UCSD plans ‘green’ fuel cell project

UCSD plans to store power produced at night from a planned 2.8 megawatt “green” fuel cell and use the energy during peak-demand hours the following day when electricity rates are highest. Implementation of the advanced energy storage system is possible through a measure approval by the California Public Utility Commission designed to lower peak demands on the state’s electrical power grid.

Once in operation, the electrical output of the fuel cell will be used 20 hours a day to power the campus’s grid; the remaining four hours it will charge batteries, compress air, or employ another energy-storage technology. In addition, the university will capture the waste heat generated by the fuel cell as a continuous power source for 320 tons of chilling capacity to cool campus buildings.

Comment sought

Over the past 18 months, West Coast Sea Grant programs in California (based at UCSD), Oregon, and Washington have collaborated to identify research and outreach that would help the region move toward an ecosystem-based approach to ocean and coastal management.

Feedback is now sought on the draft West Coast Regional Marine Research and Information Needs report at

). Once public comment has been incorporated, the report will be used to complete a research and information plan identifying regional priorities to guide investment in natural and social science research. This will provide decision makers with sound science for policy and resource management. The public comment period ends Jan. 16.

Grants awarded for stem-cell research

Two research institutions and one company, located on Torrey Pines Mesa, are among 23 awardees statewide to receive “Tools and Technology” grants in the latest round of funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The grants are intended to support work that either creates new reagents and methods for stem-cell research or that scales up existing technologies - all designed to accelerate the development of therapies for patients with chronic disease or injury.

Steve Dowdy, a UCSD professor of cellular and molecular medicine, received $925,000. Awarded $1.1 million each at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) are Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine; and Carlos Barbas, III, Ph.D., a molecular biology professor. The CIRM board also revisited (and approved for $1.7 million) a grant by Shen Ding, Ph.D., an associate professor of chemistry.Novocell, Inc., a stem-cell engineering company focused on cell and drug therapies to treat diabetes and other chronic diseases, received $827,000.