Fellow of the College Winston Chung Visits Campus for Research Update

Inventor, energy innovator, business leader and Fellow of the Bourns College of Engineering Winston Chung visited campus Sunday, March 9, for a tour of the facilities of the Winston Chung Global Energy Center and an update on research funded through his generous support.

Chung’s $10 million gift in 2011 established the energy research center, along with the Winston Chung endowed professorships in energy Innovation and sustainability. Subsequently, he has provided more than $6 million in addition funding for energy related research, including two 1.1-megawatt-hour banks of his company’s innovative lithium yttrium iron phosphate batteries.

Winston Chung and Reza AbbaschianOne set of batteries is being used for research and in powering a portion of Winston Chung Hall, one of the college’s buildings that houses laboratories, offices and other facilities. The building was named in his honor in 2011. The battery storage system is the only installation of its size in the U.S.

The March 9 visit was the first time Chung returned to campus since 2011 when he was honored as the inaugural fellow of the college during commencement ceremonies. Because he was called into a government meeting during the Winston Chung Hall naming ceremony later that year, his son Zhifan Zhong, president of Winston Battery Limited and vice chairman of Winston Global Energy, attended in his stead. The March 9 visit was also the first time he was able to see his name on the building and the plaque that was installed in his honor.

“We are deeply appreciative of Winston Chung’s support of our college and his vision for a sustainable energy future for our planet and its people,” said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the college. “His presence on our campus always serves to reinvigorate our commitment to the vital and innovative research he sponsors in our laboratories and in practice.”

Group at Winston Chung HallDuring his visit, Chung participated in presentations by six teams of engineering faculty and their researcher groups who are investigating a variety of approaches to improved energy storage systems. Chung has provided more than $1 million to support their efforts. He was impressed by the progress of the teams and pledged his continued financial support of research at BCOE.

Chung also toured the off-campus College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology, where a second 1.1-megawatt-hour bank of batteries Chung donated is being used in a multi-million dollar new grid project. The project, which is developed in collaboration with partners in industry, government, public utilities and the University of California, Riverside, is scheduled to be unveiled at a public ceremony May 21. In February, Chung provided an additional $330,000 in support for the project.

Winston Chung at CE-CERTThe new grid system, also the only installation of its size in the U.S., integrates a .5-megawatt-hour solar voltaic installation with batteries and charging stations for electric vehicles. During daylight hours, the solar array will generate power for CE-CERT’s facilities and for charging the battery array and electric vehicles. Without a solar source (e.g., at night), the batteries can take over and provide power. One of UC Riverside’s trolleys will undergo the replacement of its diesel-based drivetrain with an electric drivetrain for the project.

Initial funding for the project was provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and partners includes Chung and his companies, local companies Bourns, Inc. and Solar Max, Riverside Public Utilities, the City of Riverside and the Riverside Transit Agency.

Winston ChungAt the conclusion of the day, Chung led a discussion of the project and described his vision for clean, sustainable energy vehicles and energy storage. He outlined his priorities for product development, which put battery and electric vehicle safety as the highest priority, followed by rapid charging that allowed for long distance travel.

View a gallery of photos from Winston Chung’s visit on March 9, 2014

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