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Energy

‘Smart’ Plugs Could Help Campus Reduce Carbon Footprint

When you plug in an appliance, chances are you don’t think of the plug as being particularly intelligent.

But WattTime, a startup nonprofit developed through the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) Foundry at UC Berkeley, has developed one that is, and is testing it on electric carts at UC Merced during the spring semester.

$100,000 Wells Fargo Gift Supports Engineering Capstone Program

Longtime campus contributor Wells Fargo is giving a $100,000 grant to help students at the University of California, Merced, design technologies that address some of the Central Valley’s water, energy and food needs.

Wells Fargo’s Clean Technology and Innovation grant is part of a focused effort to support technology advancements for a clean energy future.

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.

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