BMI / AME

Welcome to Advanced Manufacturing for Energy

AME specializes in 3D printing of Smart Materials and in prototyping of Smart Sensors, Structures, and Wireless Systems for the “Internet of Things.”

Advanced Manufacturing for Energy (AME) is a multidisciplinary group that evolved from the former Berkeley Manufacturing Institute (BMI). Closely working with the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI) and i4energy, AME takes a holistic approach to the entire energy chain, developing novel solutions for energy generation, harvesting, monitoring, sensing and storage and combining these into complete systems. AME caters to a broad spectrum of applications from small scale sensing motes for condition based monitoring to large, grid and pipeline scale challenges.

We conduct research on sensors, structures and printed devices for energy harvesting and energy storage with the overall objective of powering the Internet of Things (IoT). We collaborate with colleagues from the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC) and the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC) to integrate printed capacitors, rechargeable batteries, and thermoelectric generators with wireless sensor platforms.

A short introduction into our flexible printed battery research for the Flextech Alliance.

Today’s performance figures1 for our printed devices are as follows: For the printed batteries, 0.548 mAh/cm2; for the supercapacitors, 50mF/cm2; and for the thermoelectric generators, 0.015mW for a temperature difference of 30oC. This experimental work continues together with the additional printing of traces, sensors and organic photovoltaics. System modeling is carried out to support the desired duty-cycle of a proposed IoT platform with suitable energy inputs and storage. For device integration, fused-deposition modeling (FDM) machines and an LPKF PCB mill are available, together with a wide range of assembly and testing equipment.

Funds from industry, foundations, the federal government, and the California Energy Commission (CEC), support AME’s research program. Individual PhD projects cover a broad spectrum: The Internet of Things, Communicating MEMS-sensors for advanced electrical-grids and gas distribution systems; Energy harvesting; 3D printing of storage systems; Demand Response, sensing the performance of lightweight flexible structures, and Condition Based Monitoring (CbM) of energy systems. AME students go onto to academia or the large companies especially in the Bay Area. AME projects are also the catalysts for our start-ups such as Imprint Energy, Persistent Efficiency, and Wireless Industrial Technologies. More broadly in the university we are a part of BECI/CIEE, CITRIS, the new Jacobs Institute of Design and of course other Mechanical Engineering Labs focusing on manufacturing and design2.

Our past Labs Members have gone on to important positions at Apple, Google X, and other technology firms. Please see our alumni page for more information.