Energy Research Awarded Approx. $5 Million in DOE Gants for September 2017

During the month of September, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded approximately $5 million to energy research at Georgia Tech. The faculty members below successfully submitted the award-winning proposals in the following areas: 


Principal Investigator: Deepakraj Divan, Professor, John E Pippin Chair, GRA Eminent Scholar and Director of the Center for Distributed Energy  

Research Title: Sensing Electrical Networks Securely and Economically (SENSE)

Description: This research will develop and demonstrate a low-cost sensor network for monitoring the health of distribution transformers.  The sensors will be capable of measuring voltage, current and temperature.  This technology will be able to be used with capacitor banks, reclosers and fuses. 


Principal Investigator: Nagi Gabraeel, Associate Professor, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Research Title: Real-time Health Monitoring for Gas Turbine Components Using Online Learning and High Dimensional Data

Description: This research will use two industry-class gas turbine component test rigs to generate first-of-its-kind data for critical gas turbine faults with varying severity levels. The results of this work will be curated and made publicly available to the power generation community. The effort will leverage existing world-class research facilities that will generate the first publicly available data with simulated combustor and turbine faults.


Principal Investigator: Josh Kacher, Assistant Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering

Research Title: Fundamental Study of Fatigue Crack Initiation at Grain Boundaries in Austenitic Stainless Steel

Description: The objective of this project is to understand the evolution of the defect state leading to fatigue crack initiation. This includes determining what local mechanisms drive the crack initiation process and how damage accumulation/failure initiation is influenced by the surrounding microstructure.


Principal Investigator: Tim Lieuwen, professor and David S. Lewis, Jr. Chair with the School of Aerospace Engineering

Research Title: High-frequency Transverse Combustion Instabilities in Low-NOx Gas Turbines

Description: This research will focus on experimentation and computational model development for large-diameter, multi-nozzle turbine combustors. The new models will be used for developing new design tools, which will improve turbine operating performance when implemented.


Principal Investigator: Meilin Liu, Regents' Professor & Associate Chair, School of Materials Science and Engineering

Research Title: Highly-active & Contaminant-tolerant Cathodes for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Description: Research will focus on the development of highly oxidation-tolerant anodes to reduce reoxidation caused by undesired fuel disruption, depletion, or gas leakage in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. The ultimate goal of this work is to establish a scientific basis for rational design of durable, high-performance anodes with robust oxidation tolerance.


Principal Investigator: Zhuomin Zhang, Professor, Heat Transfer, Combustion, and Energy Systems, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering  

Research Title: Near-field Thermoradiative Energy Harvesting and Electroluminescent Refrigeration

Description: In addition to thermophotovoltaic (TPV) devices, near-field thermoradiative power generator and electroluminescent refrigerator have been suggested recently. Nanoscale thermal radiation can significantly enhance the radiative heat flux and may have important applications in heat-to-electricity energy harvesting and electroluminescent refrigeration. 

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