Tag Archives: Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute researcher appointed to Public Utilities Commission

James “Jay” P. Griffin, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute assistant researcher, has been appointed to an interim seat on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by Gov. David Ige. Previously, Griffin was chief of policy and research at PUC, leading staff and consultant teams in analyzing state energy policy decisions, including long-term power supply planning. “We …

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America’s first wave-produced power goes online in Hawaiʻi

The Hawaiʻi Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), the United States’ first grid-connected test site of this kind, was completed by the U.S. Navy in mid-2015. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) is providing key research support to this national effort in the form of environmental monitoring, independent wave energy conversion device power performance and durability analysis and critical marine …

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NSF funds undergraduate DNA and biodiversity research

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through this award, undergraduates will use high-throughput DNA sequencing, phylogenetic methods and bioinformatics to study microbiomes and the identities and origins of Hawaiʻi’s endemic, native and introduced organisms. Mentorship will be provided by faculty from the UH Mānoa …

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Creating renewable gasoline

Creating gasoline and biodiesel from readily available microbial organisms may sound too good to be true, but that is exactly what researchers at the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are doing. A new one-pot process is described in a recent publication by Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Shimin Kang and Researcher Jian Yu. “As we …

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Researcher’s work in bioplastics leads to $1.4 million contract

Jian Yu, a Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has signed an exclusive global research contract with Bio-On, an Italian intellectual property company, representing a $1.4 million investment. Yu’s research focuses on new technologies to produce bioplastics from inexpensive feedstocks such as wood chips, agricultural residues and domestic wastes. The bioplastics can be molded …

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UH extramural funding totals $425 million for FY 2015


The University of Hawaiʻi received a total of $425 million in sponsored funds to close fiscal year 2015 (FY2015). The total reflects an increase of 8.5 percent over the previous year’s tally of $392 million and marks the first increase in extramural award funding after three straight years of decline. “With the effects of sequestration, budget cuts and the realignment …

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First net zero energy buildings under construction at UH Mānoa

On June 15, 2015 contractors broke ground for the installation of two 1,500 square foot, net zero energy classrooms. These classrooms will be energy neutral, that is they will generate at least as much energy as they will use. “This multiyear effort characterizes the effect of usage and building design on energy demand. This is part of a larger research …

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New study models path for achieving Hawaiʻi’s renewable energy targets

Many wonder whether the state can reach the lofty goals set out by new laws requiring the University of Hawaiʻi to become net-zero by 2035 and for Hawaiʻi to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045. A new report from the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa identifies various scenarios that would allow the …

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Navy expands investment at first grid-connected wave energy test site in the U.S.

Wave energy testing device

Work at the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) located off Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kāneʻohe has received an infusion of $9 million from the U.S. Navy.  The funds, from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), are directed to the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai‘i (ARL/UH), working with UH Mānoa’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), to support …

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Partnership demonstrates fuel cells for helium recovery at NASA

Rocket engine testing

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), together with Sierra Lobo Inc., has demonstrated the recovery of high-purity helium from hydrogen/helium mixtures produced at rocket engine testing sites using proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) uses a large amount of helium gas — about a million cubic feet per launch to purge …

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