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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, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , |

New survey results on national energy policy from the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories and 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, [...]

Molten Salt Test Loop Melted Salt

October 10th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Molten Salt Test Loop (MSTL) team at Sandia National Laboratories melted 38 tonnes (84,000 pounds) of salt and filled the furnace of the MSTL system this week.  The salt melting was the culmination of many weeks of planning and preparation from a great team that assessed the hazards, planned the activities, modified the salt melter, and completed the melting in less than 4 days.  The outstanding effort included CSP group engineers and technologists, safety, [...]

Molten Salt Test Loop Commissioning

October 10th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, EC, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Molten Salt Test Loop (MSTL) at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) has successfully completed commissioning and demonstrated outstanding performance and control throughout the full range of operating parameters. The commissioning step confirms that a newly constructed facility meets all of the design requirements. The Molten Salt Test Loop was designed to provide three parallel test platforms for the performance and evaluation of concentrating solar collectors or individual components in flowing [...]

Areva Solar and Sandia Labs Join Forces for CLFR Molten-Salt Storage

September 17th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Customers & Partners, Energy, News, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Areva Solar is collaborating with Sandia National Laboratories on a new concentrated solar power (CSP) installation with thermal energy storage. The CSP storage project combines Areva’s modular Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar design with Sandia Labs’ proven molten-salt storage system. This will be the first CSP integration with Sandia Labs’ Molten-Salt Test Loop System located at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico (US). Read [...]

CSP Mid-Year FY12 AOP Review

September 10th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 Sandia held its mid-year FY12 Annual Operating Plan (AOP) review for representatives from DOE HQ’s EERE Concentrating Solar Power Program, May 10-11, 2012 at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM. The review covered seven agreement areas: Optical Materials and Tools, System Analysis, Trough Performance Testing, Dish R&D, Power Tower R&D, Facilities and R&D Management, and Thermal Storage R&D, which embodies 23 technical tasks. In addition, two Go/No Go reviews were held on Dish R&D Thermal Storage [...]

Solar Power International (SPI) Workshop

September 10th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Achieving High Penetrations of PV: Streamlining Interconnection and Managing Variability in a Utility Distribution System Friday, Sept 14, 2012, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse ‐ Room 306A This week at the Solar Power International Conference, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Instisute (EPRI), Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have joined forces in a workshop that will focus on PV systems operating [...]