About RERL

Renewable Energy Resources Laboratory (RERL) is located at 3107 Engineering Gateway in the UC Irvine. It was established in 2006 with research focuses on fuel cell, new battery, hydrogen storage, advanced heat transfer, and other renewable energy, as well as new materials and nano-structured surfaces for energy application. RERL currently hosts a few state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities to characterize interface, nano-structure, energy conversion, and heat transfer, and evaluate new material performance and advanced fabrication methods. In past years, the Lab has developed advanced modeling and numerical tools for scientifically based design and controls; new fundamental understanding of reaction interface performance; and advanced heat transfer devices for new energy. Please read RERL lab rule, basic setting, and equipment (internal use only). 

Research Activities

1). Coupling of ion transport, fluid flow, and electrochemistry in electrochemical power & storage, including fuel cells, batteries, and hydride beds 

2). Complex multiphase flow, species transport, shockwaves, and heat transfer 

3). Advanced modeling: multi-D formulation, stochastic modeling, VOF (volume of fluid) simulation, and direct numerical simulation;

4). Large-scale parallel computation of fluid flows and electrochemically coupled transport problems (e.g. >25 million gridpoints)

5). Surface treatment & new material using emerging techniques; Material characterization using Optical, SEM, Xray, Neutron Imaging, and TEM;

6). Advanced cooling for high-power systems, fuel cells and CPUs; Efficient cooling for human bodies, e.g. brain and muscles;

7). State of the art experimental diagnostics & testing: microfluidics, heat transfer, and electrochemical systems.

8.) Plasma/shockwave capturing using 3-D computational method for LIBS; and material characterization/quantification using LIBS technology

9.) Battery voltage and lifetime prediction, and battery’s species transport relevant to health 

10.) MD study of oxygen transport at reaction interface and water

***Projects and Achievements

a. Develop a 3-D multiphase flow model for MPLs and GDLs of PEM fuel cells and validate against 3-D neutron radiography data;

b. Develop theories for two-phase flow in fuel cell’s gas flow channels, including droplet dynamics and two-phase flow, along with experimental, imaging, and theory validation;

c. Advanced cooling & heat transfer devices for fuel cells and Li-ion battery;

d. Membraneless desalination microbial fuel cells (with Prof. Jiang);

e. Fundamental development regarding thin-film formation and impacts in Li-air batteries;

f. 3-D flow battery theory and model development;

h. LIBS for water vapor, Nafion, and Pt quantification; 

i. First propose the concept of porous media flow fields for fuel cells (used in Toyota Mirai);

j. Develop highly efficient cooling film and 24 hr ~1 W portable power generator;

k. PEMEC model and code development (licensed to Envision Energy at Boston) 

           Facilities (major equipment)

Comprehensive Electrochemical Test Units

Professional Vacuum Chamber and Environmental Chamber (humid environmental);

Mass Flow, Temperature, and Humid Control Units;

Surface Treatment and Thin Layer Fabrication Units;

Frequency Response Analyzer (0.01-100,000 Hz);

NI Data Acquisition and Pressure/Temperature Sensors; High Resolution Microscopies with Camera (>3); Parallel Computation Cluster (48 parallel job); Electrolysis Chamber and Hydrogen Storage Chamber; Microfluidic Pump; Press (max: 20 tons) and Micro-gram Scale; High Temperature Furnaces; Experimental-Scale Wind Turbine and Tunnel; High-Precision Magnetic Controller; 

Thermal Conductivity Measurement Unit; Vacuum Furnace; Scientific Lab Microwave


Director: Prof. Yun Wang

*Research Scientist: Girija Thesma Chandran (female), Sung Chan Cho, Qin Chen, Lanying Xu (female), Yiheng Pang

*Graduates: Bongjin Seo, Daniela Fernanda Ruiz Diaz, Yanfeng Hai, Yiheng Pang, Jeff Mishler, Sung Chan Cho, James Lewis, Yuan Hao,  Jingtian Wu, 

Liem Pham, Mehernosh Gundevia, Amine Abdellah-el-hadj, Limiao Wang, Yajing Sui,  Liuyi Yang, Xu Zheng, Xu Huang, Bo Zheng,  Jixin Chen, Xuhui Feng, , Vu Ly, Amirhossein Nourizadeh, April Wu, Siwei Wang, Xavier Cordobes Adroher, Pengjie Tian, Dongyang Li, Peixin He, Zheng Guan, Yushi Zhang

Zhiqiang Niu, Guobin Zhang, Zhiming Bao, Linhao Fan, Jieyang Zhou, Guofu Ren, Ning Wang

*Undergraduates: Yu Hua Tseng; Guilherme Porto Vasconcellos; Runqi Wang, Runlin Wang, Qihao Liu, Xu Zheng, Alex Liu, Xiaoqian Wang, Jian Wang, Titian Lu, Chih-I Cheng (female), Guohao Liu, Yuzhou Shen, Ye Tian, Junfeng Wu, Shennan Fei (female), Haoli He, Jiayu Wu….

*High-school students: Keven Ni (2009 summer, admit to UC Berkeley);  Vanessa Mechem (2016 summer, admit to Caltech), Liz Zhao (2023 summer, admit to TBD)

Renewable Energy Resources Laboratory