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Lab Breakthrough: Microelectronic Photovoltaics

June 13th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories semiconductor engineer Gregory Nielson and postdoctoral appointee Jose Luis Cruz-Campa recently took some time to discuss their breakthrough in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Their small, flexible photovoltaics are highly efficient and cost effective—the perfect combination for a game-changing technology. This Q&A and video are part of the Lab Breakthrough series, which highlights innovations developed at the national labs. Question: In layman’s terms, what makes the breakthrough so exciting in terms of meeting America’s [...]

Senator Bingaman Tells Sandia Wind Turbine Blade Workshop That Renewable Energy Is Important to U.S. Policy

June 13th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Workshops|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Senator Jeff Bingaman said Wednesday the on-again, off-again nature of U.S. energy tax incentives and the uncertainty over federal spending on research and innovative technology presents a major challenge to the wind energy industry and other alternative energy industries. Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, spoke at the opening session of the 5th Wind Turbine Blade Workshop sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories. The workshop, the only one in the U.S. devoted [...]

SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Technology Forum

June 1st, 2012|Categories: Conferences, Energy, Events, News, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, SunShot|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia will be a participant in the upcoming SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Technology Forum. The SunShot Initiative is leading the first in a series of Energy Department Grand Challenges that address the scientific, technological, and market barriers to achieving breakthroughs in national energy challenges. The SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Technology Forum will convene the best and brightest minds in government, industry, and academia to strengthen U.S. leadership in global clean energy. Secretary Chu, Harry [...]

Offshore Ambitions for the Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine

June 1st, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories is gearing up a recently launched project to test a range of ultra-large floating vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) designs, with the target of carving 20 percent out of the forecast cost of energy for deep-water installations. The U.S. engineering and science research facility’s $5M offshore VAWT rotor project is exploring whether three key characteristics of vertical-axis machines—their low center of gravity, relative mechanical simplicity, and potential to be scaled up [...]

Mesa del Sol Unveils First Smart Grid in the Nation

June 1st, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Efficiency, Energy Surety, Facilities, Global Climate & Energy, Grid Integration, Mesa del Sol, Microgrid, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, SMART Grid, Solar|Tags: , , , , |

Mesa del Sol, Albuquerque’s visionary mixed-use, master planned community in the southern part of the city, once again made history when it unveiled its new Smart Grid System—the first of its kind in the nation. The Smart Grid System, in conjunction with the PNM Prosperity Energy Storage Project,the nation’s first solar storage facility that is fully integrated into a utility’s power grid, is a showcase for future smart grid projects. The project objective [...]

Sandia Labs Wind Farm Adds Vestas Turbine

June 1st, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , |

The initial phase of Sandia National Laboratories’ Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWIFT) facility, currently being constructed in partnership with Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, will be larger than originally planned. Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems (Aarhus, Denmark) will add its own 300 kW, V27 research turbine to the two Sandia V27 research turbines. The Labs worked with Vestas to develop the new three-turbine site plan, tailored to study turbine-to-turbine interactions. Sandia [...]

Sandia’s Brayton-Cycle Turbine Boosts Small Nuclear Reactor Efficiency

June 1st, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy|Tags: , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories is seeking an industry partner to market a turbine system that could substantially improve energy efficiency in small modular nuclear reactors. The system uses carbon dioxide in a closed-loop “Brayton-cycle” turbine to crank up electric conversion from heat, said Gary Rochau, manager of the advanced nuclear concepts group at Sandia’s Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Technologies Center. The Brayton-cycle system, developed by George Brayton more than 100 years ago, heats [...]

A Model for the Nation: Promoting Education and Innovation in Vermont’s Electricity Sector

May 8th, 2012|Categories: Climate, Customers & Partners, Energy, Energy Surety, Infrastructure Security, News, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Publications, Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

We are pleased to announce the publication of "A Model for the Nation: Promoting Education and Innovation in Vermont's Electricity Sector," a 70-page report summarizing the activities and outcomes of our Vermont-Sandia partnership's initial year. This document speaks to the broad collaborative effort involved, to the strong and enduring partnership, now formally known as the Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation, that has emerged from this initial year, and to our common belief that a [...]

III-Nitride core-shell nanowire arrayed solar cells

April 27th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , |

In a new EFRC-supported publication titled “III-nitride core-shell nanowire arrayed solar cells” published in Nanotechnology, EFRC scientists Jonathan J. Wierer, Qiming Li, Daniel D. Koleske, and George T. Wang and Sandia National Laboratories scientist Stephen R. Lee present their work on a unique hybrid nanowire structure. The article established that this structure served a dual purpose, both in improving power conversion efficiency as well as being beneficial for other III-nitride devices such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). [...]

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day 2012

April 26th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , |

The Solid-State Lighting Science Energy Frontier Research Center (SSLS EFRC) participated in Sandia National Laboratories’ “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” on April 26th.  Both students and parents were actively engaged in a series of “Coloring Your World” exhibits. One such display included a hands-on exhibit on solid-state lighting that illustrated the differences in how the colors of typical objects in daily living look under these lights managed by the SSLS technical staff. [...]

Miniature Sandia Sensors’ Self-Sealing Valves May Advance Climate Studies

April 18th, 2012|Categories: Climate, Monitoring, News, News & Events, Sensing, Sensing & Monitoring|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Air-quality monitoring can be a tricky business. Gasses may be blown into the sampling site from another area, they may leak out of an air sample before it can be analyzed, or the sampling container itself may introduce compounds, emitted through off-gassing. If samples are being gathered in remote areas, it can also be difficult getting bulky equipment to and from the sampling site. Now, scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny new type of [...]

CRF Researchers answer Alan Alda’s Flame Challenge

April 10th, 2012|Categories: CRF, Energy, Facilities, News, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , |

Last month, Alan Alda posed a challenge to scientists and researchers in Science magazine: Can you explain what a flame is in a way that 11-year-olds will understand? Entries could take any shape–prose, poetry, videos, cartoons and more! CRF researchers Guilhem Lazare, Judit Zador, and Jens Prager got together to answer the challenge with their own unique blend of creativity and science. April 2 was the deadline for entries; according to Alda and the Center [...]

Research and Innovation in U.S. Wind Won’t Die with Expiration of Federal Production Tax Credit

April 3rd, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , , |

While one might be tempted by headlines to assume that wind-energy-related activity in the U.S. will come to a screeching halt at the end of the year, with the seemingly almost certain expiration of the federal production tax credit, that temptation would lead you astray. At least, that was the suggestion that grew out of a recent conversation between Renewable Energy Magazine and Josh Paquette of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [...]

Sandia Researchers Find Energy Storage “Solutions” in MetILs

March 14th, 2012|Categories: Energy Storage Systems, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , |

A flow battery is a rechargeable energy storage device that pumps a solution of charged metals dissolved in an electrolyte through a membrane to convert chemical energy into electricity. Flow batteries can be rapidly "recharged" by replacing the electrolyte liquid while simultaneously recovering the spent material for external recharging. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have discovered a new family of metal-based liquid salt electrolytes, for use in just such flow batteries. The electrochemically [...]

CNST and Sandia Researchers Publish a Detailed Review of Electrical Contacts in One- and Two-Dimensional Nanomaterials

March 14th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , |

Researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (A. Alec Talin) and Sandia National Laboratories (François Léonard) have published a detailed review of recent experimental and theoretical work highlighting the unusual physics and material science of electrical contacts to nanostructures. In the Nature Nanotechnology review article, the researchers explain that existing models of electrical contacts in bulk semiconductor devices are inapplicable at the nanoscale, and argue that in order for nanosystems to progress [...]

Customer Interface Document for the Molten Salt Test Loop at the NSTTF

March 12th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events, Partnership, Publications|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The molten salt test loop (MSTL) system’s customer interface document contains an MSTL overview and details how a customer’s experiment would interface with the system. The document also describes on site collaboration expectations and defines roles and responsibilities for all parties performing an MSTL experiment. The document is available to anyone interested in using MSTL to test components in flowing molten nitrate salt.  For further information, please contact David Gill (6123, 844-1524).

Water Not So “Squishy” Under Pressure

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Water Security|Tags: , , , |

When squeezed to pressures and temperatures like those inside giant planets, water molecules are less squeezable than anticipated, defying a set of decades-old equations used to describe watery behavior over a range of conditions. Studying how molecules behave in such environments will help scientists better understand the formation and composition of ice giants like Uranus and Neptune, as well as those being spotted in swarms by planet hunters. The new work, which appears [...]

Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute Class of 2012 Kicks Off with 20 Students from the Gulf Cooperation Council

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Energy Assurance, Global Climate & Energy, Infrastructure Assurance, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events|Tags: , |

Khalifa University has hosted the opening of the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) 2012 Fellows. The four-module, sixteen-week course includes 20 students from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. GNEII national stakeholders represent Khalifa University, Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA), Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), and Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The course will be carried out in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) [...]

Experimental Smart Outlet Brings Flexibility, Resiliency to Grid Architecture

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Efficiency, Energy Surety, Grid Integration, Microgrid, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, SMART Grid|Tags: , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories has developed an experimental “smart outlet” that autonomously measures, monitors and controls electrical loads with no connection to a centralized computer or system. The goal of the smart outlet and similar innovations is to make the power grid more distributed and intelligent, capable of reconfiguring itself as conditions change. Decentralizing power generation and controls would allow the grid to evolve into a more collaborative and responsive collection of microgrids, which [...]

Molecular Simulations Guide Nanowire Research

March 7th, 2012|Categories: Capabilities, Modeling, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , |

Simulation plays a critical role in design—even in very, very, very, small structures. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are performing simulations at microscopic levels (with help from CEI’s EnSight software) in order to predict the performance of nanowires. Nanowire performance is affected by deformities in the wires. Researcher Jonathan Zimmerman and others at Sandia perform simulations to predict those deformities, when the wires will fail and by which physical mechanisms, and how nanowire [...]