We once again invite researchers, scientists, organizations and companies to display an energy-related poster during the 8th Annual 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium, in Denver, CO

The four co-hosts of the symposium invite academic faculty, staff, researchers, scientists and students to submit a poster.  In addition we are inviting companies and organizations to submit an energy-related poster.  The poster topic can involve energy, water, sustainability, oil and gas, geothermal, air, transmission, utilities, cybersecurity, biofuels, social/behavioral, or natural gas-related research or projects.  The poster would be entered at the 8th annual Symposium free of charge (participant must be registered for symposium).  This year we encourage posters related to food/energy/water nexus.

Cost:  Every energy-related poster entrant must pay relative registration fee.  There is no cost to display a poster. Those submitting posters don’t have to be at all symposium sessions or stand by their poster all the time unless they choose to.  Deadline to submit:  March 26

Date: April 1-2, 2019
Location:  Grand Hyatt, 1750 Welton Street, Denver, CO

Submission Details:

  • Colorado researchers, companies and organizations actively engaged in any energy-related work are invited to display their poster during the entire 1.5 day “21st Century Energy Transition Symposium 2019”. The poster content can included water, air, land use, biofuels, oil/gas, geothermal, renewable energy, transmission, electric grid, cybersecurity, clean transportation, social and behavioral sciences and other related topics.  We also are encouraging topics on food/energy/water/health/environment nexus.
  • A public reception will be held on April 1, 2019 at the symposium from 5:30-6:15pm MT (complimentary appetizers served, cash bar). Since 2011 when Colorado State University hosted this symposium, networking opportunities like this have resulted in small to large grants and projects for various applied research projects between faculty, industry, environmental groups and other organizations.
  • We invite posters conveying research that is underway, research just starting, a special or senior class project, an outreach activity or whatever the researcher wants to present relevant to the energy industry, natural gas industry, renewable energy, transmission, utilities and respective supply chains.  Industry professionals in these topics are encouraged to submit a poster.  Topics in Food/energy/water/health/environment research can be at any stage.
  • All must bring posters to the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver (second floor) by 8:30am MT on April 1. They must remove their poster after 12:30pm MT on April 2, 2019 or organizers will dispose of any posters not claimed following the event.
  • Poster display — The posters will be displayed on the solid poster display supplied by the event.  Solid poster boards will be placed on six foot tables whereby viewers can move from one poster to another.
  • Poster size — Not larger than 22″ x 28″

How to submit a research poster:

You must submit your poster submission by March 26 in order to be considered.  It is free to submit an energy-related poster, however everyone must register and pay the respective registration fee prior to event.   Send an email to info@CERCsymposium.org with the following information:

  1. Your full name, title, organization, phone number
  2. Title of project
  3. Project participants
  4. Project description (no more than 250 words)


2019 Research Posters Submitted

Poster #1

Name: Jing Wang, PhD student in Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Phone: 305-298-5220  Jing.Wang@colorado.edu

Project Title: NSF CRISP Type 1/Collaborative Research: A Human-Centered Computational Framework for Urban and Community Design of Resilient Coastal Cities (Award #1638336)

Project Participants: University of Colorado Boulder (Jing Wang, Wangda Zuo), University of Miami (Landolf Rhode-Barbarigoes, Sonia Chao), Virginia Tech (Walid Saad)

Project description:  The goal of this research is to create new paradigms for the resilient design of urban communities, and uniquely tailored toward the design of coastal cities, thus contributing to NSF’s science and engineering mission. By bringing together an interdisciplinary set of collaborators from engineering, architecture, and social sciences, this research yields several key innovations: (1) a holistic human-centered computational framework for the design of resilient cities; (2) identification of key typologies, morphologies and their interdependencies by analyzing the urban design and its infrastructure networks; (3) an innovative flexible modeling and computational framework that integrate socioeconomic characteristics for simulation and resilience optimization (damage tolerance) of the critical infrastructure; (4) a novel optimization framework that will facilitate making damage tolerance decisions that can achieve anticipatory resilience in face of disaster uncertainty; (5) new identified interdependences, trends, and typologies of socioeconomic system of highly urbanized coastal communities based on the cities of Miami and Miami Beach in Florida.  In summary, this research will lay the scientific foundation for envisioning and redesigning resilient coastal cities making them ready to meet anticipated future challenges.  Lab website: http://www.colorado.edu/lab/sbs

Poster #2

Name:  Yunyang Ye, PhD Student, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Colorado Boulder, 305-978-0437, Yunyang.Ye@colorado.edu

Project Participants:  Wangda Zuo: Associate Professor, Lewis-Worcester Faculty Fellow (University of Colorado Boulder) Gang Wang: Assistant Professor (University of Miami)

Project Title:  Large Scale Energy Modeling for Building Energy Rating Standard

Project Description:  Commercial buildings accounts for 20% of the primary energy in the US and there is a great potential to save energy in existing US commercial buildings. To promote energy saving of US commercial buildings, ASHRAE Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) rating standard provides a method to evaluate the energy performance of commercial buildings. ASHRAE bEQ system consists of two sections, As Designed rating and In Operation rating. To support the rating standard, this poster displays our research to perform large scale energy analysis and big data analytics for commercial buildings. The workflow of the research contains four steps: 1) identify possible sensitive model inputs, 2) generate models, 3) conduct large-scale simulation, 4) conduct data analysis, and 5) generate the results. The existing outcomes show that we have already identified and modeled 18 main commercial building types which represent for 85% of floor space, developed the workflow to conduct large scale simulation and data analytics, and conducted the large-scale building energy simulation.  Website: https://www.colorado.edu/lab/sbs/

Poster #3

Presenting Author:  Kathryn Hinkelman, PhD Student in Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, (303) 917-2761, Kathryn.Hinkelman@colorado.edu

Project Participants: Xing Lu (CU Boulder), Wangda Zuo (CU Boulder), Yangyang Fu (CU Boulder), Jing Wang (CU Boulder), Yingchen Zhang (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Project Title: Multi-domain Modeling Framework for Future Smart and Connected Communities

Project Description: Infrastructure in future smart and connected communities (SCCs) is envisioned as interconnected public services, including energy, transportation, and communication systems. While the inherent interdependencies among these critical systems may significantly influence both the design and operation of each system, few prior studies have quantified the potential impacts of these interdependencies. The objective of this work is to develop an open-source, integrated modeling framework for planning, deploying, and operating future communities that are sustainable (zero energy), connected (zero outage and zero congestion), and smart (self-organizing operation). We propose a novel multi-level, multi-layer, multi-agent approach to enable flexible modeling of interconnected infrastructure systems. Various component and system-level models for energy, transportation, and communication systems are designed and implemented using Modelica, an equation-based, object-oriented modeling language. To evaluate the interdependencies and quantify the impacts of integrated modeling, three case studies of gradually increasing complexity are presented (energy, energy + transportation, energy + transportation + communication). Results indicate that the average road velocity during the morning commute decreases 10.5% when the communication system is considered. Similarly, when communication and transportation systems are considered, the power draw from the grid decreases 0.33% on average, with the largest decrease of 7% occurring during the morning commute. These results suggest a need for integrated modeling when designing and operating future SCCs. Furthermore, the proposed modeling framework has the potential to be extended for additional applications, including dynamic modeling and optimization, resilience analysis, and integrated decision making in future connected communities.

Poster #4

Dr. Hannah Miller, Postdoctoral Researcher, Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, 630.618.6454, Hannah.Miller2@colostate.edu

Project Title: Irrigation with Produced Water: Impact on Crop and Soil Health

Project participants: Dr. Thomas Borch, Dr. Jens Blotevogel, Dr. Jim Ippolito, Dr. Kelly Wrighton, Kandis Diaz, Dustin Diaz, Rebecca Daly, Hannah Hare, Merritt Logan

Project description:  Oil and gas wastewater, known as produced water (PW), has the potential to be beneficially reused for agricultural irrigation. However, PW can be saline and may contain harmful contaminant concentrations. We irrigated wheat with minimally treated PW to investigate its effects on soil health, wheat growth, and soil microbiome to assess its viability for crop irrigation.  We grew wheat in a sandy loam soil matrix in a greenhouse. The irrigation treatments included control irrigation water, 1% and 5% PW dilutions, and a salt water control with equivalent salinity to the 5% PW dilution. During wheat growth, we measured plant physiological parameters, soil electrical conductivity, chlorophyll fluorescence, and collected soil samples for 16S rRNA soil microbial community analysis. Final soil quality parameters were measured after harvest, including: bulk density, microbial biomass, potential mineralizable nitrogen, soil potassium and phosphorus, and total organic carbon and nitrogen. PW treatments did not alter wheat height and chlorophyll measurements; however, both the salinity control and 5% PW treatment had reduced yields as compared to the control. Measures of microbial soil activity were lower in 5% PW treatments as compared to all other treatments. Soil concentrations of phosphorus, potassium, and inorganic carbon were not significantly affected by PW irrigation. In conclusion, watering crops with minimally treated dilutions of PW may result in yield decreases and negatively affect soil health parameters but is dependent on the PW composition. Future large-scale field studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of PW on different soil types and crops.

Poster #5

Name: Matt Lucas, Associate Director for Carbontech, Carbon180, 703-201-5542, matt@carbon180.org

Project Title: Carbontech Labs: Startup Accelerator and Investment Fund Providing Lab-to-Market Support for Innovators Converting Carbon Waste into Value

Project description: Carbontech Labs is the world’s first and only accelerator focused on the $1 trillion-dollar carbontech market opportunity. The program provides support to early-stage companies that show scalable technical promise and potential investment readiness with a valuable product-market fit. Startup teams continue to work where they already are, with in-person convenings for networking and education throughout the year. Carbontech Labs complements existing teams’ capabilities with access to its vetted entrepreneurs-in-residence, technical test sites, investment advisory council, and its extensive network of expert advisors. It supplements existing teams’ pre-seed funding with non-dilutive grants until they are ready to accept dilutive capital investments from its for-profit sidecar fund. Carbontech Labs’ ultimate goal is to take viable carbontech businesses from lab to Series A, nurturing this nascent yet critical double-bottom-line sector. Carbontech Labs is currently finalizing funding for its first cohort of companies to begin in Q2 2019. The accelerator will provide tailored, à la carte services to systematically de-risk  startups’ business and technology through four phases of programming, three checkpoints, and three funding opportunities

Poster #6

Name: Nairo Ruperto León Rodriguez, student, UAM – Renewable Energy Institute +52 7773433481, nleo@ier.unam.mx

Project Title: Technical-economic Analysis of Photovoltaic based Distributed Generation Systems for the Mexican Industrial Sector.

Project description:  The Mexican industrial sector represents an important part of the national consumption of electricity (30%) and during the last 10 years it has maintained a constant annual growth average annual growth rate of 5.8%. At the end of 2016 this sector concentrated 9.8% of the nation’s energy users. All these facts mean that ensuring the supply of electricity for the industrial sector is of great importance, both in terms of availability and quality of service.  Distributed generation refers to a variety of technologies that generate electricity at or near where it will be used. Currently there are 3 schemes that apply to Distributed Generation (Facilities with installed capacity less than 500 kW) in Mexico: Net Metering, Net Billing and Total Sale.  With the objective of evaluating the potential and viability of PV systems to the industrial sector, the most relevant economic indicators in the analysis of energy projects are calculated (Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Recovery Time (Payback), Net Present Value (NPV), Cost – Benefit (C/B) factor). These indicators are calculated for several proposed PV systems and then they are used to compare the costs of consumption of electricity over 20 years in two scenarios: i) with a PV system, ii) without a PV system. This cost over time is estimated calculating and analyzing the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).  The present study focuses on evaluating the economic aspects regarding the integration of PV systems to the industrial sector under the new schemes of Distributed Generation by using the software System Advisor Model (SAM), developed by the National Department of Renewable Energy (NREL).  The cities evaluated in Mexico are the capitals of the 32 states and are selected according to their population as well as the industry concentration.

Poster #7

Name: Xu Han, PhD student in Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Phone: 305-310-6466, Xu.Han-2@colorado.edu

Project Title: Improving Data Center Energy Efficiency through End-to-End Cooling Modeling and Optimization (Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy, Award Number: DE-EE0007688)

Project Participants: University of Colorado Boulder (Xu Han, Wangda Zuo, Yangyang Fu), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Michael Wetter), Schneider Electric (Wei Tian, Jim VanGilder)

Project description:  Data centers in the US consume about 2% of the nation’s electricity and approximately half of that is used for data center cooling. To improve energy efficiency of the cooling system in data centers, many researches have been focusing on either the cooling system or the airflow management in the data center rooms. The separation of cooling system and airflow management leads to local optimum design and operation. The integration of the cooling system operation and airflow management will provide a holistic solution to the optimal operation of the data centers.  The goal is to develop and demonstrate an open-source, modular, free software which provides practical, end-to-end modeling and optimization for data center cooling for use by data center designers, service consultants and facility managers, as well as for integration by data center management software companies. The tool box includes three features: (1) Feature 1: optimization of cooling system operation; (2) Feature 2: optimization of airflow management; (3) Feature 3: simultaneous optimization of airflow management and cooling systems. We have developed the modeling packages of the cooling system and airflow management of data centers, which have been publicly released. Currently, we are working on integrated modeling of the cooling system and airflow management to conduct a holistic solution to the optimal operation of the data centers.  Lab website: http://www.colorado.edu/lab/sbs

Poster #8

Name: Selena Gerace, Outreach Coordinator, University of Wyoming, 307-766-5634, sgerace@uwyo.edu

Project Title: Water Agriculture Food Energy Research Nexus (WAFERx)

Project Participants (PI and co-PIs): Paul Story (Montana State University), Selena Ahmed (Montana State University), David Swanson (University of South Dakota), Meghann Jarchow (University of South Dakota), Ben Rashford (University of Wyoming)

Project Description: The Water Agriculture Food Energy Research Nexus (WAFERx) is a research collaborative studying the implications of adopting Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) as a form of climate change mitigation.  BECCS reduces atmospheric CO2 first through the production of bioenergy crops, which absorb CO2 from the air during photosynthesis. The CO2 emitted when these crops are converted into energy is then captured and injected into geologic formations underground for permanent storage. This results in what is referred to as ‘negative emissions’—meaning more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere than is released.  BECCS, while potentially reducing atmospheric CO2, would also require transformations in agriculture, land-use, and energy production systems, creating trade-offs among food, water, energy, biodiversity, and economic opportunities. For example, bioenergy crops could displace food crops, threatening local food security. CCS practices and bioenergy production could require changes in water use, affecting water quality and quantity. Grasslands, wetlands, and forests could be converted to intensive bioenergy crops, altering wildlife habitat and biodiversity. These land-use conversions could also cause the release of large amounts of CO2 currently stored in native ecosystems, incurring a carbon debt so large it could take generations for BECCS to repay it. Transitions from fossil fuels to bioenergy industries could impact employment opportunities and local and state tax revenue, affecting regional economic development. The WAFERx team is evaluating the implications of these potential trade-offs for the local people, communities, cultures, and ecosystems of the Upper Missouri River Basin.  WAFERx Outreach Resourceshttps://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-P4rOj_uukNkmILJT7ZBnmmTRaLvSVA6?ogsrc=32

Poster #9

Name: Molly McLaughlin, PhD Candidate, Colorado State University, Phone number: (404)729-9312, mollymcl@rams.colostate.edu

Project Title: Assessment of Water Quality, Toxicity and Treatment Strategies Downstream of NPDES Oil and Gas Produced Water Discharges

Project Participants:  McLaughlin, M.1; Borch, T.1,2; Argueso, J.L.3; Blotevogel, J.1

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, United States; 2Department of Chemistry and Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, United States;   3Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, United States

Project Description:  Produced water (PW) is the largest waste stream associated with oil and gas operations. This complex fluid contains petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, salts, naturally occurring radioactive (NORMs) and any remaining drilling, stimulation or well maintenance chemicals, as well as their potential transformation products. In the United States, west of the 98th meridian, the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) exemption allows release of PW for agricultural beneficial reuse. Contents and concentrations of chemicals in PW vary by location and time. As a result, treatment strategies vary, and PW NPDES releases are poorly characterized.  The goal of this study is to characterize potential environmental impacts and toxicity of PW discharges on downstream water quality. Water samples were collected from three NPDES PW discharges and surrounding watersheds in a Wyoming oil field. Engineered wetlands were located downstream of each discharge. Thus, the efficiency of using wetlands for onsite treatment of PW was also assessed. PW discharge streams were characterized using chemical analyses and toxicological bioassays. Contaminants including benzene, NORMS and surfactants were identified at elevated concentrations at the NPDES discharges. Concentrations of these chemicals generally decreased with increasing distance from the discharge. Hydrophilic compounds, including surfactants, were significantly attenuated in the wetlands. Mutation bioassays revealed higher chronic toxicity at the discharge than implied by chemical analysis, showing that bioassays are a useful tool for assessing complex water quality. The results of this study can be used to help industry and regulators effectively and safely manage PW discharges for agricultural beneficial reuse.

Poster #10

Name:  Hailey M. Summers, Graduate Research Assistant, Colorado State University, 907.723.5511, Hailey.Summers@colostate.edu

Project Title:  Economic and Environmental Impact Assessments of Drought-Tolerant Crops in the American Southwest

Project Participants:  Hailey M. Summers, Sproul, E., Johnson, J., Jason C. Quinn

Project Description:  Guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.) and Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) are drought-tolerant crops that produce high-valued products, guar gum and rubber, respectively. Guar gum demand in the last decade has exponentially increased due to its use in fracking of shale oil and gas. Guayule has recently gained interest as a replacement for rubber in tire manufacturing. Current demand for both crops is primarily met through costly U.S. import. However, minimal work assessing the economic and environmental feasibility of domestic production of guar gum and rubber has been performed. The approach to quantifying economic and environmental impacts for Guar and Guayule has been divided into two steps. First, detailed process models capturing mass and energy requirements for domestic production of guar gum and rubber were developed. Second, economic and environmental data associated with the mass and energy requirements was integrated to perform techno-economic and life cycle impact assessments. Preliminary assessment results were focused on determining areas of high cost and large environmental impact from each crop. It was determined that irrigation and downstream process heating, through natural gas, have a large impact on both economics and the environment for both crops. Additional significant areas of impact were observed from downstream processing stages, namely spray drying for guar gum and solvent extraction for Guayule. Ongoing work is focused on expanding modeling scope, such as including use and end-of-life phases as well as co-products, to perform a complete life cycle assessment. Final assessment results will be compared to current crops cultivated in the American Southwest.

Poster #11

Name:  Kaitlyn Garifi, PhD Student in Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder  Kaitlyn.Garifi@colorado.edu

Project Title:  Stochastic Home Energy Management Systems with Varying Controllable Resources

Project Participants: Kaitlyn Garifi, Kyri Baker (University of Colorado Boulder), Dane Christensen (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Behrouz Touri (University of California San Diego)

Project Description:  This project studies the performance of a model predictive control (MPC) algorithm in a home energy management system (HEMS) as the set of controllable resources varies and under both a constant and a time-of-use (TOU) electricity price structure. The set of controllable resources includes residentially-owned photovoltaic (PV) panels, a home battery system (HBS), an electric vehicle (EV), and a home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The HEMS optimally schedules the set of controllable resources given user preferences such as indoor thermal comfort and electricity cost sensitivity. The home energy management system is built on a chance constrained, MPC-based algorithm, where the chance constraint ensures the indoor thermal comfort is satisfied with a high probability given uncertainty in the outdoor temperature and solar irradiance forecasts. Simulation results for varying sets of controllable resources under two different electricity price structures demonstrate the variation in the HEMS control with respect to HBS operation, electricity cost, and grid power usage.