Media Watch Archives

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Is This Experimental Green Suburb the Future of Single-Family Housing?

Bloomberg -
Some homeowners will have one more option during a blackout: using their car to charge their house. … These homeowners can participate in a three-year trial to lease Kia EV6 crossovers imported from South Korea that have bi-directional batteries, according to Scott Samuelsen, [Founding Director, Advanced Power and Energy Program and a] professor of mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering at UC Irvine, which will design and manage the experiment. Read More
The Conversation

What is hydroelectric energy and how does it work?

The Conversation -
Brian Tarroja, UCI associate professional researcher and lecturer of civil and environmental engineering writes, “Hydropower facilities capture the energy in flowing water by using a device called a turbine. As water runs over the blades of a turbine – kind of like a giant pinwheel – they spin. This spinning turbine is connected to a shaft that spins inside a device called a generator, which uses an effect called induction to convert energy in the spinning shaft to electricity.” Read More

L.A.'s Major Flood Risk Much Higher Than Previously Thought, New Study Says

And it may not just be L.A. County that is vastly underestimating its flood risk: "Across the U.S., we witnessed one city after the other get hit by flooding and be seemingly unprepared for the amount of flooding that happens," said Brett Sanders, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Irvine and the study's lead author.  In addition to noting the increased risk, Sanders said it is crucial to understand who within a community is most exposed to these types of events and may face the longest road to recovery. Read More
Irvine Standard

Thousands of opportunities

Irvine Standard -
Elizabeth Chiu first got interested in mechanical engineering as a member of her high school, all-girls robotics team. But it was only after she enrolled at UC Irvine that she discovered her dream job. Chiu, 21, and now a senior UCI student, recently accepted an offer to join the R&D Released Product Engineering department for Medtronic Neurovascular in Irvine, the world’s largest neurovascular company. Medtronic had previously hired her as an intern for two consecutive summers, in addition to six months of part-time work during her junior year. “I’m so excited that I get to work with the same team I’ve worked with over two years,” she says. … UCI was one of Chiu’s top choices for college, she says, adding, “It’s such a pretty area, and the school has a great engineering department, with lots of opportunities for internships.” Read More
The Real Deal

KB Home to build state’s first “microgrid communities” in the IE

The Real Deal -
The developer aims to build the state’s first all-electric, solar- and battery-powered “microgrid community” of single-family homes, to be located in the Inland Empire. … The homebuilder has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy, SunPower, the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UC Irvine, Southern California Edison, Schneider Electric and Kia to test its new microgrid system. Read More

How well could your community withstand a major flood? It could be riskier than you think

In a state severely hobbled by drought and wildfires, flood concerns may not seem top-of-mind. But a new study out of UC Irvine found that Los Angeles County's aging flood systems may not be ready for a major flood. "Right now, our research suggests that our infrastructure and the way we've built it out is much more vulnerable to this type of event than I think anyone would have guessed," said Brett Sanders, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCI and one of the authors of the paper. Read More
Los Angeles Business Journal

KB to Create Microgrid Community

Los Angeles Business Journal -
Westwood-based KB Home will be launching the first all-electric, solar- and battery-powered microgrid communities in California. The homebuilder has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy; SunPower Corp.; the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine; Southern California Edison; Schneider Electric; and Kia to test 219 energy-efficient new homes at KB Home’s Oak Shade and Durango communities within its Shadow Mountain master plan in Menifee. Read More

New SoCal neighborhood where power never goes out

At the latest KB Home community in Menifee, they’re putting a new twist on energy efficiency. Each home here is equipped with solar to collect power from the sun and stores it in a battery located in the home’s garage. … These all-electric homes use up to 40 percent less energy than similar homes. The partners involved, including the U.S. Department of Energy, SunPower, the University of California, Irvine, Southern California Edison and Kia, are eager to learn from the project in hopes of applying the concept to more neighborhoods in the future. Read More
Spectrum News

Menifee is California's first solar- and battery-powered microgrid home community

Spectrum News 1 -
Topped with solar panels, each home in California’s first all-electric, solar- and battery-powered microgrid home community also has a so-called Sun Vault in the garage to store electricity. And each of those homes is connected, giving them the ability to collectively withstand power shortages induced by extreme heat, wildfires or earthquakes. … LA-based KB Home and SunPower, headquartered in San Jose, received $6.6 million from the agency to pay for the microgrid’s batteries and research that the University of California, Irvine and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will conduct. Read More

First All-Electric Community Powered By Solar and Battery Microgrid Launches in California

EcoWatch -
In a collaboration between the University of California, Irvine, SunPower Corp., Southern California Edison, Schneider Electric and KB Home, a new collection of Energy-Smart Connected Communities — more than 200 homes powered entirely by solar energy — are being built in Menifee, California, and are the first of their kind in the Golden State. Read More


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