September 17, 2014

Teams to Reveal Emerging Solutions at Cleantech to Market Symposium, Dec. 6

Cleantech to Market (C2M) is a quintessential Haas course: innovative, collaborative, and committed to the public interest. In the 15-week class, cross-disciplinary teams of graduate students assess the market potential of leading-edge clean technologies developed by nationally acclaimed labs associated with UC Berkeley, such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Joint BioEnergy Institute, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society.

This year’s students will present their findings at the fourth annual C2M Symposium on Friday, December 6 at the Banatao Auditorium and Atrium, 310 Sutardja Dai Hall.

The event will provide industry professionals and members of the public unique insight into emerging cleantech solutions. Eight teams of four to six students representing graduate programs across UC Berkeley, including business, engineering, science, law, and the Energy and Resources Group, will deliver in-depth 20-minute presentations followed by 10-minute Q&A sessions. The daylong event concludes with a networking reception with faculty, students, scientists, and energy industry professionals.

Presentations will address a range of technologies including batteries, fuel cells, biofuels, energy monitors, industrial enzymes, micro-synchrophasors, solar-powered water purifiers, and “smart” windows.

Brett Foreman, MBA 14, led the synchrophasors team, working with a technology from the California Institute for Energy and Environment that allows utility companies to monitor the electricity distribution grid more precisely than ever before. As solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and other clean-energy innovations become more commonplace, utility companies need better tools for managing an increasingly complex grid. Foreman’s team’s task was to identify specific problems facing electrical customers that could be solved with micro-synchrophasors.

“This was a good opportunity for me to do a lot of research, talk to customers, and get up to speed on an area of the industry that I think might be attractive to pursue further,” says Foreman, who worked for PG&E for five years before coming to Haas.

Leading the fuel cell team was Michael Lebow, MBA 14. Their challenge was to discover new applications for an emerging technology known as a rugged metal-supported solid oxide fuel cell, or M-SOFC. After analyzing 13 different markets—including camping and backpacking, disaster preparedness, remote communication towers, and boating and recreational vehicles—the team identified more than 30 uses for the fuel cells.

The one they determined holds the most potential relates to powering electronic controls and valves at natural gas wells that could prevent the escape of harmful methane gas, currently widespread within the hydraulic fracturing industry. “We believe that if we eliminate the venting and the flaring nationwide, it’s the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road per year,” Lebow said.

To learn more about these and other cutting-edge clean technologies, register to attend the free symposium.

Topics:    Student News