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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 [...]

Thermal Pulses for Boeing Test Article

September 6th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, EC, Energy, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

On June 26 and 27, a series of exposures were made to multiple Boeing test articles using the heliostat field and the high speed shutter located at the test bay 140 above ground in the solar tower at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility. The exposures were made at various flux levels and used between 30 and 114 heliostats. The testing was considered a resounding success by Boeing. The test series was completed under a [...]

Molten Salt Test Loop Pump Installed

August 30th, 2012|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, Energy, Energy Storage Systems, News, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , |

  The pump was delivered and installed in the Molten Salt Test Loop (MSTL) system at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). MSTL is designed to allow customers and internal researchers to test Concentrating Solar Power components and subsystems with nitrate salts flowing at realistic pressure, temperature, and flow rates. The pump, a 9-stage, stainless steel, vertical turbine pump manufactured by Flowserve, is driven by a variable frequency drive that will allow [...]

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 [...]