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Sandian Invited to Speak at “Addressing the Food, Water, and Energy Nexus”

April 1st, 2014|Categories: Analysis, Climate, Energy, News, News & Events, Systems Analysis, Water Security|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia’s Howard Passell. Howard Passell (in Sandia’s Earth Systems Analysis Dept.) was invited to provide an opening introduction at the February 11th event, “Addressing the Food, Water, and Energy Nexus,” organized by the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, Energy and Environment Program and the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security in Washington, D.C. Howard’s talk was entitled “Opening Remarks: Scene Setting and Global Trends in Food, Water, and Energy.” A high-level group of policymakers, [...]

Fusion Instabilities Lessened by Unexpected Effect

April 1st, 2014|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , |

In recent Z Machine experiments, two Helmholz coils unexpectedly altered and slowed the growth of the magneto Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instabilities, a plasma distortion that usually spins quickly out of control and has sunk past efforts to achieve controlled fusion. Radiographs of the process showed that the Helmholz coils’ field altered and slowed magneto-RT instability growth, which had been thought to occur unavoidably. (Unavoidably, because even the tiniest differences in materials turned to plasma are magnified [...]

New Material Tests Show Biaxial Laminate Creep Is Important for Large Wind-Turbine Blades

April 1st, 2014|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , |

Figure 1.  Blade cross-section schematic showing the locations where biaxial laminates are used. Blade designers continue to push existing composite material capabilities  as they look to capture more wind with longer rotors. Recent industry observations of damage occurring earlier than expected in the blade panel regions (Figure 1) were brought to the attention of researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and Montana State University (MSU). Blade panel regions typically use biaxial laminates to handle the [...]

Magnetically Stimulated Flow Patterns Offer Strategy for Heat-Transfer Problems

March 20th, 2014|Categories: Capabilities, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia’s Jim Martin and Kyle Solis (both in the Nanoscale Sciences Dept.) have discovered how to harness magnetic fields to create vigorous, organized fluid flows in particle suspensions. The magnetically stimulated flows offer an alternative when heat transfer is difficult because they overcome natural convection limits. Martin and Solis even demonstrated a heat-transfer valve that could potentially control computer processor temperature. Sandia researcher Jim Martin peers between specially built magnets to watch patterns form [...]

Structural and Mechanical Adaptive Rotor Technology (SMART) Final Project Reports Published

March 19th, 2014|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Systems Analysis, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The SMART rotor consisted of three 9-meter blades with trailing edge flaps spanning 20% of each blade. The photo inset is a closer look at the flaps on one blade. Actively controlling the aerodynamic loads on a wind-turbine rotor could benefit the entire turbine system significantly. The Structural and Mechanical Adaptive Rotor Technology (SMART) project was conducted to test the control capability of a rotor with aerody­namic actuators, evaluate the accuracy of simulation [...]

High-Fidelity Hydrostructural Analysis of Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC’s) TidGen® Turbine

March 19th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sandia is performing a high-fidelity hydrostructural analysis of the Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC’s) TidGen® turbine using the computational fluids dynamics (CFD) tool Star CCM+® and the structural-dynamics modeling capability in the Abaqus finite-element analysis (FEA) software. Hydrodynamic loadings from the CFD simulation will provide inputs to the Abaqus FEA model through fluid–structure coupling. The mesh for the CFD model is shown in the figure. This project’s goal is to elucidate the turbine components’ structural [...]

Tool for Siting, Planning, and Encroachment Analysis for Renewables (TSPEAR) Viewshed Model Completed

March 19th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia and the DOE are continuing to fully understand the effects of wind turbines on the environment in which they are placed—to identify the barriers to renewable-energy development and to suggest barrier-mitigation solutions, where available. The effort to develop accurate wind-turbine/radar-interference (WTRI) models will ultimately improve the understanding of their impact and allow viable paths to increase wind-energy deployment across the country. As part of this effort, Sandia and its partners, BEM International and Peak [...]

Sandia Is Developing a Doppler Global Velocimetry System to Understand Fundamental Wind-Turbine Wake Phenomena

March 19th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Systems Analysis, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wind-turbine wakes lead to lower power production and increased loading on downstream turbines by reducing incoming velocity and increasing turbulence contained within the wakes. Detailed wake measurement will improve the understanding necessary to improve wake modeling and consequently support reducing cost of energy (COE) at the plant level. Figure 1.  Schematic of a stereoscopic PIV setup. Sandia is developing a DGV wake-imaging system to provide detailed wake velocity-measurement capabilities. The project will demonstrate [...]

Sandia Involves Wind-Farm Owners in Defining New Data Pathway for National Wind-Plant Reliability Database

March 19th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Continuous Reliability Enhancement for Wind (CREW) Database is a DOE-funded national reliability database that enables wind-plant operational analysis—to benchmark the reliability performance of the current installed wind fleet, including characterizing operating performance at a system-to-component level and identifying technology improvement opportunities. After a series of interviews with wind-plant owners and other stakeholders, the Sandia CREW team has expanded the goals of the project, now in its sixth year. The DOE-approved plan allows a new [...]

Two Sandians Named as Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellows

March 18th, 2014|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On January 1st, two Sandians, Mike Cuneo (Pulsed Power Accelerator S&T Group) and Igal Brener (Applied Photonic Microsystems), were elected Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Mike was selected for “developments in inertial confinement fusion with magnetically driven implosions and electrode cleaning.” The number of Fellows chosen annually is restricted to less than one-tenth of 1% of IEEE’s voting membership (~400,000 in 160 countries). IEEE has developed more than 900 active [...]

Computer Power Clicks with Geochemistry

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sandia geoscientist Randall Cygan uses computers to build models showing how contaminants interact with clay minerals. (Photo by Lloyd Wilson) Sandia is developing computer models that show how radioactive waste interacts with soil and sediments, shedding light on waste disposal and how to keep contamination away from drinking water. “Very little is known about the fundamental chemistry and whether contaminants will stay in soil or rock or be pulled off those materials and [...]

Sandian Elected as a Director of the Microscopy Society of America

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Capabilities, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , |

Sandia’s Paul Kotula, left, and Ping Lu show off the Labs’ aberration-corrected scanning transmission microscope, which has a unique combination of X-ray detectors and very high resolution and is capable of performing analyses in far less time than its predecessor. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Paul Kotula (in Sandia's Materials Characterization and Performance Dept.) has been elect­ed as Physical Sciences Director of the Microscopy Society of America (MSA). This position has a three-year term [...]

Yifeng Wang Selected Asian-American Engineer of the Year

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Capabilities, Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yifeng Wang examines a clay sample from South Dakota as part of iodide experiments. A team of Sandia researchers is working to understand how rapidly iodine-129 released from spent nuclear fuel would move through a deep clay-based geological repository. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Yifeng Wang (Radiological Consequence Management and Response Technologies Dept.) has been selected by the Chinese Institute of Engineers–USA to receive the Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) award for [...]

Sandia–Atmocean Inc.’s New Mexico Small Business Assistance Project

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Figure 1. Atmocean’s OHS™ with five pumping modules, with one pumping module expanded. Sandia led a six-month project funded by the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) on “Subsea Modeling of an Innovative Wave Energy Array Using OrcaFlex Software,” in which we supported developing and modeling the mooring system for Atmocean Inc.’s Ocean HydroPower System (OHS™). This project involved three New Mexico small businesses Atmocean Inc. (wave-energy converter [WEC] developer), Reytek Corporation (WEC [...]

Evaluating Hydrokinetic Turbine Operation within Roza Canal, Yakima, Washington

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , |

Instream Energy Systems turbine deployment at the Roza Canal site in Yakima, Washington. The DOE Water Power Program has recently identified the need to better understand the potential for hydrokinetic (HK) energy development within existing canal systems. HK turbine operation alters water surface elevations and modifies its flow in canals. Primary canal-water uses—for irrigation, in flood management, and/or for conventional hydropower plant—will not tolerate significant altera­tions or hydrodynamic energy losses. Sandia is collaborating with [...]

WEC-Sim Code Development Updates and Meeting

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Comparison of WEC-Sim implementation for the RM3 two-body point absorber (a) using the new physical-system formulation and (b) using the old equation-of-motion formulation. Sandia and NREL are involved in a three-year project to develop and verify WEC-Sim, an open-source numerical modeling tool to analyze and optimize wave-energy converters (WECs). The code, written in Matlab/Simulink/SimMechanics, was recently restructured significantly after its internal alpha release. The new programming format allows users to construct the physical system [...]

Current Energy Converter Array Optimization Framework

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Cobscook Bay regional and local (inset) model domains including schematic of ORPC TidGen™ unit (bottom left). In FY13, Sandia developed a framework to identify optimal placement locations—leading to marine hydrokinetic (MHK) current energy converter (CEC) device array configurations that will maximize energy production and minimize environmental effects. The CEC array optimization framework was applied to Cobscook Bay, Maine, the first deployment site of the Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC) TidGen™ CEC device. The [...]

Portable Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Unit to Provide Green, Sustainable Power to Honolulu Port

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Center for Infrastructure Research and Innovation (CIRI), Energy, Energy Surety, Facilities, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events, Partnership, Systems Analysis, Systems Engineering, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia researcher Joe Pratt stands near the Port of Oakland, one of the west coast ports he studied to learn whether hydrogen fuel cells are a viable power source for docked ships. (Photo by Steffan Schulz) Clean hy­drogen power that’s expected to lower emissions and reduce energy consumption will be coming to the Port of Honolulu in 2015 after the completion of a new fuel-cell technology demonstration, one that could lead to a [...]

Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool Available for Download

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solar Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sandia developed the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT), a web-based tool that predicts energy production and the potential for solar glare and ocular impacts from an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels. Glare viewed from the air traffic control tower at Manchester/Boston Regional Airport. SGHAT uses an interactive Google Maps interface together with a few user-specified parameters such as orientation and tilt of the PV panels to quickly locate a site; outline the [...]

Sandians as Guest Editors of Modeling & Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering Focus Section

March 13th, 2014|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, Energy Storage, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Inputs and outputs to the Sandia battery-abuse modeling program, focusing on bridging the gap between atomistic and cell-level simulations. Each link in the chain builds on the results from the previous, finer-detail stage to ultimately deliver an accurate predictive capability to assess new battery chemistries before building prototypes. Many vital needs in worldwide energy production, from electrifying trans­portation to enhancing renewable-energy production, depend on developing economical, reliable batteries with improved performance and safety. [...]