Today’s smartphone is a complicated power device, using a small lithium-ion battery of about 1,400-mAh capacity to power a variety of electronic systems, including a touchscreen display, a central processing unit, antennas, speakers and a microphone. All of its components, including the materials used to build it, are optimized to perform as efficiently as possible to extend battery life.
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The photovoltaic industry is particularly sensitive to cost, and while pushing the envelope on conversion efficiency is a priority, efforts to reduce manufacturing costs is also a priority. Toward this end, TetraSun Inc. and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed TetraCell solar cells, which offer a bifacial, high-efficiency ($3.09 per Watt-peak) solution for photovoltaic applications.
A new Department of Energy study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicates that by 2025 wind and solar power electricity generation in the western U.S. could become cost-competitive without federal subsidies, if new renewable energy development occurs in the most productive locations. The report is now available.
Understanding and controlling temperature is necessary for the successful operation of battery packs in electric-drive vehicles (EDVs). Isothermal Battery Calorimeters (IBCs), developed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and NETZSCH North America, are the only calorimeters that can accurately measure heat generated from batteries used in EDVs—with a baseline sensitivity of 10 mW and heat detection as low as 15 J—while being charged and/or discharged.
Today, lighting represents the single largest source electric load in U.S. commercial buildings, amounting to 38% of total electricity. Occupancy detection can help reduce consumption by controlling lighting automatically. National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s low-cost Image-Processing Occupancy Sensor (IPOS) detectors offer an improvement on traditional motion-sensing technology by detecting and assessing human occupancy or vacancy in an area to localize and optimize lighting, daylighting and HVAC.
New research shows that a class of materials being eyed for the next generation of computers behaves asymmetrically at the sub-atomic level. This research is a key step toward understanding the topological insulators that may have the potential to be the building blocks of a super-fast quantum computer that could run on almost no electricity.
Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for steady, responsible steps to reduce carbon pollution and reduce energy bills for U.S. businesses, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced an award of $10 million for six projects to help small commercial buildings save money by saving energy.
A new energy-efficient approach to building occupancy detection, a better way to detect heat loss in electric-vehicle batteries and a high-efficiency silicon solar cell—all developed or advanced at the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—have been named among this year’s most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.
At the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in Tampa, Fla. last week, National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientist Myles Steiner announced a world record of 31.1% conversion efficiency for a two-junction solar cell under one sun of illumination. The achievement edges the previous record of 30.8% by Alta Devices.
It's a gnawing frustration of modern office life. You're sitting quietly—too quietly—in an office or carrel, and suddenly the lights go off. The U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed and made available for license the Image Processing Occupancy Sensor, which combines an inexpensive camera and computer vision algorithms that can recognize the presence of human occupants.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory this week announced the release of the Transportation Energy Futures study, an assessment of avenues to reach deep cuts in petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. The project suggests opportunities for 80% reductions by 2050
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other labs have demonstrated a process whereby quantum dots can self-assemble at the apex of a gallium arsenide-aluminum gallium arsenide core-shell nanowire interface. This activity at optimal locations in nanowires could improve solar cells, quantum computing, and lighting devices.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has created an energy analysis tool to help individuals and educators experiment with future energy use scenarios. The interactive Buildings, Industry, Transportation, Electricity, and Transportation Scenarios (BITES) allows users to explore how changes in energy demand and supply can impact carbon dioxide emissions and the current U.S. energy trajectory.
A new U.S. Department of Energy research facility could help bring the U.S. closer to generating power from the winds and waters along America's coasts and help alleviate a major hurdle for offshore wind and ocean power development.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will help develop microbes that convert methane found in natural gas into liquid diesel fuel, a novel approach that if successful could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower dependence on foreign oil.
It takes outside-the-box thinking to outsmart the solar spectrum and set a world record for solar cell efficiency. The solar spectrum has boundaries and immutable rules. No matter how much solar cell manufacturers want to bend those rules, they can't. So how can we make a solar cell that has a higher efficiency than the rules allow? NREL researchers know with the development of their SJ3 solar cell.
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the BioEnergy Science Center combined different microscopic imaging methods to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between biomass cell wall structure and enzyme digestibility, a breakthrough that could lead to optimizing sugar yields and lowering the costs of making biofuels.
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have produced solar cells using nanotechnology techniques at an efficiency—18.2%—that is competitive. The breakthrough should be a step toward helping lower the cost of solar energy.
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have demonstrated a better way to use photosynthesis to produce ethylene, a breakthrough that could change the way materials, chemicals, and transportation fuels are made, and help clean the air. The scientists introduced a gene into a cyanobacterium and demonstrated that the organism remained stable through a least four generations, producing ethylene gas that could be easily captured.
Most Americans don't have to think much about energy reliability. We plug in a computer and it powers up; we flip a switch and the lights come on. While very reliable today. the U.S. electricity grid is old and has gone at least five decades without a significant technological upgrade. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working with industry on one solution to help maintain a secure, reliable flow of energy: microgrids.
A new study of renewable energy’s technical potential finds that every state in the nation has the space and resource to generate clean energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory produced the study, which looks at available renewable resources in each state and establishes an upper-boundary estimate of development potential.
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.
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