Wednesday, October 20, 2010

D-Lab: Practical Skills in a Learning Laboratory

Here in D-Lab we learn first hand how to build things. We make batteries from easy to find materials like tin cans, charcoal and wire. We also make a windbelt (see video), learning about aeroelastic flutter and how to generate an electrical current with wind and magnets. We experiment with quality of light, gaining an appreciation for what people use for lighting around the world. We calculate efficiency based on lumens and the "service" the light provides.

In D-Lab we walk away with a true sense of the benefits and costs of energy consumption.

See more labs:

Defining and Designing a Sustainable Energy Future --- UC Davis D-Lab

In D-Lab students get hands-on, practical experience in a laboratory setting, learning about renewable based energy.

Lab modules include creating charcoal from agricultural waste, constructing a battery from inexpensive locally available components, understanding both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of lighting including exploring the benefits and limitations of solar PV.

Visit our website to see lab module videos

Two  courses are offered in Winter and Spring quarters for graduate students and one course for undergraduates in Winter quarter.

D-Lab I: Energy and Development, an Overview reviews the history of energy in the context of developing countries, looking at the rise of appropriate technologies and the role of government agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

D-Lab II: Energy and Development, Design and Dissemination is a hands-on class that is focused on finding solutions to overcoming barriers in the design and dissemination of energy technologies in the developing world. Multi-disciplinary student teams work collaboratively with partner organizations abroad to examine and develop possible solutions to the issue(s) they have selected, including a particular technology design as well as delivery strategy and/or development of a business model.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who We Are

is the educational component of the Program for International Energy Technologies at the University of California, Davis.
Energy issues in developing countries are multi-layered and complex, requiring innovative and holistic solutions. D-Lab assembles motivated graduate and undergraduate student teams who are mentored by UC Davis faculty from business, engineering and the social sciences. These multidisciplinary teams work closely with local partners to research, design, develop and disseminate low-cost, efficient and renewably-based energy technologies in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and Bangladesh. Each project is evaluated through the four lenses of sustainability: environmental, financial, technical and social.
Our program focuses on the following areas:
  • Off-grid lighting and micro-power
  • Agriculture, including pumping, irrigation and post-harvest
  • Renewable energy, including solar, biogas and wind
  • Domestic electricity use and energy efficiency
For more information see our website: