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NASA’s Solar Tower Test of the 1-Meter Aeroshell

August 23rd, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Solar, Videos|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

This test is part of a series in support of NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Technologies (ISPT) program. An aeroshell allows a spacecraft to use friction from a planet’s or moon’s atmosphere as a braking force—allowing the probe to carry less fuel (for braking rockets) and permitting that now-available space and mass to be used for mission-relevant sensors and experimental modules. Applied Research Associates (ARA) Ablative Laboratory is under contract to NASA to develop and test materials [...]

Air Force Research Laboratory Testing

August 17th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Recently, personnel from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Albuquerque utilized the site at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) 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 [...]

Successful Conclusion of SSLS EFRC’s High School Summer 2012 Internships

August 10th, 2012|Categories: Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , |

Our SSLS EFRC brought in four high school interns this summer.  All were between their junior and senior years of high school, and had strong backgrounds math and science.  Our interns participated in a wide range of activities: ES&H courses, intense solid-state lighting science and technology reading, experimental work in one of our optics laboratories, energy economics data collection and analysis projects, editing of draft manuscripts for submission to journals or books, helping with the [...]

Sandia Wins Funding for High-Temperature Falling-Particle Solar-Energy Receiver

August 8th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Solar, SunShot|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia, with partners Georgia Tech, Bucknell University, King Saud University, and DLR (the Institute of Solar Research of the German Aerospace Center), was awarded funding to develop a concentrating solar power falling-particle receiver and heat-exchanger system under the DOE SunShot Initiative. Conventional central receiver technologies are limited to temperatures of ~600 °C with power-cycle efficiencies ~40%. At higher temperatures, nitrate salt fluids become chemically unstable. In contrast, direct-absorption receivers using solid particles can increase [...]

Sandia’s Stan Atcitty winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

July 30th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Storage Systems, Infrastructure Security, News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Stanley Atcitty, an energy storage systems researcher, has been named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  President Obama named 13 U.S. Department of Energy-funded researchers as recipients of the award which is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers, who are early in their independent research careers. Stan was nominated for the PECASE award by DOE’s Office of Electricity [...]

Concentrating Solar Power Technical Management Position

July 12th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Facilities, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

This job opening is now closed An excellent opportunity exists for a technical manager who will help build our nation's renewable energy industry. The successful candidate will provide strategic and tactical direction for the Concentrating Solar Technologies Department (6123). Management functions and responsibilities include the following: allocation, prioritization and management of staff, technicians, union personnel, contract personnel and financial resources; lead technical staff and direct the development of technical programs; management of the annual operating [...]

MEPV Wins 2012 R&D100 Award

June 20th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia’s microsystems enabled photovoltaics, also known as “solar glitter,” captured a prestigious R&D 100 Award in this year’s contest. Microsystems enabled photovoltaics combine mature technology and tools currently used in microsystem production with groundbreaking advances in photovoltaic cell design. The cells are created using mature microdesign and microfabrication techniques, said Sandia researcher Vipin Gupta. The cells are then released into a solution similar to printing ink and ‘printed’ onto a low-cost substrate with embedded contacts [...]

SunShot Grand Challenge: Regional Test Centers

June 18th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Events, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, SunShot, Videos|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Joshua Stein speaks about the benefits of the Regional Test Centers (RTCs) and how they will further advance the DOE SunShot goals.

Cyber Research Facility Opens at Sandia’s California Site

June 13th, 2012|Categories: Cyber, Cybersecurity Technologies Research Laboratory, Energy Assurance, Energy Surety, Facilities, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , , , |

Sandia National Laboratories’ new Cybersecurity Technologies Research Laboratory (CTRL) now offers an open yet controlled area for cybersecurity professionals from the Bay Area and across the country to meet and discuss critical cyber research issues. Broadly, CTRL will promote stronger relationships between industry, academia, and national laboratories in the research and development of cybersecurity solutions through technology, practices and policy. A grand opening for the facility, which resides on the grounds of the Livermore Valley [...]

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 [...]