About 90 percent of the world’s energy use involves thermal processes of conversion, transport and storage. Examples include thermal engines to generate mechanical/electrical power; heating and cooling of buildings; and heating involved in manufacturing. For example cooling and heating of buildings alone account for 15% of primary energy used in USA. Thermal energy technologies can play even a larger role in the future by enabling cheaper thermal energy storage, by enabling better thermal management of batteries and solar thermal desalination. However to achieve these goals significant breakthroughs are needed both in thermal science and engineering. These breakthroughs can be achieved by molecular and nanoscale level design of chemicals and materials. In this talk the speaker will talk about three topics: 1) How reversible chemical reactions designed using molecular engineering can be used to increase the heat capacity of liquids and make thermal storage tunable 2) Operando measurement of thermal resistance of Li-ion batteries showing how interface dominates thermal transport 3) Use of photonic metamaterials and ionic liquids for solar thermal-based desalination for clean water and wastewater management.
Ravi Prasher is the associate lab director of Energy Technology Area (ETA) at LBNL. ETA with a staff of more than 400 people conducts research in a wide variety of areas, including building technologies, energy storage, renewable energy, manufacturing science and technology, and sustainable transportation technologies. He is also an adjunct professor in mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining LBL, Ravi was the VP of product development of Sheetak Inc., a startup developing thermoelectric energy converters. Ravi earlier worked as one of the first program directors at ARPA-E. Prior to joining ARAP-E, Ravi was the technology development manager of thermal management group at Intel. Ravi has published more than 90 archival journal papers and holds more than 35 patents. He is a fellow of ASME and senior member of IEEE. Ravi obtained his B.Tech. from IIT Delhi and Ph.D. from Arizona State University.