Energy systems are vital to our society and daily living, and play a pivotal role in economic development. These systems are essential for energy production, conversion, transmission or transfer, storage, and utilization. ECS researchers are engaged in a wide range of energy systems research and made significant advancement in the areas of smart grid and building energy efficiency, energy conversion and storage, as well as biofuels and renewable energy sources. These research activities greatly improve the balance between energy supply and demand, and increase the energy efficiencies of buildings, industrial facilities and urban communities. Research in this area also makes major contributions to the next generation batteries for electrical power storage and utilization, conversion of biowastes into energy, heterogeneous catalysis for biofuel production, and maximizing the use of renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal sources.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Bing Dong in a lab with three students

One area of active research is Smart Grid and Building Energy Efficiency. Profs. Sara Eftekharnejad and Bing Dong examine reliability and stability of power systems, and develop approaches to optimize the energy supply and utilization of an urban community. As another example, the team of Dr. Bing Dong designs smart control algorithms to optimize the operation of buildings to reduce energy consumption based on building occupancy. Dr. Bing Dong has led an international collaborative group to develop a Global Building Occupant Behavior Database. Profs. Jensen Zhang and Bing Dong have collaborated with Profs. Bess Krietemeyer and Nina Sharifi of School of Architecture in major DOE funded research to develop and demonstrate integrated whole-building energy efficiency retrofit solution for residences in cold/very cold climates.

Some notable ECS news stories in this area include:

Please explore the departmental webpages or the researchers’ websites below for more information.