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DOE OE Energy Storage Systems (ESS) — Energy Storage Safety - Current and Past Events

  • › Webinar To Discuss DOE OE Energy Storage Safety Strategic Plan (January 14, 2015) -- The DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will host a webinar 2:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 14, to discuss the newly released DOE OE Energy Storage Safety Strategic Plan. This strategic plan addresses the need for incident preparedness, scientifically based and standardized safety validation techniques, and safety documentation to inspire consumer, regulator, and insurer confidence. The strategic plan identifies gaps within these three areas and presents the desired end goals to ensure the safety of energy storage systems.

This webinar initiates the follow-on to the strategic plan. It will be hosted by Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) and will feature presentations from the following speakers:

  •    Dr. Imre Gyuk, U.S. Dept. of Energy, presenting an overview of the 2014 DOE OE Strategic Plan on Energy Storage Safety.
Dr. Imre Gyuk,
U.S. Dept. of Energy

After earning a bachelors' degree from Fordham University, Dr. Gyuk performed graduate work at Brown University on superconductivity. Receiving a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Purdue University, he became a research associate at Syracuse University. As an assistant professor, he taught physics, civil engineering, and environmental architecture at the University of Wisconsin. His research interests included the theory of elementary particles, metallurgy of non-stoichiometric alloys, non-linear groundwater flow, and architectural design using renewable energy and passive solar techniques. Dr. Gyuk became an associate professor in the Dept. of Physics at Kuwait University, where he became interested in issues of sustainability. Dr. Gyuk joined the Dept. of Energy to manage the Thermal and Physical Storage program. He later managed DOE's research on biological effects of electric and magnetic fields. For the past decade, he has directed the Energy Storage research program, which funds work on such technologies as advanced batteries, flywheels, super-capacitors, and compressed air energy storage. He also supervises the $185M stimulus funding for Grid Scale Energy Storage Demonstrations, developing a portfolio of field-tested storage technologies.

  •    Dr. Sean Hearne, Sandia National Laboratories, presenting the need to develop tools and techniques that validate the safety of fully integrated energy storage systems.
Dr. Sean Hearne,
Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Hearne is the manager of the Energy Storage Technology and Systems department at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, where he is the program manager of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability's Energy Storage program. Dr. Hearne was elected secretary for the Materials Research Society, the largest international society of materials researchers. He received his bachelors' degree in 1991 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he was trained and licensed as a commercial pilot. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in solid-state physics from Arizona State University in 2000, where his dissertation research emphasized the mechanical properties of materials. He worked from 2000 to 2001 at Intel Corp., where he was a senior process engineer in the Components Research Group in Hillsboro, OR, and was responsible for development of new interconnect technologies for use in future generations of microprocessors. Since 2001, Dr. Hearne has worked for Sandia National Laboratories, where he has been an active researcher and manager for electrical energy storage and nanotechnology. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and a book chapter, and he holds multiple patents.

  •    Kenneth Willette, National Fire Protection Association, discussing the needs of the first-responder community to prepare for, prevent, and respond to safety incidences with energy storage systems.
Kenneth Willette,
National Fire Protection Assoc.

Mr. Willette is the division manager of the Public Fire Protection Division of the National Fire Protection Association, managing a technical staff that supports more than 90 standards that address the needs of the fire service and emergency responders. He has 35 years of experience in fire service and emergency preparedness planning, serving as an airfield and structural firefighter, shift commander, and chief of department and emergency manager for two communities. Mr. Willette has earned a bachelors' degree in fire protection administration from Empire State University, Stony Brook, NY, and has graduated from the executive fire officer program of the National Fire Academy at Emmitsburg, MD. He is a past president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts.

  •    Dr. Vincent Sprenkle, Pacific Northwestern National Laboratory, highlighting key challenges and gaps in the current codes, standards, and regulations that impact energy storage safety.
Dr. Vincent Sprenkle,
Pacific Northwestern National Laboratory

Dr. Sprenkle joined PNNL in 2001 and is currently technical group manager for the Electrochemical Materials and Systems Group at PNNL, focusing on the development of electrochemical materials and systems for advanced energy storage and conversion applications. He is also project manager for the Dept. of Energy's Office of Electricity Energy Storage Program at PNNL, focusing on the development of electrochemical energy storage technologies to enable renewable integration and improve grid support. He previously led projects in developing solid oxide fuel cell technology and planar Na batteries. Before joining PNNL, he was a senior ceramic engineer at Litton Life Support and was responsible for the development of prototype advanced electrochemical oxygen-generating system. Dr. Sprenkle currently holds 14 patents on fuel cells, batteries, and high-temperature electrochemical devices with 17 current patent applications.

The webinar is free, but registration is required at After registering, a confirmation e-mail will be sent containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information about the webinar, contact Todd Olinsky-Paul, project director at CESA, at