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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 [...]

Sandia Expands an International Collaboration and Web Database on Engine Fuel Spray Combustion Research

November 13th, 2012|Categories: CRF, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Facilities, News, News & Events, Partnership, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , |

Responding to the need to accelerate the development of predictive engine spray combustion modeling for the design of more fuel-efficient, low-emission engines, Sandia established a multi-institution collaboration called the Engine Combustion Network (ECN). The ECN provides highly leveraged, vetted datasets for spray combustion model development by using contributions from many experimental and modeling participants at preselected operating conditions appropriate to engines.

Sandian Todd Lane’s “Pond Crash Forensics” Project Receives Secretarial Notice

November 13th, 2012|Categories: Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, JBEI, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Pond Crash Forensics project, funded through the Office of Biomass Program (OBP) at EERE, was highlighted in a briefing with Energy Secretary Chu on October 11th as one of the key EERE-OBP funded activities on algal pond stability/productivity. This is a great recognition of the efforts of Todd and his team, as well as a very strong example of how a technology platform developed by the RapTOR grand challenge can have multiple applications, such as [...]

Sandia Labs to Share Expertise with Navajo Nation

November 7th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Surety, Grid Integration, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories and the Navajo Nation announced an agreement in late October for the federal lab to provide technical assistance to the tribe as it develops energy resources on the sprawling reservation. The Navajo Nation and Sandia have cooperated since the 1980s. The memorandum of understanding extends their agreement for another five years, with an additional automatic five-year extension unless one of the parties opts out. The agreement comes as the tribe is forging [...]

RESOURCE: Interview with Nancy Brune, Sandia National Laboratories

November 7th, 2012|Categories: Analysis, Climate, Facilities, Global Climate & Energy, Global Climate & Energy, Infrastructure Security, Modeling, Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, NISAC|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Nancy Brune,  a Senior Policy analyst at Sandia National Laboratories and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, discusses security and sustainability with discusses security and sustainability with Ed Saltzberg, Managing Director of the Security and Sustainability Forum. Click here to listen to this audio track at the website for the 13th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment (~16 minutes).

National Solar Thermal Testing Facility Beam Profiling

November 2nd, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , |

On Thursday, June 7, we began beam profiling the NSTTF field heliostat beam.  Using the “Hot 80” heliostats aimed at a single aimpoint on a vertical target, the peak flux was 192 W/cm2.  Using the remaining 128 heliostats (the Cool 128) aimed at a single aimpoint on a vertical target, the peak flux was 152 W/cm2.  (Six of the 214 field heliostats were not operational the day of this test.) By summing these two flux [...]

Molten Nitrate Salt Initial Flow Testing is a Tremendous Success

November 2nd, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

  Molten Salt Test Loop North View The Molten Salt Test Loop (MSTL ) system at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) completed initial flow testing this week with great success.  The system pumped molten nitrate salt through a range of process conditions and showed performance characteristics that meet or exceed the design specifications.  The outstanding system performance was the capstone to a tremendous team effort including Sandia, DOE, and Sandia’s [...]

Air Force Research Laboratory Testing

November 2nd, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , |

Recently, personnel from the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque utilized the site at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility to evaluate seismic and optical activity from explosives set off at locations east and west of the facility. Some of the explosives were set-off above ground and some below. The shots varied in strength between 100 and 2000 pounds.  AFRL utilized a single NSTTF heliostat facet to reflect a checker-board target up to a high-speed [...]

The Rush to Exploit an Increasingly Ice-Free Arctic

October 17th, 2012|Categories: Climate, Earth Sciences Research Center, Global, Global Climate & Energy, Modeling, Monitoring, News, News & Events, Sensing, Sensing & Monitoring|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. It’s that time of year again, when we check in to see where the annual Arctic sea ice minimum will end up. We haven’t quite bottomed out at the end of the melt season, yet, but already 2012 has set new records for smallest Arctic sea ice extent and volume, smashing through the numbers from 2007. Records are often attention-grabbing and "exciting," in a way, but while Usain Bolt’s incredible shrinking [...]

Sandia Labs Helping Industry Tackle Wind Turbine Reliability

October 15th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A new measurement developed by Sandia National Laboratories should help the wind energy industry benchmark its performance, understand vulnerabilities, and enhance productivity. Until now, wind farm owners and operators had no way to compare their output with the output of similar operations. To benchmark the reliability of the U.S. wind turbine fleet and identify major causes of failures and downtime, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) directed Sandia in 2010 to build the Continuous Reliability Enhancement for [...]

Sandia’s Ron Lipinski Wins DOE Award for Mars Rover Work

October 15th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

This artist's concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Ron Lipinski has to imagine everything that can go wrong in a system. When he’s examining the Mars Curiosity Rover’s plutonium power generator, or a safety analysis for the Kennedy Space Center, a lot can be at stake. Lipinski is the team leader for the Mars Science Laboratory Multi-Mission [...]

Sandia Builds Android-Based Network to Study Cyber Disruptions

October 15th, 2012|Categories: Cyber, Cybersecurity Technologies Research Laboratory, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sandia's David Fritz holds two Android smartphones, representing the virtual network of 300,000 such devices that he and other researchers are using to advance understanding of malicious computer networks on the Internet. (Photo by Dino Vournas) As part of ongoing research to help prevent and mitigate disruptions to computer networks on the Internet, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have turned their attention to smartphones and other hand-held computing devices. Sandia cyber [...]

Officials Turn to Sandia National Labs for Help on Huge Sinkhole

October 15th, 2012|Categories: Capabilities, Earth Sciences Research Center, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , |

This August 3 aerial photo shows the sinkhole near Bayou Corne, Louisiana, which has grown since it first began forming in August. Sandia researcher David Borns is part of a group of experts providing technical evaluations about possible causes and remedies for the sinkhole. (Photo courtesy of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources) The 300-foot-wide sinkhole that has threatened since August to swallow gas pipelines, homes, and property in south Louisiana has drawn in [...]

Experts Call for Triple Bottom Line Approach to National Energy Policy

October 11th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Mission, News, News & Events, Vision/Mission|Tags: , , , |

New survey results on national energy policy from the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories and OurEnergyPolicy.org show that a large majority of U.S. energy professionals have a clear preference for a national energy policy that places equal weight on energy security, economics and the environment. If that isn’t a Triple Bottom Line focus, what is? Offering more detailed, refined and nuanced insight into Americans’ views on energy policy, a vast majority of the 884 U.S. energy [...]

Sandia to Study the Little Things

October 11th, 2012|Categories: CINT, Energy, Facilities, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Solar, SunShot|Tags: , , , , |

The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia recently received a $900,000 grant to investigate the tiniest parts of solar materials. The new grant, announced by the U.S. Department of Energy in late August, will fund development of new microscopy tools to help understand the chemical and electronic structure of thin-film photovoltaic, or solar, materials and how microscopic variations limit performance. The project is part of the Energy Department’s efforts to encourage collaboration among engineers and scientists developing [...]

The Energy-Water Nexus, 2012 Edition

October 11th, 2012|Categories: Climate, Energy, Global Climate & Energy, Global Climate & Energy, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Water Security|Tags: , , , , , |

Power generation plants are often located near large sources of fresh water that they use as coolant for the power-generation cycle. This cycle looses efficiency as the ambient temperature rises. A blistering summer this year has brought the energy-water nexus into sharp focus: how much power generation depends on water, and how much our water systems depend on power. We’ve had the hottest July on record in the continental United States, and so [...]

Alaskan North Slope Climate: Hard Data from a Hard Place

October 11th, 2012|Categories: Analysis, Climate, Global Climate & Energy, Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, Monitoring, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Research & Capabilities, Sensing, Sensing & Monitoring|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories station manager Mark Ivey indicates the path of a helium-filled weather balloon as it floats rapidly up from its cradle. The facility is part of DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) climate research program. (Photo: Neal Singer) Mark Ivey—manager for Sandia of the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) climate research facility at Barrow—is waiting for the automated release of a weather balloon … [which] measures the Arctic atmosphere’s temperature, [...]