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Happy New Year from the Institute for Energy Efficiency!  We look forward to connecting with you over the year ahead through our research, events and online activities. 
This past fall, the Institute hosted seminars exploring energy sustainability, biofuel production, solar technologies and optical networks. Also, as part of our Energy Leadership Lecture Series, we co-hosted Daniel Yergin speaking on his book The Quest - Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. Thank you for your continued support and partnership in our mission to create a more energy efficient future. We hope you will stay in touch with the Institute's latest activities through our website and social media sites.  [Follow us on Twitter]   [Find us on Facebook]   

 John Bowers


Institute News

John Bowers Wins 2012 John Tyndall Award
The Optical Society (OSA) and the IEEE Photonics Society have chosen Institute Director John Bowers as the recipient of the 2012 John Tyndall Award for his research in hybrid-silicon lasers and photonic integrated circuits. First presented in 1987, the Tyndall Award recognizes an individual who has made pioneering, highly significant, or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber optics technology. Bowers will be presented the award during the plenary session of the 2012 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 4-8.  

Technology Roundtable on Scalable Energy-Efficient Data Centers and Clouds 
Data centers will need to grow an estimated 1000x over the next decade to keep up with the explosive rate at which the demand for data is growing. This exponential growth is problematic due to fundamental limitations in the underlying technology, and also due to the massive amounts of energy that would be required to power future data centers. With Google's recent announcement that its worldwide data centers currently consume almost 260 million watts (about a quarter of the energy produced by a nuclear power plant), it is evident that energy efficient solutions must be found to reduce energy use as data centers grow.
To address these problems, the Institute for Energy Efficiency, in collaboration with the Kavli Foundation, brought together 23 leading stakeholders from across the field to identify the critical challenges to, and future needs for, scaling data centers to exascale and beyond. The event, a joint Institute for Energy Efficiency Technology Roundtable & 7th Kavli Futures Symposium, brought together representatives from industry, government, academic institutions, non-profits and utilities for 1½ days of facilitated discussion. Topics discussed included key applications driving massive data and processing, and challenges and future needs for computation, communication and storage. A post-event summary is being prepared identifying the group's key findings, which will be distributed to inform and expedite research in the field. Stay tuned to the Institute's website to view the report, which will be posted as soon as it is finalized. 

Technology News

Bio-inspired Li-ion Batteries Poised for Market
By mimicking the skeleton-making processes of sea sponges, a team led by UCSB researcher Daniel E. Morse developed a cheaper, higher-power, and safer lithium-ion battery. The new method creates nanocrystals of tin inside graphite or carbon nanotube structures, resulting in drastically-improved cathodes and, with some modifications, anodes. The new battery has 10x more power and 40% higher energy density than conventional Li-ion batteries. Morse and colleagues also solved the thorny issue of battery safety, employing a barium strontium titanate (BaSrTiO3) nanocrystalline ceramic doped with lanthanum. The material's rapidly increasing resistivity with temperature makes it virtually fire-proof and explosion-proof. To take this breakthrough from the lab to the marketplace, Morse has founded a start-up company called LifeCel Technology in Goleta, CA. To learn more about this research, read the full article on IEE's website or watch his presentation at the 2011 Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency.

Featured Videos 

Synchronization in Power Networks
Francesco Bullo and Florian Dörfler, researchers from the Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation at the University of California, Santa Barbara discuss novel algebraic conditions for transient stability in power systems. Watch the video and slide presentation on the IEE website.