Seminar - 01172013

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The Flow of Energy in the United States and World - The Department of Energy Spaghetti Chart

January 17, 2013
ME Lecture Hall

Mr. A.J. Simon

Group Leader for Energy
Atmosphere Earth and Energy Division
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


A.J. Simon is an Energy Systems Analyst and Group Leader for Energy in the Atmosphere Earth and Energy Division at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. He is the principal investigator for LLNL's Energy Flow Charts. ( which are a key tool for scientists and policymakers in visualizing the world's and nation's energy systems in the past, present and future. He has also led or contributed to other energy technology analysis and development projects including fusion energy, nuclear fuel reprocessing, hydrogen fuel, the energy-water nexus, and carbon dioxide capture. A.J. is an author on 5 peer reviewed papers and numerous technical reports. Prior to joining LLNL, A.J. was an analyst with the Global Climate Energy Project at Stanford University where he helped to manage a $20MM/year portfolio of university-based energy research projects. He was also a lecturer in the department of Mechanical Engineering where he helped to develop, and eventually taught, a graduate-level course on the thermodynamics of advanced energy systems. From 2001 to 2003, A.J. was a mechanical engineer at GE's Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY, where he contributed to the combustion and emissions control technologies for GE's diesel engine and gas turbine product lines. During A.J.'s graduate work at Stanford University, he was the first to demonstrate "homogeneous charge compression ignition" controlled through variable valve actuation and exhaust reinduction. This technology is still being actively pursued by the automotive industry as a high-efficiency, low-emissions combustion strategy for next-generation engines. A.J. holds an M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

In the mid-1970's Lawrence Livermore National Lab published the first Sankey Diagram (Energy Flow Chart) for the United States. The diagram provides an intuitive, one-page summary of the most important features of the energy economy. It has since been adapted to depict other flows (eg. carbon, water), regions (eg. US states, non-US countries) and economic sectors (eg. transportation).

Currently the Principal Investigator for LLNL's energy flow charts, A.J. Simon will give a brief explanation of how to read this iconic graphic. He will then describe our energy system in the context of global energy resource and environmental constraints. Using a combination of exergy analysis and specific techno-economic examples, this talk will explore the natural and anthropogenic energy and carbon cycles from the global scale down to individual sectors the economy.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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