Energy and Climate
Energy and ClimateEnergy ResearchInnovation Activities

Innovation Activities

Technology Showcase Nominees

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2014 Sandia Hand The Sandia Hand is an inexpensive, dexterous and modular manipulator. In the standard configuration, the hand consists of four fingers and 12 active degrees of freedom. The fingers are replaceable and re configurable allowing a variety of other configurations to be realized. The dexterity and modularity, coupled with fingernails, soft skin, tactile sensing and stereo vision enable several important applications at a previously unavailable price point. View Fact Sheet Web Link
 2014 Recompression Brayton Cycle Sandia National Laboratories is developing a thermal-to-electric power conversion technology that utilizes carbon dioxide (CO2) as the working fluid in a closed Brayton cycle. This technology possesses the capability to generate electricity at high efficiencies while reducing both costs and greenhouse gas emissions. View Fact Sheet Web Link
 2014 Binder-free Pelletization Process This binder-free pelletization process can fabricate industrially relevant pellets of porous catalysts and separations materials, and enables the implementation of oxide based materials into industrial process with full access to surface area and reactivity of the base material. View Fact Sheet
 2014 Sandia Cooler Sandia’s radically different approach to a CPU cooler overcomes the heat transfer bottleneck of “dead air” that clings to cooling fins, generating a several-fold improvement in cooling performance in a device that is smaller, quieter, and immune to clogging by dust. View Fact Sheet Web Link
2014 Silicon Photonics Silicon photonics offers a potential breakthrough in optical interconnection performance, not just for supercomputer
applications, but also for data communication and other applications.
SiP Brochure SAND 2014-15057M
 2013 Microsystems Enabled Photovoltaics (MEPV) These tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic (PV) cells could revolutionize solar energy collection. Made from robust semiconductor materials, miniaturized PV generate clean electricity that can work as safely, reliably, and durably as present-day grid power, and be cheaper than all other forms of energy. View
Fact Sheet
Web Link
 2013 Biomimetic Membrane Biomimetic membranes have the potential to produce clean water more efficiently than current state-of-the-art reverse osmosis membranes and could provide easier access to cheaper, clean water while lessening demands on the electrical energy production used for desalination. View Fact Sheet
 2012  Smart Outlet Sandia’s Smart Outlet is an autonomous intelligent electrical outlet for controlling loads for power grids with a high percentage of renewable resources. The Smart Outlet platform performs sensing, actuation, communications, and processing for autonomous load control in response to variations in generation supply.  View
Fact Sheet

Partnering with Sandia

Leverage the resources of Sandia National Laboratories for your benefit through a technology partnership. Sandia has been transferring technology to external partners for more than three decades, making it possible for partners to access our science and technology, people, and infrastructure. Sandia’s many and varied collaborations with industry, small businesses, universities, and government agencies on emerging technologies directly support our primary mission for the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and bring new technologies to the marketplace.

Sandia offers partnership opportunities through a number of mediums:

  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)
  • Commercial License Agreement
  • Funds-In Agreement/Work for Others (WFO)
  • Designated Capability Agreement
  • Technology Development Center Agreement
  • User Facility Agreement

Learn more about partnering opportunities with Sandia.

Currently Funded Projects

Improved Power System Operations Using Advanced Stochastic Optimization

Partnering Institution(s): Iowa State University, University of California-David, Areva

ARPA-E Program: Green Electricity Network Integration (GENI)

Project Summary: Sandia National Laboratories is working with several commercial and university partners to develop software for market management systems (MMSs) that enable greater use of renewable energy sources throughout the grid. MMSs are used to securely and optimally determine which energy sources should be used to service energy demand across the country. Contributions of electricity to the grid from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent, introducing complications for MMSs, which have trouble accommodating the multiple sources of price and supply uncertainties associated with bringing these new types of energy into the grid. Sandia’s software will bring anew probability-based formulation to account for these uncertainties. By factoring in various probability scenarios for electricity production from renewable energy sources in real time, Sandia’s formula can reduce the risk of inefficient electricity transmission, save ratepayers money, conserve power, and support the future use of renewable energy.

Transformational Merit: Sandia’s software could encourage the spread of renewable energy throughout the electric grid by accounting for the uncertainties associated with its pricing and production.


All Solid-State Lithium Ion Batteries

Partnering Institution(s): University of Colorado-Boulder, Michigan State University

ARPA-E Program: Robust Affordable Next Generation Energy Storage Systems (RANGE)

Project Summary: This work focuses on the development of a robust, high energy, rechargeable solid-state battery based on low cost materials. The technology is based on a high capacity, naturally occurring iron disulfide positive electrode material and a highly conductive ceramic solid state electrolyte.

Transformational Merit: A high energy solid-state rechargeable energy storage system that could be scaled to meet battery electric vehicle performance and cost targets. Energy storage technology is also inherently safe which could limit the need for complicated thermal management or control systems.


High Precision Life Testing of Automotive Batteries and Grid Storage Batteries

Partnering Institutions: Ford Motor Company

ARPA-E Program: Advanced Management and Protection of Energy-storage Devices (AMPED)

Project Summary: Ford Motor Company, Arbin Instruments, and Sandia National Laboratories will develop a high-precision battery testing device to improve battery-life forecasting and validation. Extremely precise measurements sampled by the device will reduce the time and expense required in the research, development, and qualification testing of new automotive and stationary batteries.

Transformational Merit: If successful, the battery tester would improve upon the precision of today’s best electric vehicle battery testers, allowing for better predictive capacity of the battery’s life.


Cost Effective Real Time Wave Assessment Tool

Partnering Institution(s): Sea Engineering

ARPA-E Program: Open Funding Opportunity Announcement

Project Summary: The goal of this project is to develop new, smart, and reliable wave buoys that can measure and relay real-time wave properties at a fraction of the cost of commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) comparative devices. An alpha-phase test buoy system in comprised of 3-dimensional motion sensing technology. The sensor package allows for accurate determination of buoy pitch, roll, vertical heave, and acceleration. The data can be processed into directional wave spectra using techniques similar to those applied in the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Data Buoy Center (NOAA NDBC) program. The wave data are logged and processed internally, and can be stored locally and/or wirelessly communicated to shore or wave energy converter (WEC) systems in real-time. The projected material cost for this newly developed real-time wave buoy system is an order of magnitude less than the cost of COTS waves buoys. This system will not only significantly reduce the cost of wave energy assessment and site-specific WEC design, it will also increase the operational WEC energy output for a wide range of WEC systems.

Transformational Merit: Wave energy is the most abundant form of hydrokinetic energy in the work. Successful harnessing of wave energy is dependent on real-time knowledge of the wave climate incident to a wave energy converter (WEC) array. This knowledge allows for the optimization of WEC array placement and design, and provides a link for active tuning of WECs to capture significantly more energy specific wave condition data (e.g., significant wave height and peak wave period) needed to implement successful WEC facilities that can make an impact on our nation’s electricity demands. Presently, real-time wave measurement buoys are available at costs in excess of $50,000 per buoy. The high cost limits the ability to deploy large networks of buoys for both assessment and operational needs.

Wave Buoy Calibration Stand

Custom wave buoy calibration stand with Wave Assessment Tool sensor unit mounted in center ring




Schematic diagram of Wave Assessment Tool buoy and sensor setup

Schematic diagram of Wave Assessment Tool buoy and sensor setup










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