Lucid - Click Here.

Energy R&D

NREL Enzyme Could Offset Fossil Fuel Dependence

Karen Henry

Lignocellulosic biomass is the most plentiful and sustainable resource on Earth, largely made up of plant residuals that would otherwise go unused and left to decay. Using this biomass as a source of alternative fuels can help offset the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have   …Continue Reading


DOE Champions Lighter Manufacturing Materials to Save Energy

Linda Hardesty

The University of Tennessee will lead the US Department of Energy’s new Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites. Advanced composites are three times as strong and twice as light as the lightest commonly used metals, having the potential to transform clean energy products from wind turbines to next-generation passenger vehicles such as the 3-D printed   …Continue Reading


ARPA-E Issues $125M OPEN Funding Opportunity

Linda Hardesty

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) is issuing its third open funding opportunity announcement, OPEN 2015, for up to $125 million. ARPA-E issued previous OPEN solicitations in 2009 and 2012. Open solicitations ensure that ARPA-E can support transformational projects outside the scope of existing ARPA-E focused programs. The projects selected   …Continue Reading


DOE Funds 11 Local Thermal Management Projects

Linda Hardesty

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced 11 awards worth $30 million for new projects aimed at developing localized thermal management systems that can regulate temperatures, focused on a building’s occupants and not the overall building. The projects are funded through ARPA-E’s program Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities (DELTA), which was announced in   …Continue Reading


Solar Patents Reach a Record High

Karen Henry

The number of solar patents recorded a new high of 335, up 29 over the previous record set in the second quarter of 2013, and 110 over the third quarter of 2013, according to the Q3 2014 Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI). This is the sixth straight quarter that solar patents have topped the patent   …Continue Reading


BMW Taps Old Batteries for Demand Response Trial

Linda Hardesty

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and automaker BMW are teaming up to test the ability of electric vehicle batteries to provide services to the electric grid. PG&E selected BMW after a competitive solicitation to manage a minimum of 100 kilowatts of electric demand on PG&E’s system, much as other large industrial and commercial customers do   …Continue Reading


New Materials Could Boost Solar Efficiency

Karen Henry

New materials and designs are being developed to push solar PV cells to new levels of efficiency. An article in Yale Environment 360 provides an overview of some of the more recent material advances, the impact they are having on solar PV development and the challenges that exist for their further development and widespread adoption. Current   …Continue Reading


Geothermal Heat Pumps Outperform VRF Heating and Cooling

Karen Henry

Research conducted by the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has shown that a geothermal heat pump (GHP) system offers more efficiency in a large commercial building than a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. For the study, researchers collected data at the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration   …Continue Reading


Researchers to Develop ‘Intelligent’ Windows and Façades

Karen Henry

An international research effort coordinated by scientists from the University of Jena in Germany has set its sights on developing a new breed of energy-efficient windows and facades. The goal of the project, Large-Area Fluidic Windows (LaWin), is to improve the materials and production processes that enable building facades and windows to adapt to their environment.   …Continue Reading


Champagne Bubbles May Help to Build More Efficient Power Plants

Karen Henry

Uncork a bottle of champagne, and as the pressure of the liquid is abruptly removed, bubbles immediately form and then rapidly begin the process of “coarsening,” in which larger bubbles grow at the expense of smaller ones. This phenomenon is known as “Ostwald ripening,” and though it is most familiar for its role in bubbly   …Continue Reading