madison researchers have developed a mutant barley alpha-glucosidase with increased thermal stability. They developed thermostable forms of the enzyme using site directed mutagenesis.
Metal-Carbon Nanotube Composites for Enhanced Thermal Conductivity for Demanding or Critical ApplicationsType:Product
This technology provides a carbon nanotube composite matrix which improves thermal conductivity and heat dissipation compared to existing commercially available material. Carbon nanotubes can be organized in a random or specific alignment to fit the needs of the application. Because the melting point of carbon nanotubes (> 2000F) far exceeds traditional metals the composite provides a material that can withstand higher temperatures is able to conduct heat at an accelerated rate.
The Problem: The polymer exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising of all emerging fuel cell technologies. This technology is being developed for transport applications as well as for stationary and portable applications. There are two major problems hindering its implementation and commercial success: one is the high cost of existing alternatives and the other is the effectiveness of the fuel cell membrane in facilitating the reaction. There is a tremendous need for membranes with increased durability and decreased production costs.
This invention is an atomic layer deposition (ALD) method to fabricate layered thermally stable micro-patterned structures in fuel cells. This process enables precise control over the thickness and two dimensional geometry of a porous metal catalyst and current collectors. The technique also reduces manufacturing costs because it uses minimal materials for the thin film process. The geometry of the resulting structures improves fuel cell performance by reducing losses (ionic and electronic conduction) and operating temperature.
Problem: Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems generally exhibit extremely low power conversion efficiencies on the order of 1% or less mostly due to thermal emission of undesirable mid-wavelength infrared photons. The design of photonic crystals which have the potential to strongly suppress these losses is complex and generally present a non-convex design optimization problem. Technology: Solving the above problems requires efficient objective function evaluation as well as efficient global optimization algorithms.
This invention provides an energy-efficient cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing water storage façade system for buildings with heat penetration reduction and heat storage capability. Firstly it can achieve energy savings for air-conditioning in buildings by using water as thermal insulation medium in building façades and harnessing the thermal energy absorbed and stored by water to reduce heat penetration due to the Sun’s Solar Radiation falling onto building façade walls.
Improved Photovoltaic Efficiency In Semiconducting Polymer/fullerene Solar Cells Through Control Of Fullerene Self-assembly And StackingType:Product
Polymeric solar cells based on fullerene and fullerene derivatives are a clean renewable and cheap energy source however the efficiency does not yet rival that of silicon-based technologies. Previous work to increase the efficiency of these polymeric/organic solar cells focused on increasing the density of active material in the device area. This has previously been accomplished by enhancing the solubility of the fullerene molecules and subjecting the devices to thermal annealing.
Solar Optics-Based Active Panels (Soap) For Greywater Reuse And Integrated Thermal (Grit) Building ControlType:ProductTechnology:
It is estimated that half of the world will be under water stress by 2030. Water stress is especially strong in arid climate zones where water scarcity combined with daily temperature swings make good energy and water management a must. Attempts have been made to integrate thermal regulation and water recycling into the building structure but as separate solutions. Most waste (greaywater) treatment technologies involve multiple independent steps making them difficult to implement.