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Clean Energy Systems Integration Lab Energy, Buildings, and Systems

Congratulations Garrett!

Congratulations to Garrett Hedberg, the first alumni of CESI lab! Garret defended his thesis and earned his MS. View garret’s defense presentation here. Garrett is gainfully employed in the energy sector as a project manager at Energy Solutions in Newport Beach, CA. Good luck to garrett in his new career!

Can SOFC power Data Centers?

Did you know 60 google searches use the same energy as boiling a pot of tea?

Did you know data centers use 2% of the electricity produced in the US?

Prof. McLarty recently spoke at a conference co-hosted by Microsoft and UW focused on the application of SOFC in data centers. The conference inspired a lot of new thinking about the form factor of SOFC and transitioning from a separate entity into an integrated component of a larger system. That system may be a data center or a coffee shop. A semi-truck or a cruise ship. The possibilities are endless. The meeting was especially interesting for being driven by the possible end-customer rather than the technology developer. It gave all the SOFC researchers in the room some new ideas on what features of the technology are valuable, and how systems might be designed for the broadest set of applications. Splitting the system into re-configurable modules with plug-and-play connectivity would allow fast scaling from a couple kW to many hundreds. Click here for Prof. McLarty’s presentation.

EAGERS is open-source

CESI lab is proud to release our first beta version of the Efficient Allocation of Grid Energy Resources including Storage (EAGERS). Version 0.1 is available on GitHub here. This platform will allow us to test different centralized and distributed control schemes for the control of micro-grids. The work thus far has been heavily focused on the efficient scheduling of resources using a new predictive control approach. Many thanks to Nadia and Haley for their hard work in getting it to this stage. A summary of what EAGERS does can be found here.


CESI lab makes Apple Cider!

It was a sunny fall Sunday and we made the most of it. Jeff, Nadia, Kevin, Haley, and Marshall worked like a well oiled machine to press over 8 gallons of apple cider! Plenty to share and thanks to Joanna for the photos.

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Pressurized Oxygen-fed Electrochemical Test Stand (POET) is Operational!

It’s alive! This week CESI lab fired up our pressurized SOFC test stand for the first time and received some hands on software training from Fideris/ IND. Gas lines were purged and pressure checked, and the full rated pressure was tested. Just a few more items before we can begin generating power with our SOFC. An additional burst disk will be installed on the furnace, a condensate trap on the anode exhaust line (after the pressure regulator), a new copper bus bar connection, and a 45 minute 3kW backup power supply. If all goes well preliminary testing will be underway this month. Thanks to everyone that has helped make this happen: Anomet, Aerodyne Alloys, SurfaceCoatings Inc, Jet Seal, Thermaltek, DiamondTechnologies Inc., Swagelok, and especially the WSU machine shop.


Garrett Hedberg with the newly operational test stand.



Jeff Collins, Garrett Hedberg, Austin Rapp, and Nate Royer receiving training on the new test stand control software from the great folks at Fideris / IND.

Pressurized SOFC test stand arrives

TestStandOver the past 12 months CESI lab has been designing and fabricating a custom pressurized SOFC test stand to validate the Oxy-SOFC concept. Additional details are here. Thanks to Thermaltek for designing this pressurized furnace that can operate at 1MPa and 1000C, and thanks to Fideris for helping develop this test stand that will deliver pressurized hydrogen, oxygen, and water to the SOFC test feature. We have dozens of SOFC’s to test from 4 different manufactures. Time to connect the pieces and get to testing!

Stack Assembly

Marshall Crenshaw awarded NASA grant

Congratulations to Marshall Crenshaw for receiving the NASA Space Grant Fellowship in Science and Engineering!

Marshall’s research into improving hydrogen liquefaction technology can reduce the energy cost of space travel and help deliver clean hydrogen fuel for fuel cell vehicles.

Keep up the great work!

Hydrogen Symposium at WSU


Many thanks to Jake Leachman and ESIC for organizing this hydrogen and fuel cell symposium yesterday, and for inviting me to speak. The symposium was a roaring success in building the momentum to bring hydrogen infrastructure to the Northwest. This beautiful Palouse Prarie has more clean power potential than anyone knows what to do with. Jump starting the northwest hydrogen economy may be the key to unlocking this potential. I’m excited to see everyone moving forward to make the Northwwest, and WSU in particular, the center of a hydrogen revolution!

The talk I gave provided an intro or Fuel Cell 101 and can be found here.