People in Magic Lab have built a nearly complete solar installation database for the contiguous US utilizing a novel deep learning model applied to satellite imagery. The data are published as the first publicly available, high-fidelity solar installation database in the contiguous US. They plan to update it annually and add other countries and regions of the world. They demonstrated the value of this database by identifying key environmental and socioeconomic factors correlated with solar deployment. They also developed high-accuracy machine learning models to predict solar deployment density utilizing these factors as input. DeepSolar database can be a useful resource for researchers, utilities, solar developers, and policymakers to further uncover solar deployment patterns, build comprehensive economic and behavioral models, and ultimately support the adoption and management of solar electricity.
This work have been published as the featured article on Joule. Our lab member, Zhecheng Wang is one of the co-authors of this paper. Professor Arun Majumdar and Professor Ram Rajagopal are corresponding authors of this paper. Click here to read the paper. Also see the project website and the Stanford News coverage.
Magic Lab has gotten the scanning electron microscope (SEM) refurbished and it is now functioning well, making the group officially entered the world of microscopy. SEM is a type of electron microscope that produces images of a sample by scanning the surface with a focused beam of electrons. This SEM will be the used as an essential device for implementing and testing several ideas that we're trying out to improve signal to noise in microscopy. Joel Martis and Ze Zhang are taking the responsibility of this work.
A commentary recently published in Joule, written by Professor Arun Majumdar and Professor John Deutch, outlines a framework to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration at the scale of gigatonne per year (GT scale) and identifies research opportunities in CO2 utilization and negative emissions to achieve this goal. Now let's hear their discussion about this topic. The discussion was held by Dr. Francis O’Sullivan, the Director of Research for the MIT Energy Initiative.
If your browser does not support the audio player, please click here to listen to the podcast.
The United States alone rejects over 60% of its primary energy intake as heat, at a variety of temperatures above ambient. Harvesting the rejected heat efficiently can meaningfully contribute to reducing carbon emissions. We have proposed continuous electrochemical heat conversion as a direct method of harvesting heat to electricity. Using flow cells and solid-oxide cells respectively, we build proof-of-principle heat harvesters operating both near ambient conditions, and at high temperatures. Importantly, electrochemical heat engines can use any redox-active fluids, including gases, not just ones directly conducting electrical charge, and do not rely on fixed-temperature phase transitions. We show that the geometry of electrochemical cells yields to optimization of power and efficiency, and lets us sidestep the constraints of cycle-based and thermoelectric direct heat harvesters. High efficiencies and relevant power densities are both achievable for continuous electrochemical heat engines.
This work have been published on Energy and Environmental Science. Our lab members, Ian McKay is one of the co-authors of this paper. Professor William Chueh and Professor Arun Majumdar are corresponding authors of this paper.
Click here to read the paper.
The ability to split water to produce hydrogen is vitally important in energy sciences, with potential broad impact to help decarbonize the global energy system. Here we reported the discovery of a new class of oxides – poly-cation oxides (PCOs) – that consist of multiple cations and can thermochemically split water in a two-step cycle to produce hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). It is likely that PCOs with complex cation compositions will offer new opportunities for both fundamental investigations of redox thermochemistry as well as scalable H2 production using infrastructure-compatible chemical systems.
This work have been published on Energy and Environmental Science. Our lab members, Shang Zhai, Jimmy Rojas, and Nadia Ahlborg are co-authors of this paper. Professor William Chueh and Professor Arun Majumdar are corresponding authors of this paper. Big congralutations!
Click here to read the paper.