Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering


A Story of the Humble Refrigerator and How It Might Come to Change the World


Dr. Adrienne Little


Rapid Evaluator at X


Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 4:00:00 PM   Add to Calendar


Room https://gatech.bluejeans.com/106577928


Dr. Satish Kumar


Long duration energy storage is often considered to be the enabling technology needed to repair vulnerable utility grid infrastructures, and enable deeper penetration of renewables in national and international energy markets. Many approaches have been taken to solve the grand challenge of storage, but with an inclination towards high tech solutions that employ expensive materials and manufacturing processes, and or novel O & M infrastructure. Enter the humble refrigerator, a low tech solution that utilizes existing technology and ecosystems to accelerate development and implementation. Since the advent of the first heat engines, some of the basic building blocks of these systems have remained relatively unchanged, and to this day, are still responsible for substantial restrictions on system efficiency and cost. This talk will tell the story of Malta Inc. a small scale startup in the energy storage space as an example of some of the most interesting recent advances in thermal systems, and to illustrate the roles of academia, government agencies, and industry in the complex path from tech discovery to final product implementation.


Dr. Adrienne Little is currently a Rapid Evaluator at X (formerly known as Google x), Alphabet Moonshot Factory. She was formerly the Thermal Systems Technical Lead at Malta Inc., an independent grid-scale energy storage company spun out of X. At X, she helped launch Project Malta and various other hardware-based challenges in the energy space. Dr. Little was previously a Fellow at the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) at the U.S. Department of Energy where she worked on advanced manufacturing concepts, ARID portfolio technologies Advanced Research in Dry Cooling, and investigated opportunities for modular nuclear reactor concepts. Dr. Little graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with both her MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and received her Bachelor degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Her PhD work at Georgia Tech with Dr. Srinivas Garimella focused on the development of waste heat recovery technologies and analysis of supersonic internal flows for passive compression devices.


Seminar Link: https://gatech.bluejeans.com/106577928 Phone Dial-in +1.408.419.1715 Meeting ID: 106 577 928 - Moderator: Satish Kumar (satish.kumar@me.gatech.edu)