All posts by Hongshan Guo

SMART sensor just won the DOE’s JUMP award!

Responding to the call from BUILDING ROBOTICS and Berkeley lab, our SMART sensor entered the challenge to build ‘MEAN RADIANT TEMPERATURE SENSING FOR IMPROVED THERMAL COMFORT’ in July, 2016 and just won the $3000 cash price and now enters the pool to participate DOE Lab Impact Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot Small Business Voucher to request $300k of in-kind technical support for prototype development, testing and other problem statements facing small businesses in the clean energy innovation space.

More about the call can be found on the JUMP website.

Or check out our sensor on the JUMP website here.

Meggers won Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund for pressurized air tank that captures full-scale fluid dynamics behavior as full-scale wind tunnels!

Enhancing wind power
A new apparatus will help researchers develop wind turbine designs without building full-scale prototypes. Given the massive size of today’s turbines, building test models at full size is not feasible, yet scaling down these models causes inaccurate predictions of their capabilities. However, it is possible to reproduce the full-scale dynamics by placing the scaled-down models inside a container of highly pressurized air.

A team composed of Marcus Hultmark, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Forrest Meggers, assistant professor of architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and Elie Bou-Zeid, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will build a test facility that uses a pressurized air tank and can accurately capture the physics of full-scale turbines. The apparatus will be housed on Princeton’s nearby Forrestal Campus.

“The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund gives Princeton the capacity to invest in truly innovative and highly promising research — research that is often considered too forward-looking for traditional funding mechanisms,” said Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti, the Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science and professor of chemical and biological engineering. “This year’s selected proposals are outstanding in terms of the quality of the science and engineering as well the potential to benefit humanity through practical benefits to human health and the environment.”

More information can be found on the ACEE website here.

Meggers wins IP Accelerator Fund to build Spherical Motion Average Radiant Temperature (SMART) building sensor and 3D thermal renderer

Current building controls only maintain the thermal conditions of room air. Air temperature is only one of several factors that impact thermal comfort while heat transfer by radiation from surfaces influence roughly half of thermal comfort. To address these issues, Meggers’ lab has developed an inexpensive, non-contacting mean radiant temperature sensor that measures surface radiant temperatures, calculates the mean radiant temperature at any given location, tracks temperatures in a 3D space, and is also capable of perceiving the presence of occupants. The sensor can be deployed for building controls, diagnostics by HVAC technicians, and during the design phase of a structure. Usage of the sensor would not only increase comfort for occupants, but also save money and boost energy efficiency in buildings. For this project, Meggers obtained a provisional patent and developed working prototypes. Funds from this grant will be dedicated to producing a compact and robust design for the sensor, verifying performance of the device, and developing a user interface and building system integration in collaboration with Siemens and Princeton’s facilities department. The end goal is a sleek, compact, marketable product and application package that seamlessly allows analysis of any space.

More on the Intellectual Property Accelerator Fund

The University’s Intellectual Property Accelerator Fund awards gap funding to Princeton investigators with the goal of fostering and advancing the development of nascent technologies from University labs into commercial development, and, ultimately, the global marketplace.

The fund addresses the development gap between early stage research and attractive, investment- and venture-grade opportunities. The fund is meant to support proof-of-concept work, data collection, and/or prototyping that can yield important information or further development that would make a technology more commercially attractive.

Announcement by the Andlinger Center of Energy and the Environment can be found here.

Meggers Awarded Project X Fund for Harvesting Thermal Energy with Geological Sequestration

Forrest Meggers, assistant professor of architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, has received funding from Princeton University’s Project X Innovation Fund for a novel experiment that explores deep geothermal wells to heat buildings and cities while simultaneously sequestering carbon dioxide emissions.

Heat or geothermal energy naturally emanates from the Earth’s molten core. Harnessing this power requires drilling deep boreholes into the ground, which is an expensive process. In Meggers’ project, “Sequestering building heat demand and CO2 simultaneously: investigating wells for heat and CO2 injection,” Meggers proposes utilizing existing deep wells that have been used to extract fossil fuels to sequester CO2 and tap underground heat. This mitigates costs for drilling new holes.

“In preliminary work, we have leveraged data from the recently released National Geothermal Database System to investigate how a large network of existing holes can be exploited for medium-­-grade geothermal heat,” said Meggers. “The dataset for Pennsylvania shows 18,000 wells with typical depths of more than 1000 meters and temperatures more than 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat can be pumped directly into buildings.”

The geothermal energy would be harnessed for a district heating system, where heat for household and commercial use would be generated in a centralized location and distributed throughout a district. An alternative to individual boilers, engineers say district heating is more energy efficient, has lower carbon emissions, and saves money over the long run. District heating systems have been utilized in the Netherlands and Iceland.

Meggers proposes using pressurized carbon dioxide to transfer heat up and down from the boreholes’ terminus to the surface. The CO2 is sequestered underground for this use – thus reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions.

In this proposed two-year study, Meggers and his team plan on building a model setup of the well system at the School of Architecture’s new Embodied Computation Laboratory. This involves drilling a 2,000-foot borehole.

More on the Project X Fund

Project X Fund, whose goal is to support bold thinking and unconventional ideas, provides seed funding to engineers who wish to pursue projects that may be outside their formal areas of expertise or are too speculative to attract conventional funding. The fund, established by Lynn Shostack in memory of her late husband, David Gardner ’69, has supported research ranging from an exploration of techniques to sterilize hospital rooms to the development of an idea for playing realistic three-dimensional sound from conventional speakers.

Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

The mission of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is to develop solutions to ensure our energy and environmental future. To this end, the center supports a vibrant and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of sustainable energy-technology development, energy efficiency, and environmental protection and remediation. A chief goal of the center is to translate fundamental knowledge into practical solutions that enable sustainable energy production and the protection of the environment and global climate from energy-related anthropogenic change.

Announcement can also be found on the Andlinger Center of Energy and Environment’s website here.

Meggers moderating PU-EWB Reunion

Prof. Meggers will be moderating the Princeton University Reunions Panel Discussion, which is sponsored by Princeton Engineers Without Borders-Engaged in the Service of All Nations: Creating A Lasting Impact Through Sustainable Development. The panelists will discuss how their education and post-graduation careers have shaped their attitudes towards the field of sustainable development, how they became interested in and pursued the work of non-profits, and what advice they would give to students and recent alumni interested in following a similar path. The intricacies of sustainable practices will also be considered, including the inevitable expense and community effects of internationally delivered aid.

Panelists that will be joining him are:

Adrienne Clermont ‘09, Research Associate – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Rebecca Kaufman ‘11, Partnership Associate – Echoing Green

Gregory van der Vink, Visiting Lecturer in Geosciences – Princeton University

Kelly Smolar, Senior Project Manager – Tishman Construction

The details of the reunion can be found here.


Clayton Miller, visiting scholar from ETH.

Currently a Doctorate fellow at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), Clayton’s research interests are associated with monitoring building performance metrics. His current research takes him to Princeton and to shed light on some researches the team is currently interested in.

His Bio from the ETH website:
“Clayton Miller is a Doctorate Fellow at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) and is working in the SuAT group with a focus on monitoring building performance metrics. His research is conducted in collaboration with the the Future Cities Lab (FCL) in Singapore. He was formerly the CTO of a Singaporean statup company focused in building performance monitoring and has also worked as a Mechanical Systems Designer and Energy Engineer. Clayton holds a MSc. (Building) from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and a Masters of Architectural Engineering (MAE) and BSc. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL). He is a former Fulbright Student Scholar to Singapore at NUS and a Walter Scott Jr. Scholar at UNL.”

Here’s his page of researches.

Arrival of Dr. Jovan Pantelic

We welcomed the arrival of Dr. Jovan Pantelic the week before last to rejoin the chaos research team.

His Bio from Future City Lab
Jovan received his diploma in Mechanical (Thermal and Fluids) Engineering in 2004. After that Jovan pursue his Masters degree in Thermal Engineering while working as a junior engineer in the Architectural and Engineering firm. In 2010 Jovan received his PhD degreed at the National University of Singapore in the filed of ventilation. While working as a Research Fellow at National University of Singapore in 2011 Jovan was visiting fellow at ETH Zurich where he worked with Prof Hansjürg Leibundgut’s LowEx group on adoptation of decentralised ventilation and radiant coopling for tropical climate. This resulted in creation of laboratory for building technologies called BubbleZERO that comprised of first decentalized ventilation and radiant cooling system in the tropical climate. From 2012 till April 2014 Jovan worked at University of Maryland at College Park and Harvard University on the development of technologies for air sampling and implementation to quantifying Influenza shedding rates in the Indoor Environements. Since April 2014 Jovan is working at ETH Zurich and is currently at Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore working on implementation of 3for2 concept in UWC building.
Jovan’s page in FCL
Jovan had worked with Team Chaos on the Theromoheliodome in the summer of 2014 and is going to work with the team on other related projects.