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 study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists suggests that the guidelines governments use to determine when to evacuate people following a nuclear accident may be too conservative. The study found that when mice were exposed to radiation doses about 400 times greater than background levels for five weeks, no DNA damage could be detected.
Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Energy have released a new tool to help utilities, developers, and regulators identify the energy storage options that best meet their needs. Partnering with DNV KEMA, Sandia is releasing Energy Storage Select, or ES-Select, software under a public license to the company.
Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded $3.1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for research and scholarships focused on nuclear energy. The money will go to three research projects focused on developing new and advanced nuclear reactor designs and technologies, while addressing their cost, safety, and security.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists are exploring whether a common soil bacterium can be engineered to produce liquid transportation fuels much more efficiently than the ways in which advanced biofuels are made today. The process would be powered only by hydrogen and electricity. The goal is a biofuel—or electrofuel, as this new approach is called—that doesn’t require photosynthesis.
In a post-Solyndra, budget-constrained world, the transition to a decarbonized energy system faces great hurdles. Overcoming these hurdles will require smarter and more focused policies. Two Stanford writers outline their visions in a pair of analyses.
In a post-Solyndra, budget-constrained world, the transition to a decarbonized energy system faces great hurdles. Overcoming these hurdles will require smarter and more focused policies. Two Stanford University writers outline their visions in a pair of high-profile analyses.
A team of Rice University students recently fulfilled a challenge to economically turn shale gas produced in China into a range of useful, profitable and environmentally friendly products. In building its plan, the team had to deal not only with processing what's known as "sour gas" straight out of the wellhead, but also had to come up with a solid budget for the construction and profitable operation of the plant as well as a strategy to protect the environment.
According to recent research into how wind turbines affect local weather, large wind farms in certain areas in the United States appear to affect local land surface temperatures, especially at night. The warming trend was spatially matched to the locations of wind farms, and caused warming by nearly three-quarters of a degree Celsius.
Scientists at the University of Southern California have developed a potential pathway to cheap, stable solar cells made from nanocrystals so small they can exist as a liquid ink and be painted or printed onto clear surfaces.
A team of scientists from University of Colorado Denver has developed a novel energy system that increases the amount of energy harvested from microbial fuel cells by more than 70 times. The new approach also greatly improves energy efficiency.
The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not. Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice.
A team of Purdue University researchers will use a $1.6 million federal grant to advance sensor technology and computer simulation tools for tracking and improving the performance and reliability of "smart" wind turbines and wind farms.
According to new research in the U.K. that looked at data from thousands of fracking operations in the United States, the chance of rogue fractures due to shale gas fracking operations decreases significantly beyond a certain distance from the injection source. This, the first analysis of its kind, could be used as a starting point for separating aquifers and fracking.
In a study from Stanford University and Purdue University, researchers have shown for the first time that climate change may force the U.S. corn belt to move north in the next 10 years, escaping devastating heat waves. In turn, this will bring substantial price swings to the corn market, adversely affecting industries like food and biofuels.
Physicists have discovered a possible solution to a mystery that has long baffled researchers working to harness fusion. If confirmed by experiment, the finding could help scientists eliminate a major impediment to the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for producing electric power.
One of the few people to know the various components of the first atomic bombs, George Cowan would become one of the leading nuclear researchers in the country and a fixture at Los Alamos National Laboratory for nearly 40 years. Still working with nonprofit science institute he helped found, he died Friday as the result of a fall at his home.
Researchers from New York University and the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart reveal how protons move in phosphoric acid in a study that sheds new light on the workings of a promising fuel cell electrolyte.
As biofuel production has increased—particularly ethanol derived from corn—a hotly contested competition for feedstock supplies has emerged between the agricultural grain markets and biofuel refineries. This competition has sparked concern for the more fundamental issue of allocating limited farmland resources, which has far-reaching implications for food security, energy security, and environmental sustainability.
According to a recent report from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on their heating and cooling bills if they installed a handful of energy efficiency controls that make their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems more energy efficient.
In new findings, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have introduced what appears to be a universal technique to reduce the work function of a conductor. The technique works where they spread a very thin layer of a polymer on the conductor's surface to create a strong surface dipole, which turns air-stable conductors into efficient, low-work function electrodes.
A new study from the University of Illinois concludes that learning-by-doing, stimulated by increased ethanol production, played an important role in inducing technological progress in the corn ethanol industry. It also suggests that biofuel policies, which induced ethanol production beyond the free-market level, served to increase the competitiveness of the industry over time.
SustainX, a grid-scale developer of energy storage solutions, is commercializing isothermal compressed air energy storage, which is typically accomplished using underground caverns. However, this new technology, licensed from the University of Minnesota, uses pipe-type air storage, which makes it possible to store energy in more places.
IBM announced it has teamed with ZSE, the largest distributor and supplier of electricity in Slovakia, on a smart energy "feasibility" study that will help prepare the capital city Bratislava for electric vehicles (EVs).
According to findings by the U.S. Geological Survey, the rate of earthquakes in the United States’ midsection has jumped six-fold from the late 20th century through last year, and the changes are "almost certainly man-made." Most of the earthquakes resulting from drilling activities are relatively mold, falling into the magnitude 3 range on the Richter scale.