Aug. 31, 2021

NDSU receives federal funding for energy storage research


An NDSU researcher will lead a Department of Energy grant of approximately $1.74 million to develop a novel thermochemical adsorption material for energy storage.

Adam Gladen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will lead the team working to embed a framework of nanocellulose with hygroscopic salt. The material will be the basis for economical and highly efficient thermal energy storage systems, and could potentially be used in other applications such as adsorption cooling.

The research team includes NDSU faculty members Yao Yu and Ghasideh Pourhashem, as well as collaborators at Montana State University, Oak Ridge National Lab and Idaho National Lab.

“We are thankful and excited to receive this grant,” said Gladen. “The team is looking forward to developing this new material and modeling how it will improve energy usage in buildings. By having much higher theoretical energy density than current technology, these kinds of materials have the potential to enable highly efficient, compact thermal energy storage. Our long-term goal is to use this novel material in new storage systems to reduce energy usage in homes, offices and other buildings. This can lead to significant savings for the owner, especially in states like North Dakota that have high heating loads. Eventually, we plan to use the results of the research to guide development of energy storage technology for other applications as well.”

Gladen’s research interests include renewable energy, solar thermal energy, energy storage, thermal systems, and thermodynamics.

He earned his bachelor’s degree at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and master’s degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.

The NDSU grant is part of a funding package totaling nearly $83 million for 44 projects aimed at lowering Americans’ energy bills by investing in new energy-efficient building technologies, construction practices and the U.S. buildings-sector workforce.

The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office competitively selected the projects from its Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity applications.

The announcement of the funding for the NDSU research drew praise from North Dakota’s two U.S. senators.

“Technology serves as the third economic wave in our state’s economic growth and funding to NDSU will be used to advance innovative ways to store energy,” said U.S. Sen. John Hoeven. “Investments in research to develop cost-effective, more efficient technologies is key to meeting our growing energy needs while leveraging existing resources and with improved environmental stewardship.”

U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer said, “I am grateful for the Energy Department’s consistent investment in North Dakota and its energy efforts. This award will help NDSU advance its research of efficient energy storage and sustainability.”

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

Submit Your News Story
Help us report what’s happening around campus, or your student news.