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Allison Mahvi ME
June 12, 2024

Faculty Focus: Allison Mahvi

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Assistant Professor Allison Mahvi is the director of the Laboratory for Energy Transport and Storage (LET+S) and also has a joint appointment with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. LET+S seeks to better understand fundamental fluid dynamic and heat transfer processes, and use this insight to make more efficient thermal energy systems. The lab uses a combination of experimental and modeling techniques to make these advances, which feed into a variety of applications including nuclear power production and building energy systems. LET+S is part of the Solar Energy Laboratory, a collaborative research group at UW–Madison.

View Prof. Mahvi’s faculty research video feature >>

Mechanical Engineering Research – Allison Mahvi


What one project are you most excited about working on right now?

One of the projects that is just starting in our lab is designing and building a heat pump with integrated thermal storage. Heating and air conditioning consume a large fraction of the total electricity in many residential and commercial buildings. This demand does not always align with the availability of renewable electricity generation like solar and wind power, meaning that space conditioning can strain the electricity grid. The system we are building will integrate thermal storage into HVAC equipment, which will reduce carbon emissions from space conditioning. This project is particularly exciting because we are working with a team from industry, the national labs, and other universities. The expertise from each partner will allow us to make fast progress in moving a flexible heat pump from the laboratory into the market.

What do you think the impact will be on tech and society?

The system will be able to reduce electricity use of heating and air conditioning by 40% during peak demand. This will help save homeowners money by shifting electricity use to times of the day when it is inexpensive and will also reduce carbon emissions if the thermal storage is used during times of the day when low-carbon electricity is unavailable.

Learn more via Prof. Mahvi’s lab website.