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Thermera

Positions: 
Research & Development Engineer
Location: 
Berkeley, CA
Innovation Area: 
Storage, Transmission and Management
Position Type: 
TomKat Center-supported
Compensation: 
$6400
Internship Term: 
8 weeks

Inexpensive, long-duration energy storage is necessary to enable the widespread deployment of renewable energy sources like wind and solar, but existing technologies fall short. To meet this need, we are combining high-temperature thermal energy storage with novel, high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic energy conversion. When excess electricity is available – for example, at mid-day in electric power systems with high solar penetration – a resistive element is used to heat an inexpensive thermal storage medium contained in a large, insulated tank. When power is needed, photovoltaic cells are exposed to the thermal radiation emanating from an emitter in contact with the hot storage medium, generating electricity. This inexpensive, long-duration energy storage technology will enable global adoption of renewable energy, and thus help eliminate gigatons of CO2 emissions annually. This summer we will be building and validating subsystem prototypes.

Position title

Research & Development Engineer

Responsibilities

  • own and manage projects related to subsystem testing and validation
  • conceive, build, execute, and refine experiments to test system components, potentially including photovoltaic cells, ultra-high-temperature storage media, high-temperature insulation, and heat exchangers
  • design, write, and interpret code to model system operation
  • perform scientific and industrial literature searches
  • work collaboratively and flexibly in a small team
  • communicate technical and non-technical content clearly and effectively
  • work hard, learn, have fun

Who should apply

If you’re dedicated to having a big positive impact on human lives and are willing to throw yourself 100% into realizing that goal, then we’d love to work with you!

Required expertise

Background in science and/or engineering.

Preferred skills/Majors

Experience with any or all of the following will be a major plus: photovoltaics, ultra-high-temperature materials and systems (preferably > 1200°C, the hotter the better), experimental physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, optics, large-scale industrial processes (e.g. steel-making, aluminum smelting, graphitization), the energy industry (tech and/or economic side), physical modeling (e.g. in matlab, comsol).

While experience of this kind would be great, it’s not a requirement for the position!

Internship Term

8 weeks

Compensation

$6400 (paid directly by the TomKat Center)