Energy and Climate
Energy and ClimateEnergy Research

Energy Research

Energy Research

The DOE Office of Science (SC) is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the U.S., providing more than 40 percent of total funding in this area. Sandia has active research programs funded by the SC Offices of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Biological & Environmental Research (BER), and Fusion Energy Sciences (FES). This work is foundational to many mission areas at Sandia, from energy, to nuclear weapons, to national security generally. The Office of Science is renowned for its ability to build and operate user facilities to enable fundamental research that are open to researchers from around the world on the basis of peer reviewed proposals.

Basic Energy Sciences

The Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program supports fundamental research focused in the natural sciences—in areas of direct relevance to DOE missions within chemical, condensed matter, materials, and geological sciences. The BES program plans, constructs, and operates major scientific user facilities to serve researchers worldwide. Sandia has significant BES activities in materials sciences, chemical sciences, and geosciences, hosting the Solid State Lighting Science (SSLS) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) as well as two BES user facilities—the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT, joint with Los Alamos National Laboratory) and the Combustion Research Facility (CRF).

Biological and Environmental Research

The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program advances environmental and biomedical knowledge that promotes national security through improved energy production, development, and use; international scientific leadership that underpins the nation’s technological advances; and research that improves the quality of life for all Americans. In addition, BER develops and delivers the knowledge needed to support the President’s National Energy Plan.

Fusion Energy Sciences

The Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program is the national basic research effort in advanced plasma science, fusion science, and fusion technology—the knowledge base needed for an economically and environmentally attractive fusion energy source. As a major contributor to this effort, Sandia’s Fusion Technology Program studies the interactions of plasmas and materials, the behavior of materials exposed to high-heat fluxes, and the interfaces of plasmas and fusion reactor walls.

Advanced Scientific Computing Research

The Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program supports world-class, high-performance computing and networking infrastructures as well as supporting fundamental research in mathematical and computational sciences to enable researchers in DOE scientific disciplines to analyze and predict complex phenomena for scientific discovery. ASCR’s programs have helped establish computation as a third pillar of science (along with theory and physical experiments). Sandia has extensive ASCR programs in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and in SciDAC (Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing) partnerships that link ASCR programs to activities throughout the Office of Science including BES, BER, and FES.

Energy Research News

Diamond Plates Create Nanostructures through Pressure, Not ChemistryIn a recent Nature Com­munications paper, Sandia researcher Hongyou Fan (at Sandia’s Advanced Materials Laboratory) and colleagues have achieved a start toward using mechanical force to process nanoparticles more subtly than the most advanced chemistry. Their newly patented method uses simple pressure—a kind of high-tech embossing—to produce finer and cleaner results in forming silver nanostructures […]
More Efficient Fuel Cells under Development by EngineersSolar power and other sources of renewable energy can help combat global warming but they have a draw­back: they don’t produce energy as predictably as generating plants powered by oil, coal, or natural gas. Solar panels only produce electricity when the sun is shining, and wind turbines are only productive when the wind is brisk. […]
High-Efficiency Solar Thermochemical Reactor for Hydrogen ProductionOn June 16th, the Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technology Office (FCTO) announced $20 million for 10 R&D projects to advance technologies that can economically produce and deliver hydrogen to power fuel cells from diverse, domestic, and renewable resources thereby enabling substantial reductions in energy use and carbon emissions. Advancing these technologies is critical to […]

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