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Sandia Labs releases wavelet variability model (WVM)

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Modeling, News, Photovoltaic, Solar|

When a single solar photovoltaic (PV) module is in full sunlight, then is shaded by a cloud, and is back in full sunlight in a matter of seconds, a sharp dip then increase in power output will result. However, over an entire PV plant, clouds will often uncover some modules even as they cover others, resulting in only small changes in plant power output. Thus, the power output of a PV plant is smoother than [...]

Sandia Labs Releases New Version of PVLib Toolbox

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Modeling, News, Photovoltaic, Solar|

Sandia has released version 1.3 of PVLib, its widely used Matlab toolbox for modeling photovoltaic (PV) power systems.  The version 1.3 release includes the following added functions: functions to estimate parameters for popular PV module models, including PVsyst and the CEC ‘5 parameter’ model a new model of the effects of solar spectrum on PV module current code to access weather data from NOAA’s Integrated Surface Data network PVLib version 1.3 can be downloaded for [...]

Largest Reduction of Solar Energy in 24 Years Recorded at PSEL Linked to El Niño

February 6th, 2016|Categories: News, Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory (PSEL), Solar|

Since before 1990, Sandia’s Photovoltaic (PV) System Evaluation Lab (PSEL) has been comprehensively recording solar irradiance data to accompany its outdoor PV testing. The unusual dip in 2015 solar energy at the facility prompted us to notice that other historic dips in the sun’s insolation, or the amount of sunlight shining on the earth, have coincided with the larger El Niño years. Prior to 2015-16, intense El  Niño  conditions occurred in 1991-92, 1997-98, 2004-05, 2009-10. [...]

GridPV Toolbox Version 2 Now Available

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Distribution Grid Integration, News, Photovoltaic|

The GridPV toolbox, co-developed by Georgia Institute of Technology and Sandia National Laboratories, models and simulates the integration of the distributed, or local, power generation into the electric power system. Simulations with this tool can be used to evaluate the impact of solar energy on the distribution system. GridPV Toolbox is a fully-documented set of Matlab functions that can be used to build distribution grid performance models using the open source distribution modeling tool OpenDSS. [...]

Sandia’s Continuously Recirculating Falling-Particle Receiver Placed Atop the Solar Tower

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, National Solar Thermal Test Facility, News, Solar|

Sandia began first-of-its-kind testing using its continuously recirculating falling-particle receiver atop the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). The falling-particle receiver drops sand-like ceramic particles through NSTTF’s concentrated sunlight beam, capturing and storing the heated particles in an insulated tank. Compared to conventional molten-salt systems, the falling particle receiver creates more available energy and cheaper storage costs with less material needed for heat transfer.  Sandia’s goal is to develop a prototype, cost-competitive falling-particle receiver with [...]

Sandia Labs conducts PV research as part of ARPA-e MOSAIC program

February 5th, 2016|Categories: News, Photovoltaic, Solar|

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sandia National Laboratories have initiated a collaboration on Wafer-Level Integrated Concentrating Photovoltaics that reduces the complexity of tracking needs. The team’s innovative approach uses wafer-level micro-concentrators to significantly enhance sunlight concentration onto high-performance III-V micro-PV cells. The concentrator is also a diffuse solar radiation collector, allowing the technology to operate in regions with high levels of diffuse sunlight. The team will use standard semiconductor processes to fabricate the system, ensuring [...]

Sandia’s Distributed Energy Lab Marks FY15 Accomplishments, Adds New Capabilities

February 5th, 2016|Categories: DETL, News, Solar|

Sandia Labs completed a number of enhancements to its Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL) facility in 2015. Many of the updates extend cyber-security capabilities at DETL, such as Sandia’s ability to configure isolated networks for intrusion detection experiments. The communications-enabled control overlay allows for comprehensive evaluation of cyber vulnerabilities of distributed energy devices (DER) and controllers connected to the internet, fully leveraging Sandia's cybersecurity, controls, and high performance computing expertise. One application of this infrastructure [...]

Sandia researcher David Osborn elected physics fellow

January 21st, 2016|Categories: News|

By Michael Padilla Sandia National Laboratories researcher David Osborn has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Chemical Physics. Election to fellowship in the APS is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership and is recognition by Osborn’s peers of his outstanding contributions to physics. Osborn was honored “for innovative research in multiplexed methods for interrogating chemical kinetics and measurements of the physical chemistry [...]

Subsurface Technology & Engineering Research (SubTER) Internship Opportunities

January 11th, 2016|Categories: Climate, News|Tags: |

Sandia National Laboratories will offer a Subsurface Technology & Engineering Research (SubTER) oriented summer internship mid-May through early August 2016 and focus on subjects including geophysical data processing, tomographic imaging, automatic picking, and ambient seismic interferometry for the purpose of fracture imaging. Intern will process and analyze high frequency active source cross-well seismic data and downhole Digital Acoustic Sensing (DAS) data. Analysis will be targeted toward developing results for publications and/or conference presentations. Internship will [...]

Sandia Publishes New Guide to Assist Homebuilders

January 6th, 2016|Categories: News, News & Events, Solar|

Sandia National Laboratories led a working group on behalf of the DOE SunShot Initiative to develop a guide for communicating the financial benefits of including PV on new homes. The “Solar Basics for Homebuilders: Reducing the Total Cost of Ownership” guide shows new homebuilders how to recover the cost of PV installation upon sale of the home by highlighting the role that appraisers and financiers play in the valuation process. The guide also showcases new [...]

Paper and Presentation at OCEANS2015

December 22nd, 2015|Categories: Conferences, News, Water Power|Tags: |

Carlos Michelen and Ryan Coe recently published results from research comparing various methods for producing short-term (i.e. sea-state specific) extreme response distributions. These methods are needed to statistically quantify the extreme response (e.g., tension in the mooring line of a wave energy converter) based on modeling results. (Note that these results might be obtained using either a physical or numerical model.) The range of methods available to perform this task balance the amount of data [...]

Publication in Ocean Engineering

December 22nd, 2015|Categories: News, Publications, Water Power|Tags: |

The Reference Model Project, supported by the US Department of Energy, provides publically available technical and economic benchmarks for a variety of marine energy converters. This program supported the following publication: D. Bull, “An improved understanding of the natural resonances of moonpools contained within floating rigid-bodies: Theory and application to oscillating water column devices,” Ocean Engineering, vol. 108, pp. 799–812, Nov. 2015. SAND2015-8229 J Abstract: The fundamental interactions between waves, a floating rigid-body, and a [...]

Phase 1 of WEC-Sim Experimental Testing Underway

December 22nd, 2015|Categories: News, Water Power|Tags: |

WEC-Sim Phase 1 testing at the Oregon State University Hinsdale Directional Wave Basin As part of the Wave Energy Converter SIMulator (WEC-Sim) project, Phase 1 of WEC-Sim experimental testing is underway at Oregon State University’s (OSU) Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory. WEC-Sim is an open source code for modeling the rigid-body dynamics and performance of wave energy converters in the time-domain code. For more information about the WEC-Sim code, refer to the WEC-Sim website. [...]

Visit us at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, Booth#1211 | Dec 14-18th

December 10th, 2015|Categories: Climate, Conferences, Events, News, News & Events|

The AGU Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world. Now in its 48th year, AGU Fall Meeting is the best place to present your research; hear about the latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the field; and network and make connections that can enhance your career. AGU Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. Sandia's Energy [...]

Sandia chemists discover new pathway in mechanism of soot formation

December 7th, 2015|Categories: CRF, News, News & Events|Tags: |

Written by Michael Padilla, Sandia National Laboratories Chemists at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility have discovered a new mechanism leading to soot formation, providing new facts to make models of soot formation more predictive, furthering DOE’s goal of reducing soot formation in practical combustion devices. “This work is important because it shows how the process of molecular weight growth that eventually leads to large carbon-rich soot precursors is not simply a path through the lowest-energy structures,” [...]

New report offers best practice for transparent contract language of PV O&M agreements

December 7th, 2015|Categories: News, News & Events, Solar|

With technical assistance from the PV industry, Sandia National Laboratories has identified both best-practice elements and gaps that must be addressed to improve communication of equipment operational states and failure modes for the benefit of all parties to a PV operations and maintenance services contract. Sandia’s new report, “A Best Practice for Developing Availability Guarantee Language in (PV) O&M Agreements,” outlines an approach for developing new language for an equipment availability guarantee that is typically [...]

Energy Across America: A Policy Discussion on Microgrid Technology

November 24th, 2015|Categories: Microgrid, News, News & Events|

The Hill will host a discussion on the future of energy delivery on Thursday, December 3rd from 8-10am. Policymakers, researchers, and technology and energy industry experts will discuss the value of microgrids in the event of a natural disaster or homeland security threat, how microgrids allow for integration of alternative energy sources, and what policy and regulatory reforms are necessary to facilitate the integration of microgrids into the larger power supply system. Sandia's Charlie Hanley, Manager of Grid [...]

Sandia’s Katrina Groth and Ethan Hecht win inaugural Robert Schefer Best Paper award

November 20th, 2015|Categories: CRF, News, News & Events|Tags: , , , , |

Sandia’s Katrina Groth and Ethan Hecht win inaugural Robert Schefer Best Paper award In October, Sandia National Laboratories scientists Katrina Groth and Ethan Hecht were recognized at the IA-HySafe International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS) with the inaugural Robert Schefer Best Paper award. The award honors the late Robert Schefer, formerly a researcher at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, for his contributions to characterization and understanding of the hydrogen behavior when unintentionally released at conditions relevant [...]

Sandia’s Energy & Climate Program wins R&D 100 awards

November 19th, 2015|Categories: Energy, Highlights - Energy Research, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Partnership|Tags: |

The annual R&D 100 Awards, also dubbed the “Oscars of Invention,” celebrate the world’s best applied technology resulting from research and development by industry, academia, and government-sponsored entities. Once again, Sandia National Laboratories has earned its place on the list of winners, this year with 3 of its 5 awards (see below) related to Energy and Climate. R&D 100 Awards signify and support the value of our Energy and Climate mission by recognizing the applications of [...]

Investigations on Anti-biofouling Zwitterionic Coatings for MHK Is Now in Press

November 13th, 2015|Categories: Analysis, Capabilities, Energy, News, News & Events, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Water Power|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Sandia’s Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) Advanced Materials program has a new publication on the antifouling efficacy of zwiterionic coatings. These polymeric coatings contain no metal and have both positive and negative chemical charges as part of their molecular structure. The coating was investigated in response to finding environmentally friendly materials for MHK devices by the Sandia-UNM Advanced Materials Laboratory and North Dakota State University. The research was published in Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm [...]