Pool expertise across SoCal to develop novel battery technology, positioning UCSB as a new research hub.
Energy storage is a research area whose time has come—particularly in California. Rapidly-expanding companies like Maxwell (the world’s leading supercapacitor company) and Tesla Motors are already based in California. In addition, Governor Brown’s pledge to have California generate 50% of its electrical power from renewables by 2030 suggests a huge and imminent need for stationary electrochemical storage. Despite widespread and untapped expertise at UCSB, there are currently no multi-PI grants at UCSB on the theme of electrochemical energy storage. Similarly, CNSI-UCLA and UCSD have battery electrochemistry experts who do not yet collaborate with the materials synthesis, characterization, and modeling expertise currently at UCSB.
Through a series of workshops and student exchange grants, this program aims to coordinate the broader energy storage expertise across UCSB and neighboring universities by creating the Southern California Electrochemical Energy Storage Alliance, with an emphasis on novel electrode and electrolyte materials, and to establish multi-PI groups ready to pursue the next round of UCOP, DOE, and NSF funding calls. An industrial consortium modeled on UCSB’s Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center is also a potential and reachable goal.