Home' Technology Review : September October 2006 Contents 60 FEATURE STORY
TECHNOLOGY REVIEW /
Back in graduate school, Christina Galitsky could
boil her life s work down into something like the
title of a journal article: "The reversibility of pro-
teins absorbing onto a surface," she says. But since
she dropped o the PhD track and, later, took a job up the
hill at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the question
"What do you do?" has turned into a stumper. "I guess now
I say, I try and work on ... sort of innovative solutions to ...
wait, what do I say?" she says with a laugh.
Officially, Galitsky spends about two-thirds of her
time developing tools to help companies diagnose energy
ine ciencies and nd new technologies that conser ve power
without sabotaging pro ts. But a glance around her o ce
suggests that a host of other problems occupy her mind. On
the oor lies an aluminum contraption, an e cient cookstove
designed to ght deforestation in the poor world; she and
her colleagues believe it might also keep refugee women in
Darfur, Sudan, closer to their camps and out of the path of
sexual assault. Later, she ll don a rust-stained lab coat and
check on her students, who are testing a low-cost scheme to
lter arsenic from the drinking water in Bangladesh.
"I m involved in a crazy range of things," she admits.
"But it would be hard to work on one thing all day long,
ve days a week."
When Galitsky left the chemical-engineering program
at the University of California, Berkeley, with a master s
in 1999, she found work testing the quality of California s
surface waters. Quickly, she recognized that much of the
contamination she encountered came from energy-related
sources, such as the power industry. Eager to ght pollu-
tion rather than just measure it, she joined Berkeley Lab in
2001. There, she began diagnosing energy waste in nearly
a dozen industries, from concrete to beer.
A couple of years later, when the California Energy Com-
mission put up seed money for research into energy e ciency,
she got more ambitious. Technologies such as occupant-
sensing ventilation systems can help businesses conser ve
energy, and they often pay for themselves in just two or three
years. But traditionally, business owners have had to discover
those technologies and determine the costs and bene ts by
themselves---a huge barrier to adoption. Galitsky and her
colleagues decided to test a new approach with California s
wineries, o ering them a system that would make it pain-
less to spot their energy waste and nd cost-e ective ways
to do better. (The wine industry requires huge amounts of
power: 400 gigawatt-hours---enough to power nearly 60,000
homes---each year in California alone, and most of that during
the summer and fall, when conser vation matters most.)
Galitsky and her colleagues partnered with Fetzer, a large
California winery, and started collecting data. It was tricky.
In some industries, managers put power meters all over their
plants, so they know how much energy each step of the manu-
facturing process demands. Wineries, however, tend to install
just one meter for the whole operation. So Galitsky tallied
everything from the number of grapes cr ushed to the sizes
of Fetzer s refrigeration tanks and pieced the data into rough
estimates of the power used at each stage of the winemaking
process. Then she and her team surveyed wineries around
the globe to identify the most energy-e cient technologies
employed at each stage. The result is a tool called BEST-
Winery, based on Microsoft Excel. It poses a series of ques-
tions, then spits out a score that compares the winery under
review with a hypothetical winery of the same size and scale
that uses the industry s best conser vation technologies.
Other systems for measuring energy e ciency stop there.
But BEST-Winery suggests more than 100 conser vation
technologies and r uns a cost-bene t analysis for each one---a
signi cant innovation for this kind of tool. Winery owners
can mix and match di erent technologies and nd compre-
hensive approaches that t their budgets.
The state of Califor nia presented an award for energy
innovation to Fetzer and to Galitsky s team, which is ready-
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Simple technologies save energy and lives
By Douglas McGray
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