Sandia Physicist Receives IEEE Award

William Stygar (in Sandia’s Advanced Accelerator Physics Dept.) received the Erwin Marx Award from the Pulsed Power Science and Technology Committee of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society. William was praised by the selection committee as contributing “more than any single individual to the successful operation of facilities at peak electrical powers and peak reliability over the period of 1996–2014.” The award included an invitation for Stygar to give a plenary presentation […]

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Government-Industry Radar/Airspace Listening Session at WindPower2015

Representatives from the federal agencies participating in the Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation (WTRIM) Working Group held a special Government-Industry Radar/Airspace Listening Session at the American Wind Energy Association AWEA WindPower 2015 event in Orlando, Florida. The event was well attended by more than 50 persons (other than the panel members). The panel consisted of

Mr. Jose Zayas (DOE),
Mr. Bill Van Houten (Office of the Secretary of Defense Siting Clearinghouse),
Mr. Dennis Roberts (Federal Aviation Administration […]

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Sandia to Discuss Energy-Storage Test Protocols at the European PV Solar Energy Conference

Researchers from Sandia will give a plenary talk on energy storage test protocols at the European PV Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC), to be held in September in Hamburg, Germany. Plenary presentations are given to the entire conference and reserved for outstanding papers which are seen as visionary in the field. In 2014, the conference hosted an audience of approximately 3,000 professionals from 76 countries.

In the plenary, researchers will discuss efforts to standardize interoperability certification […]

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Two Sandians Honored in 2015 Hispanic Engineer of the Year Awards

On Friday, August 7th, Great Minds in STEM™ announced the 2015 class of Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) award winners. These phenomenal role models in science, technology, engineering and math will be honored at the 27th HENAAC science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career conference, “Ignite, Inspire” in Pasadena, California, October 14–18, 2015.

Two Sandia engineers were honored by this organization this year. Abraham Ellis (manager of Sandia’s Photovoltaic and Distributed Systems Dept.) was […]

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Arctic Airspace Warning Area Established to Aid Research & Exploration

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have placed a 700-mile-long, 40-mile wide stretch of airspace, north from Oliktok Point (the northernmost point of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay) to about 400 miles short of the North Pole under Sandia’s stewardship. Oliktok Point is a base of operations for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, a multi-platform scientific user facility with instruments at fixed and varying locations around the globe […]

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Sandian Contributes to Western Electricity Coordinating Council Photovoltaic Power Plant Model Validation Guideline

As part of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC’s) Modeling and Validation Work Group, Sandia researcher Ryan Elliott (in Sandia’s Electric Power Systems Research Dept.) recently contributed to an update to WECC’s Central Station Photovoltaic Power Plant Model Validation Guide­line.

The document provides photovoltaic (PV) plant owners and transmission planners with best prac­tices for model validation of utility-scale PV sys­tems connected to the transmission network. The procedures outlined in the document are designed to assist stakeholders […]

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Upcoming Release of the University of Minnesota’s Virtual Wind Simulator

Large-eddy simulation (LES) of wind farms with wind-turbine parameterization is emerging as a powerful tool for improving existing wind farm performance and lowering maintenance costs—and assessing the potential sites for installing wind farms.

Sandia is working with the University of Minnesota (UMN) St. Anthony Falls Laboratory to document and prepare UMN’s offshore version of the Virtual Wind Simulator (VWiS) code for release. VWiS is a state-of-the-art LES code that is capable of simulating atmospheric turbulence interacting […]

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Sandia Wind-Turbine Blade Flaw Detection Experiments in Denmark

Wind-turbine blades pose a unique set of inspection challenges: from very thick and attentive spar-cap structures to porous bond lines, varying core material, and a multitude of manufacturing defects of interest. The need for viable, accurate, nondestructive inspection (NDI) technology becomes more important as the cost per blade—and lost revenue from downtime—grows. Under its Blade Reliability Collaborative program, Sandia is quantitatively assessing the performance of a wide range of NDI methods that are currently deployed, […]

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Structural Health Monitoring and Prognostics Management for Offshore Wind Plants

Offshore wind energy could potentially play a significant role in helping the nation establish a diversified energy-generation portfolio composed of clean, renewable resources. A current obstacle to offshore wind energy is that most projections put offshore wind farm operations and maintenance (O&M) costs between 2 to 5 times the current average O&M costs for onshore wind farms. One way in which those costs may be reduced is through a simple, yet effective structural health monitoring […]

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Workshop “Shales at All Scales: Exploring Coupled Processes” Is a Success

This workshop, held June 9–11 in Santa Fe, explored physical and geochemical processes in shale controlled by diagenesis; nano-confinement and pore-scale coupled processes in shale; fracture and coupled processes of shale; and multi-scale, multi-physics behavior of shale. Please see the workshop website for the list of speakers, presentations, and the meeting agenda.

Shales at All Scales gathered 47 participants from many institutions.

Academia (University of Texas; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ohio State, Purdue, Stanford, and Texas A&M […]

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Sandia Modifies Delft3D Turbine Model

Delft3D is a state-of-the-art, open-source hydrodynamics software suite capable of modeling hydrodynam­ics, sediment transport, and water quality in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and coastal environments. Delft3D was developed by the Dutch company, Deltares.

Because it is actively developed and maintained and because it is held in high regard by researchers and practitioners alike, Sandia is developing Delft3D as a complementary replacement for the aging open-source-version of the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC), which was modified to include […]

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Sandia Research on Rooftop Structural Strength Gains Attention

Two Sandia research reports, “Structural Code Considerations of Solar Rooftop Installations” and “Empirically Derived Strength of Residential Roof Structure for Solar Installations,” have been featured recently in a number of solar trade outlets.

The reports detail rooftop structural analy­sis conducted by Sandia and funded by the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initia­tive. Test results indicate that the actual load-bearing capacity for residential rooftop structural systems is several times higher than published values. These outcomes provide a […]

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Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Funding Awarded for Feasibility Study

The San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric vessel with Zero Emissions (SF-BREEZE) project intends to revolutionize ferry performance on the bay and beyond.

The project is a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and the Red & White Fleet to develop a 2 MW hydrogen-powered high-speed passenger ferry to

displace diesel-powered vessels with a zero emission alternative and
greatly reduce the noise pollution those vessels subject Bay-area residents to.

This fuel-cell ferry will be the first commuter-scale, hydrogen-powered ferry and require […]

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Sandia Pilot Program to Assist Small Clean-Energy Companies

The DOE chose Sandia as one of five leads in a pilot that will give small, clean-energy companies access to national laboratory expertise and resources. Sandia will receive $2.75M of DOE’s $20M investment to launch the voucher pilot for small business assistance and collaborative research. “Our pilot, which we’ve named Tech Assist Green (TAG), unites the three NNSA labs—Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore—to provide a broad array of unique assets from the national lab […]

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Navy/Marine Engineering Command Visits Sandia

Steven Chung, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest (NAVFAC SW),1 Dwight Deakin, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR),2 Melanie Anderson (NAVAIR PAX River), and David Weir, Marine Corps Installations–West (MCIWEST-MCB Camp Pendleton)3 visited Sandia June 24–25 to discuss several renewable energy/related topics:

wind-turbine/radar interaction,
photovoltaics (PV), and
cybersecurity as it relates to renewable energy.

They also discussed potential collaboration with Sandia on DOE/DOD Energy Big Ideas.

After presenting on their areas of interest, the Engineering Officer visitors toured the National Solar Thermal […]

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Australian Renewable-Energy Official Visits Sandia

At the end of June, Louise Vickery, General Manager, Renewable Futures at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) visited Sandia.

ARENA manages the Australian government’s commitment to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and to increase Australia’s renewable energy supply.* ARENA supports all renewable energy technologies and projects across the innovation chain—from laboratory research to large-scale technology demos. The agency hosts a blend of commercial and public sector skills that can be brought to bear […]

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Sandia Researcher Recognized at SunSpec Alliance Annual Meeting

Sandia solar researcher Jay Johnson (in Sandia’s Photovoltaics and Distributed Systems Dept.) attended the SunSpec Alliance Annual Member’s Meeting in San Francisco last Spring and received the 2015 SunSpec McCulloch-Pitts Award in recognition of “innovation, collaboration, and general technical excellence in the area of distributed energy resource control automation.”

The award acknowledged Johnson’s collaborative research as part of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the SunSpec Alliance. Under the CRADA, Sandia and the SunSpec […]

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Sandia Research Featured on Journal of Physical Chemistry A Cover

As part of Sandia’s core geochemistry program funded by DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Sandia’s Randall Cygan (in Sandia’s Geoscience Research and Applications Dept.) and his collaborators, W. Crawford Elliott and his PhD student Laura Zaunbrecher from Georgia State University, have been examining the adsorption mechanisms of metal cations onto soils and sediments. This effort is especially important for the environmental treatment of chemical and radioactive contaminants, including the fission product cesium-137—which is […]

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Sandian Wins Award in 2015 OMAE Hydraulic Modeling Competition

Carlos Michelen (in Sandia’s Water Power Technologies Dept.) and a team of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers (Michael Lawson, Braulio Garzon, Fabian Wendt, and Yi-Hsiang Yu) won the Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (OMAE) 2015 Hydraulic Modeling Competition during the 34th ASME International Conference on Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, in June. The NREL and Sandia team entered the competition and modeled the experimental device (described below) using both

WEC-Sim, […]

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Sandia’s Continuously Recirculating Falling-Particle Receiver Emplaced at Top of Solar Tower

Sandia researchers are working to lower the cost of solar energy systems and improve efficiencies in a big way, thanks to a system of small particles.

This month, engineers lifted Sandia’s continuously recirculating falling-particle receiver to the top of the tower at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF), marking the start of first-of-its-kind testing that will continue through 2015. The Sandia-developed falling-particle receiver drops sand-like ceramic particles through the NSTTF’s concentrated sunlight beam, capturing and […]

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