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WPI Sponsors Clean Energy Conference: Global Cleantech Meetup

Saturday, September 14, 2013


WPI is a sponsor of November's Global Cleantech Meetup, along with several other Central Massachusetts institutions.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a prime sponsor of a gathering of clean-tech and water-tech innovators in November in Boston. The 2013 Global Cleantech Meetup, supported by Central Massachusetts backers Saint Gobain and the UMass system, will feature Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as its keynote speaker.

Global Cleantech Meetup

The annual Global Cleantech Meetup connects innovators of clean-energy and water technologies with adopters seeking solutions to cut costs and reduce resource use. The three-day event will be held on November 12 to 14 at theSeaport World Trade Center. Event organizers expect to bring together about 500 people from across the state and country and around the world.

"Massachusetts is an international hub for clean-energy innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Governor Patrick. “Our universities and research institutions, our creative and well-prepared workforce and our tradition on invention make the Commonwealth a premiere destination to grow a clean-tech business and to help solve the world’s most pressing energy challenges.”

MassCEC and clean tech

The Mass. Clean Energy Center, another prime event sponsor, is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean-energy tech, companies and projects in the Bay State, while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth throughout the state. MassCEC provides seed investments to startup companies, funds renewable-energy rebates for residents and businesses and supports the development of a local clean-energy workforce.  Since its founding in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean-energy companies grow, supported municipal-clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable-energy installations – helping to create a marketplace for innovative clean-tech companies and service providers.

Last year, MassCEC presented a one-year, $40,000 Catalyst Award to WPI researcher Yan Wang for an innovative flow-batteries design the he developed. Flow batteries are rechargeable energy systems that can be used to store electric energy produced by wind- and solar-power installations. The funding is supporting Wang’s continued work on the new technology, which promises significantly higher energy and power density as well as longer cycle life than conventional flow batteries - and at a significantly lower cost.

Innovation at WPI

With the Catalyst Award, Wang, his research team, and his collaborator, Diran Apelian, Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI and director of the university's Metal Processing Institute, are experimenting with new formulations that will more effectively keep heavy-metal particles in suspension. They are also conducting experiments to measure the flow battery's performance and building a working prototype. They ultimately plan to found a start-up company to commercialize the new battery technology.

"Right now, the ability to store and retrieve energy is the Achilles heel in the world of renewable energy," Apelian said at the time of the MassCEC award. Apelian, who founded WPI's Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling, the nation’s first materials-recovery and -recycling center, added, "By helping to address this challenge, Yan Wang’s work will be critical to our nation’s wellbeing. The work that he and our students are doing will make a huge impact. It is exciting for WPI to be part of this initiative, and to lead it."


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