Institute at CMU aims to advance energy industry
Carnegie Mellon University has hundreds of experts exploring new ways to produce energy and to make existing types of energy more efficient.
“But the people working on these projects often don't know enough about what other people at the school are doing,” said Granger Morgan, a professor who heads the school's Department of Engineering and Public Policy.
Morgan will lead the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, a research and education initiative aimed at designing efficient systems for the use and storage of energy and the developing clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources.
University officials announced plans for the institute in June. Carnegie Mellon is constructing a building to house it within two years, near Hammerschlag Hall.
The institute will organize teams of Carnegie Mellon engineers, scientists, economists, architects, policy specialists and others to examine energy issues.
University researchers developed technology to reduce carbon emissions and technology to transmit wind- and solar-generated power through the electricity grid to a broad range of customers. They have developed materials such as solar panels that produce and store energy, increase efficiency and reduce waste.
“Half or more of the energy produced by big power plants is wasted. If you had smaller, combined heat-and-power systems, you could almost double the efficiency,” said Andrew Gellman, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the institute's assistant director.
Morgan's research on carbon capture and sequestration, a process that pumps carbon dioxide into the ground instead of the air, helped California provide electricity without greenhouse gas emissions.
Next year, Carnegie Mellon spinoff Aquion Energy Inc. will start selling its nontoxic sodium ion batteries that boost capacity for energy storage. Aquion is scheduled to start production in the former Sony plant in Westmoreland County this year.
About 1.6 billion people live with no power, and hundreds of millions of others get makeshift power from dirty diesel generators. In many places, electricity is available only sporadically.
“You see that somewhere like India, where power goes out all the time. When it does, store owners turn on generators, which spew out fumes and make noise. It's horrible,” Gellman said.
The institute was made possible by a lead gift from Carnegie Mellon alum Sherman Scott, president and founder of Delmar Systems, and his wife, Joyce Bowie Scott, a graduate and trustee of the university. The institute is named for Sherman Scott's father.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Energy efficiency goes mainstream with help of regulations, demand
- Power plants challenged by carbon capture and storage
- Energy Spotlight: Tom Lawry
- Credit bureau Experian keeps info on cellular firm’s customers
- More employers adopt generous leave policies
- Koppers CEO believes struggling company can do better, transform
- PNC fined for paperwork errors on municipal bond offerings
- For some small-business owners, fast, short-term loans have unsustainable interest
- Anxiety pervades town built by Volkswagen during emissions-cheating scandal
- GM makes leap toward autonomy
- Analysis tallies death toll from Volkswagen diesels’ air pollution