27-Aug-2013 Third consecutive IEEE Cherry Award for NREL
Keith Emery always had amazing computer programming skills, but he lacked that special gift for creating solar cells. So, 30 years ago he switched to something more in his wheelhouse -- characterizing and measuring the efficiency of solar cells and modules.
13-Aug-2013 Wood-boring gribbles intrigue researchers
Tiny wood borers known colloquially as gribbles make their own enzymes and use them to eat through docks in harbor towns, earning enmity from fishermen all around the world.
7-Jun-2013 X-rays from NSLS reveal fuel cells in action
Wouldn't it be great to have a magical "energy box" that could convert a wide array of fuels to electricity with high efficiency and lower emissions? Solid oxide fuel cells show significant promise. But these solid-state energy-conversion devices are made of complex materials and they require specific conditions for optimal operation -- high temperatures, variable pressures, and electrical polarization.
29-Apr-2013 A solar booster shot for natural gas power plants
Natural gas power plants can use about 20 percent less fuel when the sun is shining by injecting solar energy into natural gas with a new system being developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
16-Nov-2012 Growth Forum offers networking nirvana
A greener detergent, a better solar-cell coating, an off-the-grid freezer -- clean-tech entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to money-men and -women in 10-minute bursts at the 2012 Industry Growth Forum last month in Denver.
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory held the 25th Industry Growth Forum, an annual event that features presentations from emerging clean energy companies, provocative panels led by thought leaders, one-on-one meetings, and organized networking opportunities.
25-Sep-2012 Student geothermal competitors tap Idaho expertise
Idaho's Snake River Plain was the focus of the US Department of Energy's National Geothermal Student Competition this year. Most of the eight finalist teams, which included three Idaho universities, visited Idaho and consulted with INL and Idaho experts.
7-May-2012 NREL catalyst brings drop-in fuels closer
We live in a petroleum-based society, and the oil we use comes from plants that were buried eons ago and changed under pressure and high temperatures. As countries across the globe face dwindling oil supplies and the environmental impacts of tapping hard-to-process shale oil, the question arises: is there a greener way to replicate Mother Nature?
17-Apr-2012 New nanoparticle technology cuts water use, energy costs
Nuclear and coal power plants are some of the thirstiest machines on earth. The turbines that spin inside of them to generate electricity require tons and tons of steam, and all of that water has to come from somewhere.
11-Jan-2012 Biofuels from bacteria is biochemist's goal
Environmental proteomics does not just aid development of new biofuels but helps further understanding of the impact of climate change and the use of organisms for bioremediation.
7-Dec-2011 Home sweet, energy efficient, home
Two new research facilities at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will serve as a test bed for studying energy efficient and smart homes.
29-Nov-2011 Scientist wins energy award at technology event
Xin Zhao has won a World Technology Network award in the individual Energy category for innovative work of "the greatest likely long-term significance" in his field. Zhao designed and patented a supercapacitor that would use graphene. The invention could someday see batteries in electric vehicles and similar devices boosted or replaced by high-power, high-capacity, fast-charge/discharge energy storage systems using graphene.
15-Sep-2011 Simulating turbulent combustion speeds design of power and propulsion devices
A team led by mechanical engineers Joseph Oefelein and Jacqueline Chen of Sandia National Laboratories simulates turbulent combustion at different scales. Chen and Oefelein were allocated 113 million hours on Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Jaguar supercomputer in 2008, 2009 and 2010 to simulate autoignition and injection processes with alternative fuels. For 2011 they received 60 million processor hours for high-fidelity simulations of combustion in advanced engines.
12-Aug-2011 A catalyst for high-impact science
A multi-institutional team of scientists is using EMSL's new Recovery Act-funded capabilities to achieve new insights into catalytic reactions on the surfaces of advanced metal oxide-based materials. The work is part of an inaugural EMSL Research Campaign that brings together world-leading capabilities and expertise in support of more efficient, less costly catalysts -- a need with cross-cutting energy and industrial applications.
8-Aug-2011 Breakthrough fusion simulations shed light on plasma confinement
A research team led by William Tang of the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is developing a clearer picture of plasma confinement properties in an experimental device that will pave the way to future commercial fusion power plants. Over the past three years using resources of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, Tang's team has made continual improvements to tools essential for computationally solving fusion problems.
16-Jun-2011 Packing the ions
Drexel University's Yury Gogotsi and colleagues recently needed an atom's-eye view of a promising supercapacitor material to sort out experimental results that were exciting but appeared illogical. That view was provided by a research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory computational chemists Bobby Sumpter and Jingsong Huang and computational physicist Vincent Meunier.
24-Feb-2011 Students learn about wind power first-hand through Wind for Schools program
For years, Jenny Christman tried to find a way to get a wind turbine to educate the students at Northumberland Middle and High School about wind power. Now, with help from the Wind for Schools project and the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University, the students at Northumberland are learning about wind power first-hand from the newly constructed turbine at their school.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.