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NREL simulates shade conditions in repeatable test for solar arrays

May 15, 2012 8:25 am | News | Comments

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%.

More precise look at cradle-to-grave greenhouse gas emissions for energy technology

May 7, 2012 10:19 am | News | Comments

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.

Eight national labs streamline partnership agreements

February 27, 2012 5:43 pm | News | Comments

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.

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Power generation is blowing in the wind

January 17, 2012 4:59 am | News | Comments

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.

NREL earns federal award for sustainable IT practices

September 21, 2011 8:42 am | News | Comments

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.

NREL to help four start-ups ramp up solar energy innovations

September 12, 2011 7:36 am | News | Comments

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.

Photons serve double duty

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

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.

Silicon ink boosts solar efficiency

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

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.

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Parallel acquisition speeds PV testing

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

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.

NREL, Verizon to explore energy-saving technologies

July 28, 2011 5:02 am | News | Comments

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.

The greening of data

July 12, 2011 10:20 am | by Heather Lammers | News | Comments

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.

Teaching algae to make fuel

May 24, 2011 4:15 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

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.

Best for batteries: Not too hot, not too cold

May 17, 2011 8:10 am | News | Comments

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.

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Research Insights: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

April 8, 2011 6:39 am | Articles | Comments

National Renewable Energy Laboratory comments on pressing topics.

Research Insights

April 8, 2011 6:08 am | by Rita C. Peters | Articles | Comments

Government lab executives comment on pressing topics.

Key plant traits yield more sugar for biofuels

March 29, 2011 5:24 am | News | Comments

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.

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 8

December 10, 2010 8:44 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Part 8 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. What do you think the next great invention will be?

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 7

December 10, 2010 8:35 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

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?

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 6

December 10, 2010 8:23 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

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.

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 5

December 10, 2010 8:04 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

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?

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 4

December 10, 2010 7:54 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

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?

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 3

December 10, 2010 7:36 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Part 3 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. Describe your organization’s staffing and recruiting challenges as you see them now.

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 2

December 10, 2010 7:06 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Part 2 of  R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. What one word would you use to describe the current state of industrial research?

New Economy, New Playbook: Part 1

December 10, 2010 6:48 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Today’s economic and employment realities drive research organizations to develop new strategies.

Prefab solar collector achieves 25% efficiency

August 12, 2010 11:27 am | Award Winners

The Amonix 7700 Solar Power Generator, developed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Amonix Inc. can supply 40% more energy than conventional fixed PV panels through the use of high-efficiency solar cells, concentrator Fresnel lenses, and smart controller and tracker technology.

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