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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Renewable energy

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Scientist in protective gear looks at a cyan and red couston-built wind turbine emulator

New tool at Sandia brings some West Texas wind to the Duke City — virtually

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have a new tool that allows them to study wind power and see whether it can be efficiently used to provide power to people living in remote and rural places or even off the grid, through distributed energy. A new, custom-built wind turbine emulator has been installed […]

Carbon fiber optimized for wind turbine blades could bring cost, performance benefits

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new carbon fiber material could bring cost and performance benefits to the wind industry if developed commercially, according to a study led by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories. Wind blades containing carbon fiber weigh 25% less than ones made from traditional fiberglass materials. That means carbon fiber blades could be longer […]

Armijo at Molten Salt Test Loop

Turning up the heat on molten salt valves

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is partnering with Flowserve Corp. and Kairos Power LLC on a $2.5 million, three-year Department of Energy Advanced Valve Project grant to lower the cost and boost the efficiency of concentrating solar power in the U.S. Control valves are a critical link in managing the solar energy captured by […]

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Materials’ increased capacity, efficiency could lower the bar for hydrogen technology

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Hydrogen as a carbon-free energy source could expand into a variety of sectors, including industrial processes, building heat and transportation. Currently, it powers a growing fleet of zero-emission vehicles, including trains in Germany, buses in South Korea, cars in California and forklifts worldwide. These vehicles use a fuel cell to combine hydrogen […]

Wind blade robotic crawler

Don’t set it and forget it — scan it and fix it with tech that detects wind blade damage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Drones and crawling robots outfitted with special scanning technology could help wind blades stay in service longer, which may help lower the cost of wind energy at a time when blades are getting bigger, pricier and harder to transport, Sandia National Laboratories researchers say. As part of the Department of Energy’s Blade […]

Matthew Reno, Sandia National Laboratories

Rooftop solar panels get boost from Sandia tool that previews a year on grid in minutes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Homeowners and businesses may now have an easier time getting solar panels on rooftops thanks to software developed at Sandia. The new software can run a detailed, second-by-second simulation, known as quasi-static time series analysis, that shows utility companies how rooftop solar panels at a specific house or business would interact with […]

Hear ye, hear ye: open call for algae

LIVERMORE, Calif. — To make algae biofuels more competitive with petroleum, growers must increase productivity and keep their ponds from crashing. That’s why Sandia National Laboratories and partners are inviting participants to help in the search for the toughest algae strains and most innovative farming techniques. Though algae sometimes bloom uncontrollably in the wild, it […]

CRADA enables resilient microgrid research between Sandia, Emera Technologies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Imagine a hurricane similar in magnitude to 2017’s Maria that pummels through islands and small communities, stripping out power lines and wreaking havoc on residents’ lives. Only imagine this time around there is a local power system that is more resilient and can withstand the storm, having the potential to always have […]

Some like it cryogenic

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories helped design the first generation of fueling stations for hydrogen-powered cars so that they’re as safe as conventional gas stations. Now, Sandia is working to do the same for the next generation of hydrogen stations. To keep up with growing demand for hydrogen fuel, retailers need to build many […]

Tucumcari Bio-Energy

Small business recycling ventures propelled by Sandia engineering

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Along Route 66 in rural, eastern New Mexico is a defunct ethanol plant in Tucumcari. Still hanging inside the building, calendars from 2010 mark the year it closed, and six massive fermentation tanks — each one 35 feet tall and 55,000 gallons — sit empty. Drought has depleted local corn harvests that […]

Solar Tower

From concept to commercialization: 40 years of concentrating solar power research

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From testing space shuttle tiles to making electricity from sunlight, the world’s first multimegawatt solar tower has contributed to energy research, space exploration, defense testing and solar energy commercialization since it was commissioned at Sandia National Laboratories in July 1978. The solar tower is a key component of a specific type of […]

Diesel doesn’t float this boat

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Marine research could soon be possible without the risk of polluting either the air or the ocean. It’s thanks to a new ship design and feasibility study led by Sandia National Laboratories. Hydrogen fuel cells have existed for decades, and there are multiple advantages to using them instead of diesel engines to […]

Falling particle receiver video

Raising the heat to lower the cost of solar energy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories will receive $10.5 million from the Department of Energy to research and design a cheaper and more efficient solar energy system. The work focuses on refining a specific type of utility-scale solar energy technology that uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on a tower. The […]

Riding bacterium to the bank

LIVERMORE, Calif. — What does jet fuel have in common with pantyhose and plastic soda bottles? They’re all products currently derived from petroleum. Sandia National Laboratories scientists have demonstrated a new technology based on bioengineered bacteria that could make it economically feasible to produce all three from renewable plant sources. Economically and efficiently converting tough […]

3D-printed wind turbine blade

First 3-D printed wind-blade mold, energy-saving nanoparticles earn Sandia national awards

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has won the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer’s national 2018 Technology Focus Award for designing the first wind turbine blades fabricated from a 3-D printed mold, which could dramatically shorten the time and expense of developing new wind energy technology. The labs also won FLC’s Excellence in Technology […]

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