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our projects

About Duke Energy Club Projects

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The Duke Undergraduate Energy Club aims to explore the real-world energy sector, engage with the greater energy community, and help solve the critical energy challenges of today. Each semester, we collaborate with companies and organizations in the energy and sustainability fields to offer pro-bono consulting projects for students. Through these projects, we connect students with industry professionals, helping students build real-world skills while also delivering results for our partners. 

Spring 2023 Projects Application is Live!

Project Managers:
Project Analysts:

Spring 2023 Projects

This spring, Duke Energy Club is excited to introduce a new cohort of projects in collaboration with the climate tech and sustainability industry. Being part of an Energy Club project is an amazing opportunity to make a real-world impact, gain invaluable knowledge & perspectives, and have the experience of working with energy industry leaders & other highly enthusiastic peers. We encourage everyone to apply, regardless of experience. 

 

For prospective project managers, applications are due Saturday 1/21 at 11:59 PM; for prospective project members, applications are due Wednesday 1/25 at 11:59 PM.

 

Please reach out to co-Directors of Projects, Chang Yan (chang.yan@duke.edu) and Ben Eisinger (benjamin.eisinger@duke.edu) if you have any further questions regarding projects.

 

See more detailed information on Spring 2023 projects below.

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Analysis of Innovations in Hydrogen Storage and Transportation

with Third Derivative

 

A collaboration between RMI and New Energy Nexus, Third Derivative (D3) is a vertically integrated engine built to accelerate the rate of climate innovation globally. It uniquely combines a next-generation accelerator, a committed venture capital department, a curated ecosystem of global corporations, and unparalleled market, regulatory, and policy insights. 

 

In this project, a team of students will have the opportunity to research innovations in storage and transportation of hydrogen. The team will review the market landscape, major technology developments, relevant business models, and most promising areas of innovation. Student work will include conducting desktop research into the space (reading articles, reports, etc.), interviewing stakeholders (startups, investors, etc.), and building techno-economic or financial models that describe the unit economics of the innovation.

Geothermal Value Chain Analysis & Climate Tech Investor Research

with Quaise Energy

 

Quaise Energy, Inc. is an MIT‐backed heavy tech startup that is developing millimeter wave drilling systems to open a new frontier in geothermal energy. Quaise’s systems have the potential to drill down to temperatures of 500 °C and depths of 20 km to greatly increase the performance and geographical reach of geothermal energy. Quaise Energy plans to develop a first‐of‐its‐kind 100 MW+ geothermal field by 2026 and to repower a full coal‐fired thermal power plant by 2028.

In this project, a team of students will focus on conducting (1) value chain analysis on the geothermal industry, and (2) research on the landscape of climate tech funding. In the first part of the project, the students will map out the diverse stakeholders in the geothermal ecosystem including technology providers, service providers, developers, operators, and regulators. In the second part, the students will identify climate tech investors with >$100 million funding rounds, understand the investors’ strategies, and assess the evolution of climate tech funding, where students' work includes researching through business databases and conducting investor interviews. 

Evaluation of Sustainable Solutions in Major Cities

with Chante Harris

 

As a climate tech strategist, Harris explores what key resources and funding mechanisms can accelerate breakthrough technologies after R&D but before the deployment stage. Harris is also the co-founder of the Women of Color Collective in Sustainability (WOC/CS), the only global digital collective and community that is 100% dedicated to advancing women of color working across the sustainability industry. 

 

In this project, the team of students will work to research people (operators) working to expand solutions in cities across the globe in major cities with climate goals. In the process, students will identify exemplanry critical operators in climate tech, analyze top policies and climate goals in global cities, and aggregate data to evaluate patterns across land use, licensing, permitting etc. for solutions’ deployment (e.g. EV infrastructure, i.e. charging station deployment, sensors and AI, micro mobility solutions, etc.)

Techno-economic Analysis on Hydrogen Electrolyzer Technologies

with 8 Rivers

Based in Durham, 8 Rivers develops sustainable, infrastructure-scale solutions to help companies and governments profitably achieve their net zero aspirations, as well as address other important societal problems. 8 Rivers uses a unique model to commercialize technologies in “Blue Oceans” – fields that are lacking in creative disruption and outside thinking. From creating new ideas to helping large corporations solve old problems, their ecosystem and process guide how they think. The current 8 Rivers portfolio include technologies such as the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle (a net zero pathway for producing low-cost power from natural gas), Calcite (direct air capture), and 8RH2 (a process for generating clean hydrogen with full carbon capture).

Duke Energy Club’s work with 8 Rivers will mainly relate to their hydrogen business, specifically conducting a techno-economic analysis of several types of hydrogen electrolyzer technologies with the end goal of providing a recommendation on which is most advantaged over the long term. Specifically, the project will consider Alkaline, PEM, Solid Oxide, and Alkaline Exchange Membrane electrolyzers. Project team members will first research the type and volume of raw materials required for each electrolyzer technology, putting together a basic supply chain analysis to determine whether there are enough resources to feasibly support a massive electrolyzer buildout. Next, the team will investigate the manufacturing/supply capacities, conversion efficiencies, and physical and energy density footprints of each technology. Lastly, a financial analysis will be conducted to compute the levelized cost of hydrogen. The findings from all of these inquiries will be compiled into a final recommendation for the best electrolyzer technology.

Who we have worked with

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Climate Adaptive 

Infrastructure Fund

Development Analysis

& Policy Research

2022 Spring

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Sublime Systems

Market Research

2021 Fall 

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Varea Energy

Market Research

& Financing Research

2022 Spring

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Aspire Power Solutions

Energy Modeling

2021 Spring

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Terrafuse AI 

Policy Research

& Market Research

2022 Spring

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Nth Cycle

Supply Chain Analysis

& Pricing Research

2020 Fall

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Fervo Energy

Market Entry Analysis

& Policy Advocacy 

2021 Fall 

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Stealth Mode

Solar Startup

Market Research

2020 Fall 

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Join Projects

For Prospective Partners

    Please see this document for a detailed introduction on project organization and application process. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us to discuss potential collaborations! 

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