May 21, 2013 13:33 by Alice
UKNOW Story on Fourth-Graders Get hands-on Science at CAER.
This is the 10th year of the partnership between Russell Cave Elementary School and the UK CAER.
This year's Sustainability Expo took place at Locust Trace Agriscience Farm, a local Fayette County public school that focuses on agricultural resources and the environment. CAER participated with staff explaining energy sustainability to children from the school.
On March second Marsha Grimminger, of the Electrochemistry Group, designed questions related to a science challenge geared toward high school chemistry students for Bluegrass Community and Technical College's Regional Science Olympiad. They were not told of the specific topic before the event. The 18 students collected data through experimentation and compared results.
Petrologist Jim Hower and Eastern Kentucky Regional Coordinator Greg Copley are assisting Jon Thorson, UK Pharmacy, in locating and sampling extreme environments in Kentucky. Such sites include soils associated with coal mine fires; waters associated with swamps, sulfur springs, acid mine drainage; and the spoils from lead and zinc mining. Thorson’s research group is hoping to isolate previously unknown antibiotics and other drugs from microorganisms in the environment. Recent sampling took place in Owen and Henry Counties.
Here Madan Kharel (Pharmacy) is obtaining a sample while CAER's John Hiett stands ready to assist.
Turner Construction Company, a general contractor firm based in Lexington, was recognized for its construction manager involvement with the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) Renwable Energy Research Lab. The construction of the new 43,000 square foot, high-performance laboratory will lower operation costs of CAER, while increasing education about the numerous energy technologies implemented in the building.
Four local high school students who were mentored by University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research scientists have proved experience gain by working in laboratories with mentors is invaluable.
Valerie Sarge, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, placed first in the Energy and Transportation category at the Central Kentucky Regional Science and Engineering Fair, going on to win first place in the same category at the state competition. This qualifies her to go on to Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to be held in Phoenix. Valerie was mentored by Chemistry Professor/CAER Faculty Associate, John Anthony. In her work with the solar energy group she is using organic compounds called furan-based materials. These can be derived from agricultural waste products to create new semiconductors for use in low-cost solar cells. She is has been working on synthesis, but may soon move toward creating solar cells.
Will Kimmerer, a ninth grader at Sayre School, won top awards at the regional and state fairs in the Environmental Science category, including second in the Physical Sciences category. Kimmerer is interested in water purification and obtained carbon material samples for use in his project from CAER working closely with Director Rodney Andrews during the project. He was selected for the I-SWEEP 2013 conference (International Sustainable World Energy Engineering Environment Project) in Houston, where he will present his work. Additionally, he was selected for the Stockholm Junior Water Award.
Additionally, two Dunbar CAER interns placed well at the regional level and went on to compete at the state competition. Rohin Lohe placed first in the "Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering" category, and went on to place third at the state competition. Lohe will compete at the Kentucky Junior Academy of Sciences on April 27th. John Luan also won in the “Energy and Transportation” category at regionals.
Matt Weisenberger, Associate Director for Carbon Materials, is mentoring Lohe with a project titled "Finite Element Analysis of Heat Conduction through Interfaces: Modeling and Experimental Verification with Stainless Steel, Copper, and Multiwall Carbon Nanotube Arrays as Thermal Interface Materials." Lohe has been conducting his research at the UK CAER laboratory facilities and working directly with the Carbon Materials Research staff in completing the tests.
Finally, Lohe’s project included part of the expertise gained while working with CAER’s Electrochemical Power Sources group under the direction of Associate Director Steve Lipka. John is working on a project entitled “Carbon-based Capacitive Thin Films for AC Line Filtering” in which the goal is to demonstrate whether carbon-based supercapacitors can be used as a lower-cost, more-dependable replacement for traditional electrolytic capacitors in electronic devices.
February 1, 2013 15:52 by Alice
The city of Somerset has recently installed Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling capabilities. Currently CNG prices range from $1.50 to $2.00 gasoline gallon equivalent. This will result in considerable cost savings for the city. The facility is located at the city’s refueling station on Chapel Dairy Road. The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's Eastern Kentucky regional representative, Greg Copley, was on hand to observe a CNG powered Freightliner dump truck being refueled.
The dedicated fuel truck was in route from South Carolina to a truck show in Peoria, Illinois when the driver determined he needed to fuel up before making it to Louisville. He contacted the Somerset facility manager who agreed to sell enough CNG for the truck to get to Louisville.
One noticeable attribute of this type of vehicle is the lack of noise from the engine as it started and drove down the road. According to the driver, the truck has an automatic transmission and the truck seemed to handle hills well. Since this was the driver’s first experience driving this vehicle, its performance is still unknown at this point. There are four CNG tanks that can be operated separately or together to run the vehicle.
January 11, 2013 17:40 by Alice
The Bluegrass Chapter of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE) toured the UK CAER Renewables Laboratory. The group tours recently completed engineering projects and were very interested in this Murphy + Graves Architects project.
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research recently completed construction on a new 43,000 square foot high-performance laboratory building that will allow expansion of the center's renewable and energy storage research. This research is devoted to Kentucky's growing renewable energy industries, including biomass and biofuels, electrochemical power sources (like capacitors and batteries), and distributed solar energy technologies.
The laboratory building design target was a 50 percent reduction in energy usage compared to similar facilities.
January 3, 2013 14:03 by Alice
Recently the University of Kentucky received additional funding to help advance research in the Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) project, which provides low-cost, energy efficient housing options to Kentuckians. The UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) will be developing public education framework about the HBEER project and disseminate findings throughout the state to bolster interest in energy efficient modular structures.
HBEER is a partnership between the UK College of Design, CAER, KHIC and the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC). The multi-year project was initiated in the fall of 2009 and directly responds to the impact the current economic downturn has had on the houseboat manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth. As part of the partnership, more than 50 students and faculty at the UK School of Architecture were responsible for researching and developing initial models of energy-efficient, affordable housing that could be produced by the region's houseboat manufacturers.
The next phases of the HBEER project includes a prototype for multifamily housing, as well as classroom space for schools as an energy efficient and more durable alternative to portable classrooms.
Read more of the story at UKNOW.