Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency has awarded its first three grants for research to faculty members, totaling $358,000 over the next year to 18 months.
"In December 2007 we issued our first campus-wide call for innovative proposals for reducing energy and improving efficiency," John Weyant, deputy director of the institute, said. "We were looking for projects that could have a big impact at a reasonable cost with a high potential for follow-on funding from outside sponsors."
The three grants were awarded to:
• Engineering professor Curtis Frank and civil and environmental engineering professor Sarah Billington to develop energy-efficient biodegradable foam materials for structural insulated panels to improve heating and cooling efficiency in homes and commercial buildings.
• Civil and environmental engineering professor Mark Jacobson to assess how weather and increased demand from plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2020 will impact the ability of California to deliver a consistent supply of electricity from renewable sources.
• Associate professor of mechanical engineering Chris Edwards to develop a practical method for quantifying the environmental impacts of diesel and ethanol fuels.
The Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency was established in 2006 to promote technologies, systems and practices that are energy efficient and economical.