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ESE Seminar - Jacques de Chalendar: "Re-engineering energy systems for decarbonization with demand management levers"

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Re-engineering our energy systems requires radical but practical new thought in how we design and operate them. Many societies are poised to make massive, costly, and technically challenging investments to decarbonize and electrify existing infrastructure. Demand management options, exercised on an unprecedented scale, can reduce the level of investment required. These options include storage, smart scheduling, and much greater efficiency and flexibility in energy end use. We do not need to overbuild our energy systems. Instead, automation, distributed sensors, smart modeling, optimization, and software can all be used to provide services with the same quality to humans with less infrastructure and less energy consumption. With my collaborators, I have already implemented some of our ideas in live environments and shown how they can be rapidly scaled. Our city-scale decarbonization experiments with electrified, integrated energy systems explored the diverse roles of thermal storage, demonstrated megawatt-scale flexibility, and generated revenue. We also developed an 85,000 m2 experimentation testbed at Stanford to “stress test” multi-zone commercial buildings and show how modest changes to room temperature settings could be used to avoid multi-million-dollar investments.


I am an Independent Research Consultant at Stanford for TotalEnergies and an Adjunct Professor in the Energy Science & Engineering department. My research approach draws on technical engineering, mathematical modeling, and software engineering. My background has led me to work on solutions across traditional disciplinary barriers, in productive collaborations with engineers, mathematicians, and economists. I create 1) mathematical models of integrated energy systems; 2) computational tools to design and operate them in new ways; and 3) software prototypes to conduct real-world efficiency and flexibility experiments with cyber-physical systems. I wrote my PhD dissertation in Stanford’s Energy Science & Engineering department, advised by Profs. Sally Benson and Peter Glynn. I am also an Ingénieur Polytechnicien from the French Ecole Polytechnique (X2011).