Engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a way to assess the quality of solar cells at a speed that is orders-of-magnitude faster than previous methods.
The idea of "supersizing" is no longer embraced when it comes to what we eat. But when it comes to creating renewable fuels, supersizing can be a very good thing. Recently, a team of scientists from Cobalt Technologies assembled at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to supersize their process for making renewable butanol.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a new repeatable test protocol that simulates real shade conditions and can predict with much greater precision the effects of shade on a solar array. The new test demonstrated that under heavy shading conditions the use of microinverters instead of typical string inverters can help mitigate the impacts of shade by improving system performance by more than 12%.
A new approach to assessing greenhouse gas emissions from coal, wind, solar, and other energy technologies paints a much more precise picture of cradle-to-grave emissions and should help sharpen decisions on what new energy projects to build.
Intended to help cut red tape for business and startups wanting to do business with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s research laboratories, the new Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT) program was recently launched as a third alternative to the two preceding options: signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) or a Work For Others (WFO) Agreement.
By looking at the stability of the atmosphere, wind farm operators could gain greater insight into the amount of power generated at any given time. Power generated by a wind turbine largely depends on the wind speed. In a wind farm in which the turbines experience the same wind speeds but different shapes, such as turbulence, to the wind profile, a turbine will produce different amounts of power.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has earned a 2011 Platinum-level Award from the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) recognizing NREL's efforts to help the federal government improve its sustainable practices.
Companies with innovative, game-changing ways to lower the cost of solar energy have been awarded $5.8 million to work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The SunShot Incubator Program is an expansion of DOE's successful PV Technology Incubator Program, launched in 2007, which to date has funded $60 million in projects and leveraged $1.3 billion in private investment.
The Flash Quantum Efficiency System for Solar Cells uses a parallel approach to acquire quantum efficiency (QE) spectrum plots at a rate of one second per cell, more than 1,000 times faster than conventional QE systems.
The Optical Cavity Furnace uses light enclosed within a highly reflective, ceramic-lined chamber to achieve a level of temperature uniformity far beyond what is available with a conventional furnace.
With Innovalight Silicon Ink for High-Efficiency Solar Cells, scientists at Innovalight Inc. and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have invented a liquid form of silicon that can be added to solar cells to markedly increase conversion efficiency.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Verizon signed a memorandum of understanding that could lead to the development of new innovative ways to reduce energy use in the information and communications technology industry.
Power usage effectiveness (PUE) is a key metric for determining how green a data center is and it shows how effectively a data center uses power. Measured as a ratio of the total amount of power used in the data center divided by the amount of power to the computer equipment, the best score a data center can get 1.0. The National Renewable Energy Lab recently dropped its PUE from 3.3 to 1.15 in an effort to be a leader in this area, and to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Many kinds of algae and cyanobacteria are capable of using energy from sunlight to split water molecules and release hydrogen, which holds promise as a clean and carbon-free fuel for the future. One reason this approach hasn’t yet been harnessed for fuel production is that under ordinary circumstances, hydrogen production takes a back seat to the production of compounds that the organisms use to support their own growth. However, a team of researchers have found a way to use bioengineered proteins to flip this preference, allowing more hydrogen to be produced.
Before Americans are able to flip the switch from gasoline to electricity, automakers need batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles that can deliver the range, performance, reliability, and safety drivers expect. NREL's Large-Volume Battery Calorimeter is a crucial tool to putting electric vehicles on the road.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory comments on pressing topics.
Government lab executives comment on pressing topics.
New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production.
Part 8 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. What do you think the next great invention will be?
Part 7 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. In your point of view, what are some of the greatest threats to R&D in the U.S. right now? Are these roadblocks experienced by your organization, and, if so, how are you dealing with them?
Part 6 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. What specifics discoveries or breakthroughs has your organization made that embody the spirit of innovation? Please describe the support for these technologies your organization has had for sponsor or collaborators? Finally, please describe your funding situation.
Part 5 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. Where do you see real innovations taking place, and what are the geographical locations or industries do you see benefiting from innovation?
Part 4 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. Many R&D organizations are seeing a greater collaboration and partnership activity. Are you seeing this trend? If so, what are some of the forces behind it, and how is it affecting your organization?
Part 3 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. Describe your organization’s staffing and recruiting challenges as you see them now.