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UC Solar Working to Meet State’s Renewable Energy Goals

MERCED, Calif. — The solar energy industry is emerging as a key player in the multi-pronged approach California will take in leading the nation in renewable energy, experts say.

And the University of California’s research is leading the way.

The University of California, Merced, home of The University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), is sponsoring a seminar exploring the solar industry present and future, and the many creative initiatives being developed by the University of California.

Facilities Management Seeks Campus’s Help in Attaining Sustainable Certifications

UC Merced is one of the greenest campuses in the nation, with 100 percent of its new construction having earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Those certifications have been earned on the basis of building construction practices, such as integrating recycled materials and diverting tons of waste from landfills for reuse, better mechanical and electrical systems

Professor Discovers How to Rein in Power of Tiny Particles with Potentially Big Effect

The heat generated by smartphones and other electronic devices could be harnessed to also power them, according to compelling research out of the University of California, Merced.

Physics Professor Michael Scheibner’s latest work in the emerging field of phononics – the study of quasi-particles that produce heat – indicates phonons can be harnessed to produce energy.

“Usually, phonons dissipate, but using an electric field, we can keep them in place where they are generated, and make them useful,” he said.

UC Merced Heating Up Mongolia’s Harsh Winter

One of the world’s oldest civilizations – with the worst air pollution and the coldest capital city – will employ cutting-edge technology from the newest UC campus starting in February.

Professor Roland Winston, who leads the UC Merced-based UC Solar Institute, just returned from a trip to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. He met with the owner of Mongolia National University, a 15-year-old institution with about 9,000 students, to discuss installing a solar-thermal unit on one of the campus buildings to generate 3 kilowatts of steam heat for a portion of the campus.

UC Merced Wraps Another Record Year

Between record enrollment and research expenditures, a massive economic impact on the San Joaquin Valley, new buildings and a visit from the new UC president, the University of California, Merced, has had a big year.

Newly appointed University of California President Janet Napolitano chose UC Merced for her first campus visit – in her first week on the job – saying the youngest UC campus is important to the UC system, but also to the Central Valley and the state.

UC Merced Hopes to Use Rooftops to Generate Electricity

UC Merced is doubling down on its solar commitment.

The campus is looking at installing rooftop solar systems on up to 11 main campus buildings and the chancellor’s residence, moving the campus closer to meeting its Triple Zero commitment and saving money.

A request for proposals was issued in October, and campus planners and sustainability leaders will look at what vendors come up with before making any decisions.

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