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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 [...]

Sandia Participates in the ARPA-E 2012 Energy Innovation Summit

February 29th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Assurance, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage Systems, Energy Surety, Global Climate & Energy, Infrastructure Security, News, News & Events, Nuclear Energy, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar, Transportation Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , , |

Sandia has more than a dozen scientists and managers attending and participating in the ARPA-E summit's sessions and events. A recent highlight was the on-stage discussion between Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Bill Gates, who is now involved in several energy innovation ventures, on how America can meet and prosper from 21st century global energy challenges. During their 45-minute conversation, they touched on many energy innovation topics (e.g., grid-scale energy storage, integrating renewable [...]

Assessment of deep level defects in m-plane GaN grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition

February 22nd, 2012|Categories: Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , |

Through the publication titled, “Assessment of deep level defects in m-plane GaN grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition”published in the Applied Physics Letters, EFRC scientists examine how spontaneous polarization and strain-induced piezoelectric polarization generate strong internal electric fields in gallium nitride (GaN). Abstract: We report on deep level defect incorporation in n-type m-plane (10 0) GaN grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on built m-plane GaN substrates. Deep levels were observed at 2.85 eV [...]

New Liquid Salt Electrolytes Could Lead to Cost-Effective Flow Batteries

February 22nd, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Storage Systems, Grid Integration, News, News & Events, Research & Capabilities|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sandia researchers have developed a new family of liquid salt electrolytes, known as metal-based ionic liquids (MetILs), that could lead to batteries able to cost-effectively store three times more energy than today’s batteries. The research, published in Dalton Transactions, might lead to devices that can help economically and reliably incorporate large-scale intermittent renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, into the nation’s electric grid. The grid was designed for steady power sources, making [...]

Sandia Tool Determines Value of Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems

February 6th, 2012|Categories: Energy, News, News & Events, Partnership, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Solar|Tags: , , , , , |

Consistent appraisals of homes and businesses outfitted with photovoltaic (PV) installations are a real challenge for the nation’s real estate industry, but a new tool developed by Sandia National Laboratories and Solar Power Electric™ and licensed by Sandia addresses that issue. Sandia scientists, in partnership with Jamie Johnson of Solar Power Electric™, have developed PV ValueTM, an electronic form to standardize appraisals. Funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and [...]

Voltage Increases Up to 25 Percent Observed in Closely Packed Nanowires

January 27th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events|Tags: , , |

Unexpected voltage increases of up to 25 percent in two barely separated nanowires have been observed at Sandia National Laboratories. Designers of next-generation devices using nanowires to deliver electric currents—including telephones, handheld computers, batteries and certain solar arrays—may need to make allowances for such surprise boosts. "People have been working on nanowires for 20 years," says Sandia lead researcher Mike Lilly. "At first, you study such wires individually or all together, but eventually [...]

New Material to Remove Radioactive Gas from Spent Nuclear Fuel

January 27th, 2012|Categories: News, News & Events|Tags: , , |

Research by a team of Sandia chemists could impact worldwide efforts to produce clean, safe nuclear energy and reduce radioactive waste. The Sandia researchers have used metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to capture and remove volatile radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel. "This is one of the first attempts to use a MOF for iodine capture," said chemist Tina Nenoff of Sandia's Surface and Interface Sciences Department. The discovery could be applied to nuclear fuel [...]

Sandia Researchers, UK Partners Publish Groundbreaking Work on Criegee Intermediates in Science Magazine

January 13th, 2012|Categories: CRF, Energy, News, News & Events, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , |

In a breakthrough paper published in the January 13, 2012, issue of Science magazine, researchers from Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, the University of Manchester, and Bristol University report direct measurements of reactions of a gas-phase Criegee intermediate using photoionization mass spectrometry. (Click here to see a short video of Sandia combustion chemists discussing the research.) Criegee intermediates—carbonyl oxides—are implicated in autoignition chemistry and are pivotal atmospheric reactants, but only indirect knowledge of their reaction [...]

Introduction of Prof. David Kelley and UC Merced to SSLS

January 11th, 2012|Categories: Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Partnership, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , , |

It is our pleasure to announce the addition of Professor David Kelley as a Senior Investigator in the Solid-State Lighting Science EFRC. He is a Professor and Founding Member of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at the University of California at Merced. Professor Kelley and his research group are world leaders in synthesis and properties II-VI quantum dots (QDs). He will be collaborating with Jim Martin and Lauren Rohwer in our Quantum Dots and [...]

Introduction of Prof. Jim Speck and UCSB to SSLS

January 11th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Partnership, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , |

We are pleased to announce the addition of Professor Jim Speck of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) as a member of the Solid-State Lighting Science EFRC. Jim has developed a collaboration with SSLS scientist Andy Armstrong using deep level optical spectroscopy to investigate defects in the m-plane GaN. Jim is a professor in the Materials Science department at UCSB, and serves as thrust leader in their Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM) [...]

Genetic Algorithm for Innovative Device Designs in High-Efficiency III-V Nitride Light-Emitting Diodes

January 5th, 2012|Categories: Energy, Energy Efficiency, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , |

EFRC scientists from Fred Schubert’s research group at RPI and at Sandia Labs have published a new paper titled “Genetic Algorithm for Innovative Device Designs in High-Efficiency III-V Nitride Light-Emitting Diodes” in the journal Applied Physics Express.  The work is a starting point of applying artificial evolution to practical semiconductor devices, open new perspectives for complex semiconductor device optimization, and enable breakthroughs in high-performance LED design. According to the Applied Physics Express website, this publication [...]

Vermont and Sandia National Laboratories Announce Energy Research Center

December 20th, 2011|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Grid Integration, Microgrid, Modeling & Analysis, News, Partnership, SMART Grid|Tags: , , , , |

Vermont—a leader in energy efficiency and deployment of so-called smart-grid technology—will become home to a $15 million national energy research project, officials announced Monday. The Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation will be housed at the University of Vermont. The three-year project is a partnership among the state of Vermont, Sandia National Laboratories of New Mexico, UVM and other academic institutions, Vermont utility companies, and Efficiency Vermont—a statewide energy efficiency utility program. Read [...]

JBEI Researchers Splice Corn Gene into Switchgrass, Increasing Plant Cell Wall Starch by 250%

December 7th, 2011|Categories: Energy, JBEI, News, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , , |

Many experts believe that advanced biofuels made from cellulosic biomass are the most promising alternative to petroleum-based liquid fuels for a renewable, clean, green, domestic source of transportation energy. Nature, however, does not make it easy. Unlike the starch sugars in grains, the complex polysaccharides in the cellulose of plant cell walls are locked within a tough woody material called lignin. For advanced biofuels to be economically competitive, scientists must find inexpensive ways to [...]

E. Coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels

December 7th, 2011|Categories: Energy, JBEI, News, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy|Tags: , , , , , |

A milestone has been reached on the road to developing advanced biofuels that can replace gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels with a domestically produced clean, green, renewable alternative. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into all three of those transportation fuels. What's more, the microbes are able to do this [...]

Sandia Study Shows Large LNG Fires Hotter but Smaller Than Expected

December 6th, 2011|Categories: Analysis, Energy Assurance, Infrastructure Security, Modeling, Modeling & Analysis, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , |

New research shows that large-scale liquefied natural gas fires are hotter but smaller than anticipated, which means regulators can assume that a slightly smaller area would be at risk in the case of an LNG incident, an official from Sandia National Laboratory said Sunday at a meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. However, the study showed that extreme cold from spilling LNG combined with extreme heat from an LNG fire [...]

Sandia Releases First Findings from Its Continuous Reliability Enhancement for Wind (CREW) Database

December 6th, 2011|Categories: Energy, Monitoring, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , |

More than 1,200 MW of wind power capacity was installed in the United States in the third quarter of 2011 alone, bringing new installations through the first three quarters of the year to 3,360 MW, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The U.S. wind industry now totals 43,461 MW of cumulative wind capacity through the end of September 2011. Of this total, more than 35 percent of all new generating capacity has been installed within the [...]

Announcing Dr. Michael E. Coltrin as New Director of the SSLS EFRC

December 1st, 2011|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Events, News, News & Events, Solid-State Lighting|Tags: , , , , , , |

We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael E. Coltrin as the new Director of Sandia's Solid-State Lighting Science (SSLS) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). Mike has had a long and distinguished career advancing the science underlaying chemically reacting fluid flow, and in applying that science to solve practical problems in the chemical vapor deposition of virtually all of the important semiconducting materials. These materials include Si, C, GaAs, and, most recently, [...]

Wind Energy Manufacturing Lab Helps Engineers Improve Wind Power

November 15th, 2011|Categories: Energy, News, Partnership, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy|Tags: , , , |

Researchers at the Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory—a joint effort of researchers from TPI Composites, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company that operates a turbine blade factory in Newton, and Sandia National Laboratories, and located at Iowa State University—used laser readings to calculate how dozens of the layers would fit and flow over the curves of a mold used to manufacture a blade. If there was a wrinkle or wave in the fabric, any defect at [...]