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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 [...]

Sandia Wide-Bandgap Semiconductor Workshop

January 8th, 2013|Categories: Capabilities, Customers & Partners, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Partnership, Research & Capabilities, Solid-State Lighting, Workshops|Tags: , , , , , , |

In response to increased interest in wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor projects by DOE, on October 30, 2012, Sandia hosted a one-day brain­storming workshop aimed at identifying the value, scope, structure, and partnership oppor­tunities of a potential National Center for Wide Bandgap Semiconduc­tors. Participants from DOE, industry, academia, and other labs participated in a series of breakout sessions, the re­sults of which will inform next steps in WBG research. Significant input was gathered on our four question [...]

Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne Testing

December 19th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, EC, Energy, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solar Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On November 24, 2012 the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) began testing of the Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) solar receiver shroud.  Fifteen days of solar testing are scheduled for this testing.  The flux levels on the shroud range between 100 and 500 suns.  The work is sponsored by PWR in cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE).  Any questions please contact Cheryl Ghanbari, 505-845-3426 or email cghanba@sandia.gov. PWR Receiver Shroud Testing is on [...]

Excellence Award in the 2012 Facilities Environmental, Safety and Health Go Green Initiative

December 19th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Events, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solar Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , |

A team from Sandia National Laboratories’ (SNL) National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) recently won a first place Excellence Award in the 2012 Facilities Environmental, Safety and Health Go Green Initiative of the Lockheed Martin Electronics Systems Business Area. The award was given for an innovative means of disposing of 5000 mirrored glass facets that were being replaced on the NSTTF’s 218 heliostats after a 30+ year lifetime. Instead of disposing of the mirrors, the [...]

National Academy of Sciences Released Algae Biofuels Sustainability Report

November 29th, 2012|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Systems Analysis, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On Octo­ber 24, 2012, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released the prepublication version of the report, “Sustainable Devel­opment of Algal Biofuels.” Although algal biofuels are gaining attention as a domestic renewable fuel source, the study found that with current technologies, scaling up production to meet even 5% of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources. R&D could yield innovations to address these chal­lenges, but determining if algal [...]

Combustion Research Facility’s ExaCT Team Completes Several Combustion Proxy Applications

November 28th, 2012|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , |

One of the primary challenges to achieving exascale computing is designing new architectures that will work under the enormous power and cost constraints. The mission of co-design within the Combustion Research Facility's Center for Exascale Simulation of Combustion in Turbulence (ExaCT) is to absorb the sweeping changes necessary for exascale computing into software and ensure that the hardware is developed to meet the requirements to perform these real-world combustion computations. ExaCT’s multidisciplinary research will iteratively [...]

American Chemical Society International-Domestic Student Summit

November 28th, 2012|Categories: Advanced Materials Laboratory, Facilities, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Seminars & Conferences|Tags: , , , , , , |

Undergraduate Ms. Kathleen Martin and graduate student Ms. Aruny Loch from our local New Mexico section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) have been invited to attend the ACS International-Domestic Student Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina, preceding the ACS Southeastern Regional Meeting. The team is from the University of New Mexico (UNM)—student researchers at at the Sandia/UNM Advanced Materials Laboratory (AML). Reflecting the theme of the summit, one is a U.S. citizen and the other [...]

Northrop-Grumman, GE Partnerships Tap a Wide Range of Sandia Labs Experience

November 27th, 2012|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Computational Modeling & Simulation, CRF, Energy, Energy Storage, Materials Science, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Sensors & Optical Diagnostics, Systems Analysis, Systems Engineering, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia has signed a pair of umbrella cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with Northrop Grumman Information Systems and General Electric Global Research that will broadly add to the Labs’ research. “These strategic agreements envision long-term partner­ships,” said Brooke Garcia, a Sandia business development specialist who helped negotiate the CRADAs. The Northrop-Grumman CRADA includes research in engineering sciences for defense sys­tems/technologies; modeling & simulation for defense systems/technology; intelligence systems and assessments; energy, climate, and infrastructure [...]

Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States Kick-Off

November 27th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, SunShot|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A view of the solar tower/heliostat field at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. The purpose of the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS) is to establish a Joint Clean Energy R&D Center (JCERDC)—to create an environment for cooperation and innovation “without borders” in order to develop and improve emerging revolutionary solar electricity technologies and contribute to the long-term success of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru [...]

Sandia and the U.S. Army Collaborate on Operational Energy at Fort Devens

November 26th, 2012|Categories: Energy Storage Systems, Energy Surety, Grid Integration, Infrastructure Security, Microgrid, News, News & Events, Partnership, SMART Grid|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Daniel Borneo and Ben Schenkman (both in Sandia's Energy Surety Engineering and Analysis Dept.) are working on microgrids with Ft. Devens’ Base Camp Integration Laboratory (BCIL). They have been involved in successfully testing an application that can also be used for the civilian power grid. This demonstration and deployment work is consistent with the energy surety concept and attention to critical infrastructure. “These are not staying as just ideas on a shelf,” said Sharon Burke, [...]

Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWIFT) Facility Wind Turbine Controller Ground Testing

November 20th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, SWIFT, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Figure 1 Turbine-turbine interaction schematic with wakes denoted by white helices and white fog. Development of the SWIFT Facility wind turbines reached a critical milestone this week, with the successful ground testing of the new variable-speed controller at Halus Power Systems, in Oakland, California. This milestone was a culmination of the turbine rewiring and control hardware installation led by Jon Berg (Wind Energy Technologies Dept.) and the control software development led by Vestas. [...]

Sandians on the Cover of Advanced Functional Materials

November 20th, 2012|Categories: Materials Science, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , |

Sandia staff members Jon Ihlefeld  and Geoff Brennecka (Electronic, Optical, & Nano Materials Dept.) and Paul Kotula (Materials Characterization & Performance Dept.) and student interns Chris Shelton (Oregon State University and NC State University) and Kelsey Meyer (New Mexico Tech) had their work featured on the inside front cover of Advanced Functional Materials’ June 6, 2012, issue. Their work demonstrated a new means to prepare metallized silicon substrates resulting in exceptional improvements in the dielectric [...]

Sandia to Co-Host International Workshop on Photovoltaics (PV) Penetration

November 13th, 2012|Categories: DETL, Distribution Grid Integration, Energy, Energy Surety, Grid Integration, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, SMART Grid, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and European Distributed Energies Research Laboratories (DERlab) have organized a workshop on utility operating experience with high solar PV penetration levels. The workshop, “Utility Experience with High Penetration PV,” is scheduled Monday, December 3, in Berlin. The workshop will take place just before the Fifth International Conference on the Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (IRED) December 4–6, in Berlin. The IRED conference brings together [...]

Sandia–Univ. of Minnesota (UMN) Floating Offshore Wind Collaboration

November 13th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

From August 27th–September 27th Sandian Kelley Ruehl hosted Toni Calderer, a Ph.D. student from UMN. UMN and Sandia are currently collaborating on a 3-year DOE-sponsored offshore wind Funding Opportunity Announcement on high-resolution offshore wind turbine/farm modeling. UMN’s contribution is experimentation and wind turbine numerical modeling; Sandia’s contribution is floating-platform modeling. The month-long collaborative effort between UMN and Sandia was to couple the wind-wave models. As a result of the collaboration, UMN and Sandia made significant [...]

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Report Posted

November 13th, 2012|Categories: Energy Assurance, Grid Integration, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events, Transmission Grid Integration|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Integration of Variable Generation Task Force (IVGTF) Task 1–3 report, “Interconnection Requirements for Variable Generation” was posted to NERC’s website in mid-October. Many of NERC’s existing interconnection standards and procedures have been based on technical characteristics and physical capabilities of traditional power generation resources that employ synchronous generators. With the global trend toward renewable energy, the penetration of wind and solar generation is rapidly increasing in many power grids under NERC’s jurisdiction. The IVGTF [...]

Simulations Reveal Ion Dynamics in Polymer Electrolyte

November 13th, 2012|Categories: Energy Storage, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Improving battery electrolytes is highly desirable, particularly to increase safety and reduce cost. One class of possible new electrolyte materials is ionomers—polymers with a small number of charged groups covalently bound to the polymer backbone. A hindrance to high conductivity in ionomer melts is nanoscale ionic clusters that usually form because of the polymer’s low dielectric constant. Understanding these clusters and their effects on material properties is important for improved design. Recent molecular-dynamics simulations have [...]