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Sustainable Energy Lab

Location: Sustainable Energy Lab

The Sustainable Energy Lab's goal is to model, test, and design emerging energy technologies to assist in the transition to more sustainable energy options.  Currently the lab work focuses on i) thermoelectric modules and systems for current and future power generation applications and ii) developing world appropriate technologies.  SEL is committed to providing a range of experiential learning opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students.  Numerous senior design projects have been done in partnership with the lab.  Dr. Robert Stevens manages this lab.

See current website for more details:

Major  Equipment

Thermoelectric Module Testing

SEL’s thermoelectric generator work has focused on developing models at the module and system level, experimentally validating the models, and developing design tools utilizing the models for future power generation applications. SEL has a fully instrumented thermoelectric module test stand for characterizing individual modules up to 12cm x 12cm with temperature control on cold side of 10-80°C and hot side of 30-450°C with up to 800 W of heating. Temperatures, voltage, current, and heat fluxes can be logged.

A high temperature module testing system is currently under development that will be capable of testing high temperature modules up to 650°C in an inert environment and allow for extended testing time for durability characterization.

Waste Heat Recovery Testing

SEL also has a waste heat exhaust rig for system testing with extensive data acquisition capabilities.  The rig can provide up to 10 kW of heating, temperatures up to 600°C, and flow rates up to 0.05 kg/s. The test stand is ideal for testing waste heat recovery technologies including heat exchangers and thermoelectric power units. Simulated electrical load can be applied to maintain thermoelectric systems and peak power while monitoring transient and steady state system performance.  The test stand allows for either water cooling or air cooling options.

Cook Stove Testing

SEL has developed a mobile cook stove test stand to conduct water boiling tests.  The test stand allows for testing of a range of biomass-based stoves to determine stove efficiency quickly for optimization of stove design and comparison between different stove options.  Fuel usage rate and water boiling rates are monitored using a high precision scale.  Temperature and CO emission are also collected for stove characterization.

Research sponsors and partners:

  • EPA P3 program
  • NYSDEC – NYS Pollution Prevention Institute
  • Dresser-Rand Incorporated
  • TAM Ceramics, Inc.
  • Corning, Inc.
  • HOPE: Haiti Outreach
  Rochester Institute of Technology
One Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
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