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Scott Elrod in the news
Printing Batteries: Total Extrusion Zone
Tomorrow’s batteries will be squeezed out of nozzles, like toothpaste
20 April 2013 | The Economist
"PARC researchers are once again experimenting with printing. This time they are hoping to produce the technologies for a 21st-century revolution in clean energy. PARC’s Hardware Systems Laboratory is developing electric-vehicle lithium-ion batteries that can hold 20% more energy than traditional designs...
The PARC researchers’ solution, which would surely have impressed their free-thinking forebears, was inspired by striped toothpaste. In PARC’s new battery, the two materials are mixed with an organic material to form pastes and fed into a print head containing tiny channels and nozzles. The print head moves over a metal foil, extruding the pastes alongside one another, to create thin stripes. Drying the substrate removes most of the organic material, leaving a solid cathode. In tests against otherwise identical batteries sporting cathodes made of but one substance, the co-extruded rechargeables could store a fifth more energy."
PARC redesigns printers to produce solar panels, batteries
9 March 2013 | PC World
by Martyn Williams
"They say inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. For a scientist at PARC, it came from a tube of toothpaste. The result is a new manufacturing method that can help make solar panels more efficient and increase the energy density of batteries."
Video -- Better solar panels and batteries ... inspired by toothpaste
7 March 2013 | Network World
by Martyn Williams
Scott Elrod discusses and demonstrates PARC's co-extrusion (CoEx) printing technique for both solar cells and batteries.
Video -- What Toothpaste and Battery Manufacturing Have in Common
4 March 2013 | POWER
by Gail Reitenbach
Scott Elrod discusses the use of a co-extrusion printing technique for electrodes to increase energy and power densities for most battery chemistries, as well as the development of a fiber optic monitoring system that provides detailed information about the internal condition of batteries.
AlwaysOn 2012 Power Players in Greentech
23 November 2012 | AlwaysOn
Vice President and Director of Cleantech Innovation Program at PARC
The AlwaysOn Power Players in Greentech list honors the most influential people in the banking, venture capital, legal, talent, government, and accounting world who support the green technology entrepreneurs who are bringing massive technology breakthroughs to a world that's hungry for clean, sustainable products. These individuals and their firms are the infrastructure workhorses behind the ideas that make the Global Silicon Valley an incubator for success, creating strong greentech companies that are building forward-thinking, indispensable, clean products and services.
These powerful individuals are bringing a new generation of innovation to the technology marketplace and the Global Silicon Valley, making our world a cleaner, safer, better place to live.
$43 Million for Transformational Storage Projects to Advance Electric Vehicle and Grid Technologies
2 August 2012 | announcement
"The Department of Energy today announced that 19 transformative new projects will receive a total of $43 million in funding from the Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses..." [download full list]
Advanced Management And Protection Of Energy-Storage Devices (AMPED)
- Lead organization: PARC
- Description: Smart Embedded Network of Sensors with Optical Readout (SENSOR). Palo Alto Research Center will develop new fiber optic sensors that are inserted into battery packs to monitor and measure batteries during charge and discharge cycles. These compact fiber optical sensors will measure the battery’s health while in use to avoid degradation and failure.
- Funding: $4,018,960
ARPA-E awards $43M to 19 energy storage projects to advance electric vehicle and grid technologies
2 August 2012 | Green Car Congress
"The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has selected 19 new projects to receive a total of $43 million to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses...
Unlike other Department of Energy efforts to push the frontiers of battery chemistry, AMPED is focused on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. These innovations are intended to help reduce costs and improve the performance of next generation storage technologies, which could be applied in both plug-in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles."
Cassidy: PARC still in the business of innovation 10 years after Xerox spinoff
12 July 2012 | San Jose Mercury News
by Mike Cassidy
"PARC, once known as Xerox PARC, was spun out as a subsidiary of Xerox in 2002. For the past decade it's been responsible for its own bottom line, and it's been expected to turn a profit. It was a change from the days that PARC served one master: Xerox. Now, Hoover says, less than half the lab's work is for Xerox; the rest involves projects for other companies and government agencies. …PARC's independence means that its 180 scientists and technologists can't simply come up with ideas that are world-shattering, mind-bending and brilliant. A good portion of them have to be things that PARC and companies working with PARC can sell -- and in the near-term. Profit vs. blue-sky research: It's one of the oldest balancing acts among the research lab crowd.
...All that said, Hoover is determined to make sure that PARC researchers keep reaching for the next big thing that nobody has thought of yet. Yes, the lab has identified core areas that guide its research, including health and wellness, big data, cleantech, printed electronics, networking and innovation services. But, Hoover says, as much as 25 percent of its research investments are spent on projects outside the core areas, allowing scientists to stumble onto unforeseen breakthroughs."
PARC and Chongqing University
3 July 2012 | release
by Chongqing University
"Dr. Elrod was also invited to give a public lecture entitled PARC—Innovation, Past, Present and Future. Around 400 CQU students and teachers attended the lecture and asked various questions, ranging from the research PARC has been carryed out to how PARC has successfully conducted innovation management."
Filtering Dirty Water, By Losing the Filter [video]
14 May 2012 | Bloomberg
"Planet Forward’s Frank Sesno discusses the growing challenge of keeping water clean. He reports on Bloomberg Television’s 'Bloomberg West.'"
Global industry collaboration key focus for China
20 March 2012 | pv magazine: Photovoltaic Markets & Technology
by Becky Stuart
"Another newcomer to the Chinese solar scene is PARC… Scott Elrod, vice president and director of the hardware systems lab explained that the company is focused on the cleantech industry, and works with companies in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. PARC specializes in advanced cell architecture, and particularly focuses on photovoltaic cell printing, metallization, grid lines, laser processing and point contacts."
Can ARPA-E build a bridge across the 'Valley of Death'?
6 March 2012 | E&E News
by Umair Irfan
"PARC is investigating clean-tech, using its expertise in printing to print better solar cells and more energy-dense lithium ion batteries... [Scott Elrod] explained that the company is going after energy investments, including power generation, because it's an emerging market that's here to stay. The company received some funding from DOE, but not under ARPA-E."
State of Green Business 2012
[invited/ guest contributed]
18 January 2012 | GreenBiz.com
by Scott Elrod
"Someone at PARC once famously quoted, 'The best way to predict the future is to invent it.' When that concept is applied to cleantech – where the future is focused on deploying solutions at a massive scale, and where there is no Moore's Law for PV – I'd say the best way to predict the future is to 'innovate' it."
On moving printed electronics from enabling technology to application
22 November 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx
"IDTechEx recently visited PARC in California and learnt of its business model today, culture, and legacy pioneering technological change...among many other industry contributions.
Below, I share some updates on what IDTechEx has been observing at PARC. Taken together, these updates convey an important movement beyond the enabling materials, processes, equipment, and components."
Reinventing Innovation at PARC
28 July 2011 | Harvard Business Review HBR Blog Network
by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer
"A few weeks back, we saw firsthand a hotbed of innovation in a place that many observers had long ago given up on. Its resurrection convinces us that other organizations can do the same by creating a culture of consideration, coordination, and communication, and marrying that culture to a responsive business model. That resurgent hotbed is PARC (formerly Xerox PARC)…
Over the past several years, PARC — spun off as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002 — has reinvented itself as a font of innovation for Xerox and a variety of other organizations worldwide. It has delivered a stunning array of software and hardware innovations to global corporations, startups, and the U.S. government, and it does a brisk business in IP licensing.
How is it that this place, widely ridiculed 20 years ago, has revived? When we visited, we not only saw pieces of PARC's storied past, but we saw what happens there today, how it happens, and how innovation continues to thrive."
Researchers Create Printed Battery That Stores 40% More Energy
15 April 2011 | Discovery Treehugger
by Jerry James Stone
"A new manufacturing process developed by Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) will increase the energy a lithium-ion battery can store by 40%. The technology is similar to that of printed solar cells...
It seems the free gift with purchase here is not going to be shaving off the cost but extending the cars range to meet our perceived driving needs. As drivers of the Chevy Volt are already reporting 1,000 miles per tank, it will be interesting to see if PARC can change the electric car industry as they did solar."
PARC: How to build a cleantech portfolio 101
[invited/ guest contributed]
6 April 2011 | SmartPlanet
by Scott Elrod
This is a guest post from PARC, which became an independent Xerox subsidiary in 2002. One of the first areas PARC examined was cleantech. What follows are some steps and thoughts on balancing the environment, impact and commercial realities...
PARC Battery Electrode Breakthrough
1 April 2011 | Printed Electronics World
"While the solar cell application has a near-term sales opportunity, commercial application of the technology to battery electrodes is probably 2-3 years out, Elrod noted. There is further opportunity for the method in air cathodes. The current density in an air-breathing electrode is proportional to the amount of electro-catalytic surface area that is exposed to air. The PARC technology provides a directed-assembly printing method for producing a greater proportion of this 'three-phase boundary' than conventional electrode manufacturing methods—up to 10x the air-breathing surface area of conventional electrodes."
The PARC Vision Of Clean Technology
29 March 2011 | EarthTechling
by Nino Marchetti
"The many office parks of the Silicon Valley hold a myriad of technology firms large and small trying to make a name for themselves in the annals of history. There are obvious giants like Apple and HP, but another player, Xerox, is one which can be credited with a chunk of the modern technology we take for granted. The company many are most familiar with in regards to copiers is also the founder of PARC, a research and development subsidiary that is independent and wholly owned. It has been known for inventions and game changers such as laser printing, the graphical user interface and Ethernet connectivity.
PARC has recently turned its attention to the developing cleantech space, focusing on areas like an experimental system for modeling and evaluation of geothermal reservoirs. To get a better handle on what PARC has in mind around a cleantech tomorrow, we turned to Dr. Scott Elrod, who directs the organization’s efforts in this area."
PARC building cleantech portfolio; co-extrusion printing of novel battery electrodes and carbon-neutral renewable liquid fuels from atmospheric CO2
9 March 2011 | Green Car Congress
by Mike Millikin
"Two of the projects Elrod and PARC were discussing at last week’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington DC were a technology for the co-extrusion printing of novel battery electrodes, enabling higher energy and/or power densities; and an approach to producing carbon-neutral renewable hydrocarbon fuels using air, water and CO2 captured from the atmosphere.
Electrodes. ...The PARC technology provides a directed-assembly printing method for producing a greater proportion of this 'three-phase boundary' than conventional electrode manufacturing methods—up to 10x the air-breathing surface area of conventional electrodes...
Carbon-neutral liquid fuel. ...In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the PARC researchers present results indicating that the energy consumption required to regenerate CO2 gas from aqueous bicarbonate (carbonate) solutions using this method can be as low as 100 kJ (200 kJ) per mol of CO2 in the small-current-density limit."
Squeezing More Energy Out of Batteries
A new printing process could increase battery capacity by over 10 percent.
2 March 2011 | Technology Review
"PARC has developed a new printing technology that promises to pack more energy into batteries for electric vehicles...
The biggest challenge for electric vehicles remains bringing down the size and cost of their batteries. For them to compete with conventional vehicles, some experts estimate, battery costs must come down by about 75 percent. And if the batteries could store more energy, automakers could use fewer of them, thus saving money...
The work is still at an early stage, but the basic printing concept has been proved with a method PARC developed for printing thin silver lines on solar cells; these are being commercialized by a major solar manufacturer..."
On the importance of government-supported R&D [video]
2 March 2011 | Popular Mechanics/ self
by Michael Belfiore
"I caught up with Scott Elrod...while we were both at the 2nd annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit near Washington.
In this era of government cutbacks, I think it’s important to underline the importance of continued public funding for long-term technology research and development that may not lead to profitable products for some time.
In this video, I asked Elrod to describe the importance of government funding to some of his company’s work."
Why the U.S. Must Promote Engineering
America will suffer in global competition without reengineering its attitudes toward engineering...
2 March 2011 | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
"The PARC Hydrodynamic Separation technology is a low-cost, energy efficient technology whose potential applications include municipal water treatment and pretreating seawater for desalination. Given how critical the shortage of drinkable water is all over the world, this is an exciting breakthrough."
PARC scientist built a machine that purifies water through movement [video]
23 November 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Boonsri Dickinson
"I went with the SmartPlanet video crew to PARC to visit Lean’s cluttered laboratory to see the water inventor in his element and to see exactly how the device worked...
...There’s a real market for a machine like this."
VCs and Solar Startups
Is there still room for new technology and VC investment in the solar industry?
3 November 2010 | Greentech Media
by Eric Wesoff
"The solar market continues its meteoric growth. No other renewable energy market has grown this fast for this long. A number of solar vendors have entered the 'one gigawatt capacity club' and the sheer heat in the market has convinced a bunch of Fortune 500 firms to enter the field. Along with this growth, however, has come falling ASPs, excess capacity and intensified competition. Solar panels produce electrons and electrons are arguably a commodity product. That makes solar panels look like commodities, as well. Is there still for room for next-generation technology and new companies in the solar field? Are there still opportunities for solar startups and their VC investors? The Fountainblue organization put on an event at Palo Alto's PARC with solar investors and entrepreneurs and tried to answer those questions.
The panelists: Scott Elrod, VP, Director of Hardware Systems Laboratory, PARC. Elrod believes that the current crop of U.S. concentrated solar power (CSP) projects are going to run into "regulatory roadblocks" and has concerns over their water usage..."
PARC applies IT innovation to cleantech problems
21 October 2010 | ZDNet
by Heather Clancy
"Much has been made about the 40th anniversary of PARC, which started life as the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. What you might not have heard is that approximately 10 percent of the research facility’s research and development activities are now focused on cleantech innovation. I recently spoke with Scott Elrod, a PARC vice president and who is manager of what PARC calls its Cleantech Innovation Program (CIP).
Elrod says there are four primary areas where PARC has a role to play in cleantech: Energy efficiency, water purification, solar energy and carbon emissions capture. 'We created this with no background in those markets but in strong competency areas that we thought could be applied to cleantech,' he says.
Not surprisingly, the facility’s roots in LCD and printer research — PARC has more than 1,800 patents — have been called upon for at least one of these research areas, water purification..."
Silicon Nanowires for Solar, Desalination Via Gravity on Tap at PARC’s 40th
The legendary lab turns 40. Here is what’s next. Video too.
23 September 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"...many of the presentations focused on how the lab managed to come up with and popularize some of its storied inventions, while also looking toward the future."
Inside the labs of PARC
23 September 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Deborah Gage
"Not all of PARC’s projects were hits, though, and over time, making a profit from the lab became more important to Xerox. So in 2002 it spun PARC out as a subsidiary. PARC’s researchers now work with government agencies and private companies in addition to Xerox, whose managers want PARC’s inventions commercialized where possible."
Reverse Combustion: Can CO2 Be Turned Back into Fuel?
Various efforts are underway to find a cheap, efficient and scalable way to recycle the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into the hydrocarbons that fuel civilization
23 September 2010 | Scientific American
by David Biello
PARC work included in video.
PARC turns 40: Marking four decades of tech innovations
On its 40th anniversary, PARC researchers provide a behind-the-scenes peek into the company's culture and projects, past and present.
20 September 2010 | Computerworld
by Todd R. Weiss
"For 40 years, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (commonly called Xerox PARC, now just PARC) has been a place of technological creativity and bold ideas. The inventions it has spawned, from Ethernet networking to laser printing and the graphical user interface (GUI), have led to myriad technologies that allow us to use computers in ways that we take for granted today...
As PARC prepared to celebrate the start of its fifth decade in ceremonies at its Palo Alto headquarters on Sept. 23, Computerworld talked with some of the key people in PARC's acclaimed history, asking them what it was like to work for Xerox PARC years ago and what they're working on today. Here are their stories, in their own words."
Tech helps fuel green businesses
16 April 2010 | CNET News Green Tech
by Martin LaMonica
"It can be tempting to dismiss talk of sustainability in business as greenwash...But for someone who follows green-technology business developments every day, it reminded me of how deep the potential is for tech and business innovation. And in many cases, the Web and IT play a significant role, particularly for us consumers. Here are some of the ideas that were floating around...
"'We're looking at things in different ways. We're looking through the lens of sustainability and developing new technologies to address really big problems,' said Scott Elrod, vice president and director of hardware systems Laboratory at PARC, which is developing technologies for cheaper water treatment or techniques to convert carbon dioxide from power plants into a liquid fuel."
Scaling, collaboration are keys to maintaining U.S. cleantech edge
[invited/ guest contributed]
1 April 2010 | EE Times
by Scott Elrod
"...Why is this trend telling? The consequence of such slow materials development is that a new or complex materials like nanostructured photovoltaics do not have a real shot at mitigating global warming...Given the math, it is clear that global warming needs to be addressed by rapidly scaling the technologies that are already proven at gigawatt scales (wind, PV, nuclear), and by implementing energy savings technologies that are not based on radically new materials. So, while it might be possible for a technology or company to be a "winner" in terms of VC investment, this is not the same as winning against global warming. With those realities in mind, I highlight several promising technologies from the ARPA-Energy event:.."
Top Picks from the ARPA-E Summit
Novel technologies from the energy agency's first conference.
3 March 2010 | Technology Review
by Kevin Bullis
A conference being put on by the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) this week is packed with companies exhibiting intriguing approaches to clean energy. I'll be looking into some of them in more detail in upcoming stories, but here's a few that caught my eye.
...PARC, spun out of Xerox PARC, is developing a new form of refrigeration that could be three times as efficient as existing forms. It's based on thermoacoustics, a technology that works for cooling at extremely low temperatures (such as for liquefying gases), but hasn't been used for cooling at room temperature (what you need for household refrigeration). The company thinks it's found a way around previous limits to the technology.
Is ARPA-E Enough to Keep the U.S. on the Cutting-Edge of a Clean Energy Revolution?
ARPA-E, the U.S.'s energy transformation agency, is doling out funds for greener power, but is it too conservative?
3 March 2010 | Scientific American
by David Biello
"...$100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (better known as the stimulus) was made available on March 2, to be awarded via ARPA–E to the best proposals for new grid-scale storage devices, better power converters and more efficient air conditioners, such as the ones being developed by PARC that rely on sound waves rather than mechanical pistons to drive compressors."
Can Sound Waves Reduce Power Consumption?
PARC says it may have developed a way to run air conditioners on sound waves.
1 March 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
However, that [laboratory thermoacoustic compressor] equipment works best in extreme situations and is not particularly efficient or economical for keeping office buildings at 72 degrees. PARC's breakthrough lay in devising a thermoacoustic device for ambient temperatures...If it works and can go commercial, the cooling sound from PARC could take a substantial chunk of out U.S. and even global power consumption.
CIO Sessions: PARC VP, hardware systems laboratory: Scott Elrod [video]
Staying on the edge of innovation
2 December 2008 | ZDNet.com
by Dan Farber
Scott Elrod, VP of PARC's Hardware Systems Laboratory talks about PARC's Cleantech Innovation Program and what it takes to stay on the edge of innovation.
Low-Energy Water Filtration
A new membrane-free water-purification system uses small amounts of energy.
12 May 2008 | Technology Review
by Lee Bruno
"...researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have been...incorporating scientific insights from the physics of toner particle movements into a low-energy water-filtration device that doesn't use membranes... Lessons learned about particle toner were used for PARC's biological agent detection system and for the water purifier."
Printer Controls for Data Centers
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"...PARC has developed software that can reduce servers' energy usage by 30 percent (or, more likely, allow data centers to provide 30 percent more service using the same energy), said Scott Elrod, manager of the PARC's Clean Technology Program. The software basically predicts demand, allowing data centers to prioritize and manage jobs more efficiently."
Toner Tech Cleans Water
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"Toner might not sound like something that could help clean water, but the Palo Alto Research Center...is using an electrostatic technology used to move toner powder along a surface -- and that took a detour to help the Army move particles of biological weapons, such as anthrax spores, together in one place so they would be easier to detect..."
Xerox's PARC to Spin Out Solar Startup
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"The Palo Alto Research Center plans to launch a venture-capital-backed company that can improve solar cells' efficiency with thinner electricity-conducting grid lines. The center also hopes to commercialize a low-energy water-filtration technology, reusable printing paper and energy-management software for data centers, all in the next year."
Reincarnation for Paper, Without Recycling
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"After about two years of development, Xerox scientists have come up with a photosensitive paper and a 'printer' that uses a blue UV light-emitting diode instead of ink or toner to make its marks. Eric Shrader, area manager of PARC's hardware systems laboratory said 'While businesses have been talking about the paperless office for 30 years, paper usage actually keeps increasing.'"
PARC: As Silicon Valley as it Gets
1 May 2008 | Yahoo! Finance Tech ticker
by Sarah Lacy
"...There's one place in Silicon Valley where Apple, Google, Yahoo, and any other modern computing or Internet company can trace its roots back to, and that's Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. It was started in the 1970s to create 'the architecture of information...' Xerox's chief technology officer, Sophie Vandebroek, takes us on a tour of PARC..."
Xerox: More than just a paper company
28 April 2008 | abc7news.com
by Tomas Roman
"Scientists at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) are showing off some diverse innovations. 'We are looking at how is it that we can have an impact on things that really matter to people,' says PARC President Mark Bernstein. "
How PARC sees printers boosting clean tech
Dust, heat, bright light, chaos. The inside of copiers share a lot of characteristics with the outside world.
2 April 2008 | CNET News.com
by Michael Kanellos
PARC "...is examining ways of taking technology and ideas originally devised for copiers and printers into the clean-tech market. A lot of the components and ideas at work inside printers exist to control physical forces and objects in a constantly changing environment. Thus, they should be useful in channeling sunlight or other phenomena on a larger scale."
Special Report: Sustainable Tech -- Cleantech Innovations
18 March 2008 | BusinessWeek
by Rachael King
"The term 'cleantech' refers to renewable, sustainable, and environmentally safe technologies. Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a unit of Xerox, are exploring ways to develop cost-effective clean technologies that meet industry needs. Joining me today is Scott Elrod, Director of PARC's Cleantech Innovation Program."
Xerox and PARC on Comeback Trail with Cleantech and Other Technologies
6 March 2008 | SiliconValleyWatcher
by Tom Foremski
"'PARC was spun out so that we could harness the entrepreneurial spirit of our staff. When you hire exceptional people you don't want to narrow their focus on technologies that are just useful for Xerox,' says [Xerox CTO Sophie] Vandebroek. 'You want to be able to allow them to find commercial opportunities in adjacent sectors.'
An inside tour of PARC's cleantech projects
Famous for computing breakthroughs like the GUI and ethernet, PARC is now a cleantech hotbed.
15 February 2008 | cleantech.com
by Dallas Kachan
"PARC is using its new status as an independent business to leverage its almost 40-year history in IT, mass production, microfluidics and other scientific expertise for a variety of mostly corporate clients...unlike the government focus of other research institutes. And now, there are a number of interesting cleantech-specific initiatives underway.."