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INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY, ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
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DEMAND / CONVERSION

04-en-demandHigh-power density electrical machines offer the potential for major advances in energy conversion for renewable technologies, transportation systems, and high performance process control. Research at Illinois is focused on creating the next generation of energy conversion machines to enable larger-scale renewable resources, cars, and airplanes. This requires extensive interaction between electrical, mechanical, materials, systems, and economics experts.

 

Areas of Research Focus

Power electronics is perhaps the most efficient and flexible mechanism for energy conversion and facilitates renewables (primarily solar and wind) and energy harvesting. Research at Illinois is focused on devices of all sizes and of all purposes. This is especially important for controlling electrical machines and harvesting devices. This uses:

  • Circuit theory.
  • Topologies.
  • CMOS integration.
  • GaN.
  • Thermal and solar.
  • Module-embedded power electronics.
  • Advanced measurement and control.
  • Use of stored solar energy cooking, other residential purposes.
  • Waste plastics to oils.
  • Thermo-chemical conversion of waste biomass/non-food oils to biofuels.
  • Conversion of biomass to bioenergy.
  • Fermentation.
  • Coproduct recovery.

Converters for changing solar DC into commercial AC involve massive numbers of converters that must be high efficiency and flexible for alternative configurations. Illinois research in solar utilization focuses on providing this energy conversion technology for all sizes of solar.

Energy harvesting can involve thermoelectric, fuel cells, vibrations, photovoltaic and various pressure-sensitive mechanisms. Converting motion and pressure into electricity must be done efficiently and cleanly.

Data center power must be efficient and deliver the power at various levels — from chip to board to rack to building. The design of the proper energy conversion devices at each of these levels is critical for efficient energy use. Illinois research works on all of these levels.

Micro-grids are evolving into more complex energy production networks that need high-reliability performance and control. Illinois research is focusing on distributed control techniques to ensure reliable island operation as well as grid-connected operation.

Researchers

James Allison

James Allison

Electro-thermal system design

ISE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Can Bayram

Can Bayram

Microelectronics and photonics

ECE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Tami Bond

Tami Bond

Emission characterization

CEE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Joe A. Bradley

Joe A. Bradley

Product development and design

Business at Illinois profile

David G. Cahill

David G. Cahill

Thermal materials

MatSE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Shen Dillon

Shen Dillon

Storage materials

MatSE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Nora El-Gohary

Nora El-Gohary

Energy-water-environment sustainability

CEE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Andrew Gewirth

Andrew Gewirth

Electrochemistry

Chemistry Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Tony Grift

Tony Grift

Biomass production

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

George Gross

George Gross

Power and energy systems

ECE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

Electrocatalysis

Chemistry Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Alan Hansen

Alan Hansen

Biomass, biofuels, and diesel engines

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Kiruba Haran

Kiruba Haran

Power and energy systems

ECE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Alfred Hubler

Alfred Hubler

Nanocapacitors, nuclear power, and grids

Physics Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Anthony Jacobi

Anthony Jacobi

Fluid mechanics and thermal sciences

MechSE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Junhua Jiang

Junhua Jiang

Electrochemical processes

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center profile

Harley Johnson

Harley Johnson

Electronics and photonics

MechSE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Paul Kenis

Paul Kenis

Microfuel cells and microreactors

ChBE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Nam Sung Kim

Nam Sung Kim

Electricity grid and energy consumption

ECE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Philip Krein

Philip Krein

Power and energy systems

ECE Dept profile

Waltraud M. Kriven

Waltraud M. Kriven

Mechanical properties and materials

MatSE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Bruce Elliott-Litchfield

Bruce Elliott-Litchfield

Stored solar energy

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Hadi Meidani

Hadi Meidani

Resilient infrastructure and sustainable transportation

CEE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Nenad Miljkovic

Nenad Miljkovic

Fluid mechanics and thermal sciences

MechSE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Ralph Nuzzo

Ralph Nuzzo

Photovoltaics and catalysis

Chemistry Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien

Traditional and alternative energies

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center profile

Illinois Experts page

Nandakishore Rajagopalan

Nandakishore Rajagopalan

Biomass and biofuels

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center profile

Illinois Experts page

William H. Sanders

William H. Sanders

Secure energy systems

ECE Dept profile

TCIPG profile

Illinois Experts page

Peter W. Sauer

Peter W. Sauer

Power systems and security

ECE Dept profile

TCIPG profile

Illinois Experts page

John Scott

John Scott

Analytical chemistry and biofuels

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center profile

Illinois Experts page

B.K. Sharma

B.K. Sharma

Biolubricants and alternative fuels

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center profile

Illinois Experts page

Moonsub Shim

Moonsub Shim

Nanoelectronics

MatSE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Clifford Singer

Clifford Singer

Nuclear power economics and policy

NPRE Dept profile

Political Science Dept profile

Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh

Food and biofuel engineering

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith

Fluid dynamics and thermal sciences

MechSE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Ashlynn Stillwell

Ashlynn Stillwell

Hydraulic engineering

CEE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Rizwan Uddin

Rizwan Uddin

Nuclear power

NPRE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Xinlei Wang

Xinlei Wang

Building energy efficiency and diesel engines

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Scott Willenbrock

Scott Willenbrock

Elementary particle theory

Physics Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Yuanhui Zhang

Yuanhui Zhang

Indoor air quality

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

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