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New Jersey Transit FutureGrid MOU Signing

October 4th, 2013|Categories: Analysis, Energy Surety, Infrastructure Security, Microgrid, Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, Partnership, SMART Grid|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In late August, DOE Secretary Moniz and New Jersey Governor Christie signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) over grid modernization, which establishes a relationship between the U.S. Department of Energy, New Jersey Transit Corporation, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to explore the design, possible construction, and future implementation of an advanced microgrid system (“NJ Transit FutureGrid”) to provide continuous energy reliability and resiliency for NJ Transit’s commuter operations. DOE Secretary [...]

Sandia to Partner with MOgene Green Chemicals on ARPA-E REMOTE Project

October 2nd, 2013|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Optical micrograph of cyanobacteria, similar to those under study by the MOgene-Sandia partnership. ( On September 19th, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Deputy Director Cheryl Martin announced that 33 breakthrough energy projects will receive ~$66M from ARPA-E under two new programs that provide options for a more sustainable and secure American future. REMOTE (Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy) provides $34M to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas [...]

2013 Domenici Public Policy Conference: The Future of American Energy, Las Cruces, NM, September 18–19

October 1st, 2013|Categories: Climate, EC, Events, News, News & Events, Seminars & Conferences, Workshops|

Senator Pete V. Domenici 2013 Domenici Public Policy Conference: The Future of American Energy,  Las Cruces, NM, September 18–19 Marianne Walck, Director of Geoscience, Climate and Consequence Effect at Sandia National Laboratories presented on “Hydraulic Fracturing: Role of Government-Sponsored R&D.” Marianne's presentation was part of a session titled “Pros and Cons of Fracking.” The session was moderated by NMSU President Garrey Carruthers; also speaking was former Sandian Norm Warpinski, Technology Fellow at Pinnacle Technologies. Following the two [...]

Sandia Labs Harnesses the Sun’s Energy with Tiny Particles

September 20th, 2013|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Facilities, Materials Science, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solar Newsletter, Systems Analysis, Systems Engineering|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Joshua Mark Christian (Concentrating Solar Technologies Dept.) working with the falling particle receiver, which more efficiently converts the sun’s energy to electricity in large-scale, concentrating solar power plants. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Engineers at Sandia, along with part­ner institutions Georgia Tech, Bucknell University, King Saud University, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), are using a falling-particle receiver to more efficiently convert solar energy to electri­city in large-scale, concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. Falling-particle [...]

Sandia Will Host PV Bankability Workshop at Solar Power International (SPI) 2013

September 19th, 2013|Categories: Computational Modeling & Simulation, Distribution Grid Integration, Energy, Facilities, Grid Integration, Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Photovoltaic Regional Testing Center (PV RTC), Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory (PSEL), Renewable Energy, SMART Grid, Solar, Solar Newsletter, SunShot, Systems Analysis, Systems Engineering|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

On October 21, Sandia’s Joshua Stein, Melissa Sisneros, and Bruce King (all in the Photovoltaic & Distributed Systems Integration Dept.) will host a workshop on demonstrating strategies for defining the bankability of new PV products, “Driving the Commercialization of New Solar Technologies: What You Can Learn with the U.S. DOE Regional Test Centers toward Demonstrating Bankability,” at SPI2013 at the McCormick Place conference center in Chicago, Illinois. This workshop will describe the standardized processes being [...]

JBEI Updates Techno-Economic Modeling Tools for Biofuels

September 18th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Computational Modeling & Simulation, Energy, Facilities, JBEI, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Systems Analysis|Tags: , , , , , , |

Now available on-line from the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) are two new, improved versions of a techno-economic model created in 2010 to accelerate development of next generation biofuels that are economically competitive with petroleum-based fuels. Incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technologies relevant to bioethanol production, these new wiki-based models simulate critical factors in the biorefinery process, such as production costs and energy balances, under different scenarios. This enables researchers to concentrate their efforts on the most [...]

JBEI Research Receives Strong Industry Interest in DOE Technology Transfer Call

September 18th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Facilities, JBEI, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The right combination of enzyme cocktail and ionic liquid pretreatment can be used to extract fermentable sugars from switchgrass in a single, wash-free step. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt) To enable technology transfer from DOE-supported research centers (such as the three BioEnergy Research Centers [BRCs]) to the commercial sector, DOE issued a SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer [Research]) program call. This involved having the DOE-funded projects self-identify intellectual property [...]

Sandia Presented at the 14th Biennial Conference on Transportation Energy and Policy

September 17th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia participated in the 14th Biennial Conference on Transportation Energy and Policy on August 6–9 in Pacific Grove, California. This conference is organized under the auspices of the Alternative Fuels Committee of the U.S. Transportation Research Board and is hosted by the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. This conference focused on national and subnational approaches to reduce oil use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation. Garrett Barter and Amy Askin (both in [...]

Senator Heinrich Touts Energy Savings & Job Creation through Shaheen-Portman Bill

September 17th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

"New Mexico is already capitalizing on a diversified but rapidly transforming energy sector and stands to benefit from leveraging investments in efficiency projects and innovative technologies." -Senator Martin Heinrich Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, delivered a speech on the Senate floor in support of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. Within the speech, Senator Heinrich addressed the importance of energy-efficient technologies, including a [...]

U.S. Cities Quench Growing Thirst with Saltwater

September 17th, 2013|Categories: Analysis, Climate, Energy, News, News & Events, Systems Analysis, Water Security|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Lake Powell in May 2007. Note the prominent "bathtub ring" made visible by low water. This phenomenon is among the topics discussed during the interview. (Photo Credit: PRA) Ira Flatow interviewed Sandia’s Michael Hightower (Military and Energy Systems Analysis Dept.) for NPR’s “Science Friday,” which aired on September 13th. The program discussed the challenges associated with diminishing fresh water resources, particularly in the west. As reservoirs disappear and wells run dry, cities around [...]

Sandia Participated in the 3rd Annual Technology Forum of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center – Clean Vehicles Consortium (CERC-CVC)

September 11th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, CRF, Energy, Facilities, JBEI, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

U.S. and China leaders and researchers involved in the DOE CERC-CVC gathered in Beijing, China, to discuss recent research progress and refine project plans for the remaining 2½ years of the 5-year consortium. The CERC-CVC is one of three U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Centers; the other two consortia focus on clean coal and building energy efficiency. The CERC-CVC is led by University of Michigan in the U.S. and by Tsinghua University in China. It includes six [...]

The CRF’s Turbulent Combustion Lab (TCL) Captures the Moment of Hydrogen Ignition

September 11th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Adam Ruggles (left) and Isaac Ekoto (right) pinpoint the ignition boundary from an unintended release of high-pressure hydrogen gas. Their research provides a scientific basis for establishing separation distances for hydrogen infrastructure. (Photo by Dino Vournas) A principal challenge to deploying the hydrogen refueling infrastructure is the need to reduce risks to personnel and bystanders to an acceptable level—a task that requires quantifiable data on the safety envelope for hydrogen. Looking to provide [...]

Optimizing Engines for Alternative Fuels

September 10th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities, Sensors & Optical Diagnostics, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

As shown in this cross-section of the Sandia DISI engine, the central location of the fuel injector (f) and the design of the piston bowl (b) help stratify the fuel near the spark plug (e). Also shown are the piston (a), the piston-bowl window (c), which allows a wide-angle view from below into the combustion chamber, and the pent-roof window (d), which allows a side view into the chamber. At Sandia’s Alternative Fuels [...]

One-Pot-to-Prep Biomass for Biofuels

September 10th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Facilities, JBEI, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , |

From left, John Gladden, Seema Singh, Blake Simmons, and Jian Shi led the development at JBEI of a one-pot system for the ionic liquid pretreatment and saccharification of switchgrass for biofuel production. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt) Sandia researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have reported the first demonstration of a one-pot, wash-free, process for the ionic liquid pretreatment and saccharification of switchgrass. Using an imidazolium-based ionic liquid pretreatment, the Sandia team was [...]

Motivating Business to Design a More Resilient Nation, One Building at a Time

September 10th, 2013|Categories: Analysis, Facilities, Infrastructure Security, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, NISAC|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A little engineering goes a long way: A home in Gilchrist, Texas, designed to resist flood waters survived Hurricane Ike in 2008. (Photo courtesy of FEMA/Joselyne Augustino) Imagine a building resilient enough to allow people to continue their daily tasks even while an emergency is in progress. The self-­reliant building might have its own small electrical generating system to maintain lights, computers, and mobile communications during a power outage, compartmentalized clusters of rooms [...]

Low-­Temperature Combustion Enables Cleaner, More Efficient Engines

September 10th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Sensors & Optical Diagnostics, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Using new optical-diagnostic techniques, Sandia combustion researcher Mark Musculus and his colleagues identified the sources of key pollutants from LTC engines. Understanding how LTC works as a combustion technique may lead to broader use of cleaner diesel engines. (Photo by Dino Vournas) Combustion Research Facility lead author, Mark Musculus, along with Sandia researchers Paul Miles and Lyle Pickett, through their latest research paper, “Conceptual models for partially premixed low-temperature diesel combustion,” in [...]

Assessing the Economic Potential of Advanced Biofuels

September 10th, 2013|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Facilities, JBEI, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Systems Analysis, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Dean Dibble prepares samples of switchgrass for analysis. (Photo by Randy Wong) Biofuels hold great promise for the future of transportation energy, but how near we are to that future is, at best, an educated guess with many variables at play. A study led by Scott Paap (Systems Research and Analysis Dept.), “Biochemical production of ethanol and fatty acid ethyl esters from switchgrass: A comparative analysis of environmental and economic performance” (published in Biomass [...]

Fabrication of AMI Demonstration Blade Begun

September 10th, 2013|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Spool of RodPack spar cap material. The Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (AMI) is a multiple-year, 3-way collaboration among TPI Composites, Iowa State University, and Sandia National Laboratories. The goal of this collaboration is to improve the viability of U.S.-based wind turbine blade manufacturing through improvements in labor productivity and cycle time. As the AMI effort nears completion, the “capstone” effort is the fabrication of a full utility-scale blade which incorporates many of the material [...]

SSLS Scientist Andy Armstrong Receives 2013 Employee Recognition Award

September 9th, 2013|Categories: EC, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Events, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

SSLS EFRC Scientist, Andy Armstrong, recipient of Sandia's 2013 Employee Recognition Award Congratulations to SSLS EFRC Sr. Investigator Andy Armstrong, who was honored with Sandia's 2013 Employee Recognition Award. Andy was awarded in recognition of his development and application of novel defect characterization for III-Nitride materials. Sandia's prestigious Employee Recognition Awards (ERA) are presented to individual employees and teams nominated by their peers and chosen by a Laboratory selection committee for their accomplishments [...]

CRF Researchers Received “Best Paper” Award for Paper Presented at American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) 2012 Internal Combustion Engine Division (ICED) Conference

August 28th, 2013|Categories: CRF, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Facilities, News, News & Events, Partnership, Sensors & Optical Diagnostics, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dennis Siebers (left) and Paul Miles and Dipankar Sahoo (two at right) escort visitors at the CRF. Dipankar Sahoo (Engine Combustion Dept.), Ben Petersen (formerly with the Engine Combustion Dept., now with Ford Motor Co.), and Paul Miles (Engine Combustion Dept.) received the ASME-ICED best paper award for “The impact of swirl ratio and injection pressure on fuel-air mixing in a light-duty diesel engine.” This award recognizes the best technical contribution from all papers [...]