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Battery-Powered Building, The University of California, United States

Thursday 10 Nov 2011

Battery-powered building

Rare earth lithium-ion batteries 
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Engineering building to be powered by rare earth lithium-ion batteries following generous gift from CEO of Winston Global Energy 

In a groundbreaking move, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Winston Global Energy has donated $2.5m worth of rare earth lithium-ion batteries to power the first floor of the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. In return the institution has renamed its Engineering Building II in his name as Winston Chung Hall.

The donated 1.1 megawatt bank of batteries was developed by Winston Global Energy in China. Currently the University is developing a photovoltaic ‘farm’ in order to generate its own clean energy to charge the rare earth lithium-ion batteries so that it is not reliant on daylight hours or ample wind to power its buildings. Plans are for the entire 90,000 sq ft Winston Chung Hall to be powered by this system.

In addition to the $2.5m worth of batteries, Chung has also contributed $600,000 to the University to fund six equal grants for faculty at the Bourns College of Engineering for research into mobile phone, laptop and hybrid vehicle batteries.

Earlier this year, the innovative businessman bequeathed $10m the institution to support two professorships and create the Winston Chung Global Energy Centre at the college’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology. The center will initially focus on bio-inspired technology and the development of clean energy and energy storage.

Chung was represented by his son, Zhifan Zhong at a celebratory ceremony at the University of California, Riverside yesterday. Zhong commented: “Winston Global Energy is very proud to be part of the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering. This is only the starting point to our shared commitment to clean energy.”

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