(Nov. 7, 2017) -- Samer Dessouky, professor of civil and environmental engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio, has received $298,000 through the Strategic Alliance between the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and CPS Energy, established in 2010, to generate power from hot pavements. Dessouky will use the funding to improve a technology he developed with his team that converts heat from paved surfaces into electricity. This technology allows paved areas, such as freeways, airport runways and parking lots to generate electricity, which can be used in rural areas for powering signage and data collection systems independently of the electric grid.
“Spaces dominated by pavements are much hotter than green spaces, because they absorb heat while green spaces are cooler,” said Dessouky.
In 2016, Dessouky and his team began developing a thermal energy-harvesting system. They tested this system by installing several prototypes near the Concrete Laboratory on the west side of the UTSA Main Campus. In their system, power was harvested from the temperature differential between the surface of the pavement and the lower temperature deeper into the soil. The project, supported by CPS Energy allows his team to fine tune the way the system works.
Dessouky is utilizing drones to fly across large landscape like airports and universities, to map out where heat is most concentrated. This aids Dessouky and his team in finding the best places to implement his technology.
“Since airports consist of large areas of concrete pavement, they’re ideal for this kind of technology,” he said. “In a blackout, this could be used as a back-up source of power for illuminating LED at runways and taxiways or could be used as the sole means of lighting rural civilian airport runways.”
Earlier this year Dessouky, his collaborator, A.T. Papagiannakis, McDermott Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and their graduate student Utpal Datta, won first place in the Innovation Competition of the American Society of Civil Engineers and second place in the Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for their new, innovative technology.
Dessouky believes that the technology could also benefit uncongested, rural areas with few alternatives to power sources. He’s also looking at how it could benefit UTSA’s own campuses, which feature many green spaces in addition to concrete structures and several asphalt parking lots that can absorb a great amount of heat.
“By using that natural source of heat, you’re actually aiding the planet,” he said. “In reducing our use of fossil fuels for powering the grids and taking advantage of renewable energy resources, we are moving toward a cleaner planet.”
UTSA is ranked among the nation’s top four young universities, according to Times Higher Education.
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Learn more about CPS Energy.
The Roadrunner community and nearby residents are highly encouraged to cast their votes at UTSA, a designated early voting site for the March 3 Texas presidential primary election.H-E-B Student Union, Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
The best way to learn what UTSA has to offer is to experience it for yourself. Come to our Open House and see all that UTSA has to offer. The day features admissions and financial aid workshops and presentations, campus tours and much more.Various Locations, Main Campus
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in health care, you won’t want to miss UTSA’s 14th annual Health Professions Day. Meet with representatives of health professions programs at schools such as Texas Tech University Health Science Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, University North Texas Health Science Center, University of the Incarnate Word, and many more. Free and open to UTSA students, local area college and high school students, and community members.Student Union, Retama Galleria (SU First Floor Corridor), Main Campus
An FBI subject matter expert will discuss the threat to U.S. technology and public sector from foreign adversaries, specific technologies sought and vectors used to illicitly obtain them, how to best safeguard intellectual property.Durango Building (DB 2.112A), Downtown Campus
Why just leap when you can dash? The Alumni Association’s 36th annual Diploma Dash 5K and City Championship is a great opportunity to run or walk for a great cause: scholarships for UTSA students.Main Campus
Students are encouraged to attend to obtain important information about Spring Commencement and life after UTSA. Graduating students can order their cap and gown and other items, win prizes and capture lasting memories with fellow Roadrunners at a selfie station. Participants should take a UTSA student ID for entry.H-E-B Student Union, Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
UTSA’s first Wellbeing Fair is a part of the President’s Initiative of Enriching Campus Wellbeing. UTSA is committed to the well-being of each member of the campus community and recognizes that numerous factors contribute to overall wellness: physical and mental health, diet and nutrition, physical activity, stress management and self-care, social behaviors and more. The fair will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in well-being activities, obtain well-being information and learn about available services. Participants will become more competent in making healthy decisions to take a more proactive approach in their own well-being.Paseo Principal, Student Union, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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