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Engineering Alternative Fuel with Cyanobacteria

February 27th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , |

Truman Fellow Anne Ruffing looks at a flask of cyanobacteria with precipitated fatty acid floating on top. She has engineered two strains of cyanobacteria to produce free fatty acids, a precursor to fuels, as she studies the direct conversion of carbon dioxide into biofuels by photosynthetic organisms. Sandia Truman Fellow Anne Ruffing (8622) has engineered two strains of cyanobacteria to produce free fatty acids (FFAs), a precursor to liquid fuels, but she also [...]

Measurements of Thermal Stratification in a Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition Engine

February 27th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Partnership, Research & Capabilities, Sensors & Optical Diagnostics, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Schematic of the optically accessible HCCI research engine. Homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines use fuel mixed with a substantial amount of excess air or recirculated exhaust gas that is compressed in the combustion chamber until it autoignites. The resulting combustion is a flameless and low-temperature burn that consumes less fuel than traditional spark-ignition internal combustion engines, and therefore, produces less carbon dioxide. HCCI engines have diesel-engine efficiency but without the accompanying nitrogen [...]

Improved Method to Measure Glare and Reflected Solar Irradiance

February 27th, 2013|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Solar, Solar Newsletter|Tags: , , , |

Sandia has developed a significantly cheaper, more efficient, and more accurate method of measuring the irradiance from solar reflections using a digital camera. Measurements of reflected solar irradiance is of great importance to industry, military, and government agencies to assess potential impacts of glint and glare from growing numbers of solar power installations around the world. In addition, this measurement technique can be used to monitor and maintain system performance for concentrating solar power applications.

‘Zombie’ Replica Cells May Outperform Live Ones as Catalysts and Conductors

February 27th, 2013|Categories: Advanced Materials Laboratory, Facilities, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Partnership, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Sandia-developed technique coats a cell’s insides with a silica solution to form a near-­‐perfect replica of its internal structure—simplifying a wide variety of commercial fabrication processes from the nano- to macro-scale. The work, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses the nanoscopic organelles and other tiny components of mammalian cells as templates on which to deposit silica. The researchers then heat the cell to burn off its protein. The resultant [...]

CRF Researchers Awarded David A. Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement

February 27th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The David A. Shirley Award was presented to Carl Percival (University of Manchester), Dudley Shallcross [(University of Bristol) not pictured], and Craig Taatjes and David Osborn (Sandia). Craig Taatjes and David Osborn (both in 8353), along with collaborators at the universities of Manchester and Bristol, were given this LBNL Advanced Light Source (ALS) award for their work in making the first direct measurements of the reactions of Criegee intermediates and showing that their [...]

ECIS Biosciences Featured in Top Trade Publication

February 27th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , |

The latest edition of International Innovation features a Q&A with Malin Young (Director, Biological and Materials Science Center) and focuses on Sandia’s biosciences work. Malin describes how the Biological Science and Technology Department is working to protect the U.S. from biological threats, and how its innovative approach to biofuels could provide solutions to future energy demands. International Innovation touts itself as “Europe’s Leading Portal for Scientific Dissemination” and a top resource for the wider scientific, [...]

Graphene Image Cover for Journal of Materials Chemistry

February 26th, 2013|Categories: Materials Science, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , |

The samples were prepared by Ronen Polsky and imaged by Joe Michael in an advanced SEM. The image is a composite produced by combining a secondary electron image obtained at very low voltage (500 V) with a backscattered electron image of the same area obtained at 10 kV. The Journal of Materials Chemistry selected to highlight on the December 7, 2012 (Volume 22, Issue 45), journal cover a high-resolution image of three-dimensional graphene [...]

Sandia Earns Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Awards

February 26th, 2013|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Paul Hommert has been named 2013 Laboratory Director of the Year by the FLC for his support of technology transfer activities at Sandia. The FLC said the award recognized the excellence of work during 2012 by Hommert, Sandia’s president and laboratories director, and the entire Sandia tech transfer program. The blue structure is a stylized CST. The magenta spheres are radiocesium ions in water and are being preferentially taken up by the CSTs over [...]

Biofuels Blend Right In: Researchers Show Ionic Liquids Effective for Pretreating Mixed Blends of Biofuel Feedstocks

February 26th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Facilities, JBEI, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Jian Shi, Seema Singh, and Blake Simmons of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI): research on the successful use of ionic liquids to pre-treat mixed blends of different biofuel feedstocks. Winemakers have long known that blending different grape varietals can favorably balance the flavor characteristics of the wine they produce. In the future, makers of advanced biofuels might use a similar strategy, blending different feedstock varieties to balance the energy characteristics of the transportation [...]

Photovoltaic (PV) Regional Test Center (RTC) Website Goes Live

February 26th, 2013|Categories: Energy, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Photovoltaic Regional Testing Center (PV RTC), Renewable Energy, Solar, Solar Newsletter, SunShot|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ECIS has developed a new external website to facilitate the functions of the five DOE RTCs—both interacting with each other to fulfill the overall DOE objectives and with partners in the U.S. PV industry. The site houses project updates, news, and events as well as controlled access for project file sharing. The DOE has commissioned five RTCs to provide the long-term technical data and the model validation for the performance and reliability of new PV [...]

Hope Michelsen named to Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame

February 26th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia combustion and atmospheric scientist Hope Michelsen (Combustion Chemistry Dept.) has been named by the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame as the 2013 Outstanding Woman in Science. She is the first Sandian to receive this award. Hope is being honored for her atmospheric science research, specifically, for developing methods of measuring soot, understanding how soot is formed, and building & deploying a mobile research facility coupled with atmospheric modeling to trace and identify the [...]

Cool Earth Solar and Sandia Team Up in First-Ever Public-Private Partnership on Livermore Valley Open Campus

February 26th, 2013|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solar Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Cool Earth Solar CEO Rob Lamkin, left, and the former vice president of Sandia's California site, Rick Stulen, stand in front of one of the company’s inflated, concentrated photovoltaic units located at the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC). A new research agreement between the two organizations aims to make solar energy more affordable and accessible and demonstrates how the LVOC can foster new lab collaborations. (Photo by Randy Wong.) In a public-private partnership [...]

Unmanned Aircraft Test Flights Completed at Oliktok Point

February 21st, 2013|Categories: Climate, Monitoring, News, News & Events, Sensing, Sensing & Monitoring|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

In October 2012, a small flight team including staff from New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Sandia began the first in a series of test flights for the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility to evaluate various unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in the frigid Arctic conditions at Oliktok Point, Alaska. For eight days, the team conducted and documented short flights by a small unmanned aircraft, a microhelicopter, and a tethered balloon. Sandia crew members included [...]

Opening the Door on Complex Diffusion in Polymer Membranes

February 21st, 2013|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia researchers have developed new high-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy techniques to investigate diffusion in polymer membranes. By coupling HRMAS NMR with pulsed field gradient (PFG) diffusion techniques, the team has demonstrated the unprecedented resolution of individual chemical species within a series of fuel cell anion exchange membranes (AEMs). The team is composed of Janelle Jenkins and Todd Alam (both in Electro, Optical, and Nanostructures Department) who developed and implemented [...]

High-Pressure and High-Temperature Neutron Reflectometry Cell for Solid-Fluid Interface Studies

February 21st, 2013|Categories: Carbon Capture, Carbon Capture & Storage, Carbon Storage, Climate, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) research by Robert Grubbs (Electro, Optical, and Nanostructures Department) and colleagues at Los Alamos was featured as the July 2012 cover article of the European Physical Journal Plus. The article, “High Pressure and High Temperature Neutron Reflectometry Cell for Solid-Fluid Interface Studies,” describes the design and use of a neutron reflectometry cell to observe the surface structure of Robert’s ALD-grown calcium carbonate thin films, under high pres­sure and at high temperatures, [...]

Energy Supply Transformation Needed

February 20th, 2013|Categories: DETL, Distribution Grid Integration, Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Surety, Grid Integration, Infrastructure Security, Microgrid, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Systems Analysis, Systems Engineering, Transmission Grid Integration|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A lot that needs to be done to enable the transition towards larger shares of renewables in the power mix. The 5th International Conference on Integration of Renewable Energy and Distributed Energy Resources [4–6 December 2012, Berlin, Germany] brought together global participants from the energy sector to discuss the transformation of the power system, the challenges that lie ahead, and the solutions. . . . Grid integration has evolved to become one of the pressing topics [...]

Sandian Served as President of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers

January 8th, 2013|Categories: Materials Science, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , |

During FY12, National Institute of Ceramic Engineers (Electrical, Optical, & Nano Materials Department in Materials Science & Engineering) served as the President of the National Institute of Ceramic Engi­neers, a Class of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) that represents the ceramic materials community for accreditation† and licensure‡ activities. During the same period, Geoff also served in a related but expanded role as the chair of an ACerS presidential advisory committee on Education and [...]

Sandia Expertise Guides New Photovoltaic Requirements

January 8th, 2013|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, Systems Analysis|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sandia’s Photovoltaic (PV) Arc-Fault Detec­tion and Mitigation team has gained worldwide renown as a leader in the science of PV arc faults. As a driver of groundbreaking experimental and numerical simulations in this area, codes and standards bodies have called on Sandia to improve requirements for arc-fault cir­cuit interrupters. Sandia has advised the National Electrical Code making panel on changes to the 2014 require­ments, is working closely with Underwriters Laboratories to refine the U.S. PV [...]

Solar Test Facility Upgrades Complete, Leading to Better Sandia Capabilities to Support Power Industry

January 8th, 2013|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Energy Storage, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Recovery Act, Renewable Energy, Solar, SunShot|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

A recent overhaul of the DOE’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF), operated by Sandia, is dramatically improving researchers’ ability to understand and use concentrating solar power (CSP). The $17.8M upgrade to the NSTTF adds state-of-the-art test capabilities, and the resulting research is expected to lead to more solar power use on the electric grid. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded the nine-part project of new additions and upgrades to the one-of-a-kind test [...]

Sandia Demonstrated First-Time, Single-Mode Lasing in Gallium-Nitride Nanowire Lasers

January 8th, 2013|Categories: CINT, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Facilities, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , , |

An array of GaN nanowires. Semiconductor nanowire lasers have attracted intense interest as promising compact, low-power coherent light sources for on-chip applications, many of which (e.g., imaging, multiplex communica­tion, data storage) desire high beam quality and spectral purity—conditions that can be satisfied by single-mode operation in nanowire lasers. However, due to the lack of mode-selection mechanisms, most reported nanowire lasers exhibit multimode behavior. To date, single-mode lasing with high side-mode suppression ratios in nanowires [...]