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Home > News > Press Releases & Media Advisories > Press Release

UC Irvine advanced power and energy program awarded $3 million grant by California Energy Commission

Funds to support pioneering air quality study and development of alternative fuels and low-emission power generators

Irvine, Calif., November 13, 2001

UC Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) has received a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission for research that will promote commercialization of alternative fuels and distributed power generation.

The multi-year grant will fund four new research programs, including a first-ever study of the impact of distributed power on Southern California air quality. Funds also will create a center to test biogas fuels and will support the manufacture of a new generation of micro-turbine generators.

"The emergence of distributed power generation has brought both opportunities and challenges," said Scott Samuelsen, professor of
mechanical and aerospace engineering at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and APEP director. "The four studies addressed under this award are focused on key issues associated with this new paradigm."

The grant was funded through the commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, which supports research to help reduce California's reliance on the power grid. Since 1999, PIER has granted nearly $5 million to APEP in support of environmentally preferred power generation.

The current award specifically will provide: $991,695 over three years to establish a fuel simulation facility; $698,689 over five years to assess the air quality impact of distributed generation; $826,917 over three years to design and manufacture a low-emission combustor for use with a micro-turbine generator; and $528,895 over three years to design and manufacture a micro-turbine generator that operates on fuels other than natural gas.

The air-quality study will be headed by air-quality modeling expert Donald Dabdub, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Jack Brouwer, a senior scientist at APEP, and Samuelsen will collaborate on the study. Samuelsen also will work with Vincent McDonell, associate director of APEP, on the micro-turbine projects. UCI graduate and undergraduate student researchers will assist with all of the studies.

The Advanced Power and Energy Program is an interdisciplinary research program at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering.

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering encompasses the departments of civil and environmental engineering, chemical engineering and materials science, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. It houses seven research centers, including the Center for Pervasive Communications, the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, the National Fuel Cell Research Center and the Center for Biomedical Engineering. In addition, the school is an integral part of the newly founded California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, one of three California Institutes for Science and Innovation. 
Additional information is available at


Nicole Knight
(949) 824-3088


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