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Wind Energy Blueprints

We offer our consulting services as a research lab by creating renewable energy resource maps. We are using ESRI’s GIS visualization software, ArcMap to create maps of the energy resources in a given location along with geographic and political land exclusions. Work is currently underway on creating a regional wind energy blueprint for Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands area. This blueprint consists of both a comprehensive assessment of the potential for wind power in the region and also a rigorous discussion of how to best promote this resource's utilization. The gross and technical potential as well as top wind farm sites are being quantified using a wind mapping tool developed in RAEL. Future plans to create a similar blueprint for Alameda and Marin Counties are being discussed.

Image: Clip of Wind Resource Map in Santa Barbara County, CA

Contact: Dan Prull

Small Wind Turbine Testing Lab

Small-scale wind turbines help address a global need for cheap, reliable distributed energy. The market for these small (0.1 -10 kW) turbines ranges from remote off-grid locations to residential systems and grid-tied commercial applications. In recent years, the wind market has seen a rapid increase with a 28% annual growth rate and over 60 GW of installed capacity worldwide. However, small wind turbines only account for an estimated 30 MW or 0.05% of this capacity. There are several technological issues that small wind turbines face, attributing to this minute fraction of their potential installed capacity. These issues include: 1) inefficient designs compared with utility-scale counterparts, 2) consumer noise and reliability concerns, 3) non-standardized performance specifications, and 4) the lack of non-biased testing centers.
This summer, RAEL is starting a small wind test center at our new lab facility in the Richmond Field Station to address these research issues.
Each turbine tested will be evaluated based on IREC small wind performance specifications (IEC-64000) and their performance published in industry standard formatting. This evaluation will include a performance field-test, an acoustic noise field-test and a system safety and function test. In addition, for new turbine designs, our testing process will include fulfilling all requirements for addition to the Emerging Renewables Program list of small wind turbines eligible for rebates from the California Energy Commission.

Naïm Richard Dargouth

Position: 
Alumni
Background: 

MS (2006) Energy and Resources, UC Berkeley
MS (2004), Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech
BS (high honors, 2002), Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University

Biofuels resource assessment for sub-Saharan Africa, in collaboration with Energy Branch, Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics, United Nations Environment Programme, Paris, France ( http://www.unep.fr/energy/).

Past Projects:
MOT-UNIDO Research Program 2005. See:
http://bridge.berkeley.edu/Research/Research.htm#2005005.

Cyrus Wadia

Position: 
Students
Research Interests: 

Cyrus has spent the last five years at U.C. Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) in pursuit of a new low cost photovoltaic technology using metal sulfides. Leveraging his knowledge in both the natural and social sciences, Cyrus' research covers both exhaustible resource economics and the aqueous chemistry of nanoparticles. Presently he continues his work in this area of photovoltaic materials but is also collaborating with other LBNL scientists to leverage his approach to explore new and innovative materials for battery storage.

Background: 

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, LBNL

Ph.D. (2008) Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley
M.S. (1997) Chemical Engineering, MIT

Faculty website

Personal website

Malini Ranganathan

Position: 
Alumni

Position:
Ph.D. Students

Description:
After my Bachelor's in Chemistry from Bard College (1997), I worked on alternative transportation fuels at Inform, Inc., New York City, and then renewable energy and energy efficiency at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi. My Master's project at ERG (2005) looked at prospects for high-efficiency cogeneration in India's sugar sector. Currently, my dissertation research examines the politics of urban governance and infrastructure in the city of Bangalore, India.

Research Interests:
urban governance, energy access to the urban and peri-urban poor, electricity reform, distributed generation, the rural-urban interface

Personal Link:
http://malini.berkeley.edu

Projects:
(1) Understanding the Link Between Tenure and Services for the Urban Poor: Case Studies from Senegal and India. Research based on field work in Senegal and India. Paper accepted for presentation at the Breslauer Graduate Student Symposium, April 14-15, 2006.