能源与动力工程系

Department of Energy and Power Engineering

清华大学名誉教授Gang Chen (陈刚)博士聘任仪式暨学术报告会

 活动内容:清华大学名誉教授Gang Chen (陈刚)博士聘任仪式暨学术报告会

 讲座题目:Innovations in Materials and Devices for Efficient Solar and Thermal Energy Utilization,报告具体内容请见附件。

 报告人: Prof. Gang Chen (美国工程院院士、原MIT机械系主任)

 报告人单位:MIT机械系教授 

报告时间:11月1日(周四)14:00-16:30

报告地点:能源与动力工程系 系馆报告厅
邀请人:姜培学教授

Innovations in Materials and Devices for

Efficient Solar and Thermal Energy Utilization

 Gang Chen 

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA 02139 

Human history has very much depended on how we used heat from the sun and terrestrial sources.  Over 90% of human society’s energy input is used by first converting it into heat, and yet only 40% of the total energy input is utilized, significantly lower than what the second law of thermodynamics allows.  Understanding of basic heat carrier transport and energy conversion at nanoscale can lead to new materials and devices to improve the efficiency of heat utilization.  This talk will present some of our work on developing advanced materials and devices to improve the efficiency of solar and thermal energy conversion devices and systems.  To lower the cost of solar energy to electricity conversion, we use nanostructures to reduce the thickness of crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells and optically-transparent and thermally-insulating aerogels to replace the vacuum-tube solar collectors in concentrated solar thermal systems.  We also demonstrate the ability of boiling water and generating superheated steam under unconcentrated sunlight using spectrally selective surfaces.  For terrestrial thermal systems, we show that by reflecting infrared radiation back to its emitting heat source, we can significantly improve the efficiency of converting thermally-radiated photons into electricity via thermophotovoltaic devices and the luminous efficiency of incandescent light bulbs.  We can turn a battery into an efficient thermal-to-electrical energy converter by cycling it between high and low temperatures.  Although polymers are usually thermal insulators, we show that they can be made as thermally conductive as metals by aligning molecular orientations.  With properly chosen polymer fiber diameters, we design fabrics so that they are opaque to visible light and yet allow thermal radiation from human body to escape to environment for passively cooling.  Nanoscience foundations behind these diverse innovations will be explained along the way.  

Gang Chen is the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and director of the "Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center (S3TEC Center)" - an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy. He served as the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT from 2013-2018. He obtained his PhD degree from the Mechanical Engineering Department, UC Berkeley. He was a faculty member at Duke University and UCLA, before joining MIT in 2001. He received an NSF Young Investigator Award, an R&D 100 award, an ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, a Nukiyama Memorial Award by the Japan Heat Transfer Society, a World Technology Network Award in Energy, an Eringen Medal from the Society of Engineering Science, and the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellences in Mentoring and Advising from MIT.  He is a fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for Advancement of Science, APS, ASME, and Guggenheim Foundation.  He is an academician of Academia Sinica and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

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