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Feature News

The following feature stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. You may subscribe to receive weekly news features by e-mail or via RSS feed. NREL Features RSS Feed (XML)

2012

December 2012

Award-Winning PV Cell Pushes Efficiency Higher

Award-Winning PV Cell Pushes Efficiency Higher

NREL and Solar Junction outsmart the solar spectrum and set a world record with a 44%-efficient solar cell.

Award-Winning A/C Uses Old Idea, New Materials

Award-Winning A/C Uses Old Idea, New Materials

NREL's DEVAP cooling system works in any climate while saving up to 80% on energy use.

November 2012

Growth Forum Offers Networking Nirvana

Growth Forum Offers Networking Nirvana

Annual gathering provides energy entrepreneurs opportunities to prepare, refine, and present their businesses to investors.

October 2012

Sun Shines on Old Idea to Make Hydrogen

Sun Shines on Old Idea to Make Hydrogen

NREL's breakthrough on using the sun to split water is sparking international interest.

Schools Raise the Roof on Solar Energy

Schools Raise the Roof on Solar Energy

Colorado's largest school district leads by combining solar panels with solar curriculum.

New Tool Makes Saving Electricity Easier

New Tool Makes Saving Electricity Easier

Green Button helps electricity customers securely download detailed household or building energy use information from their utility website.

September 2012

High-Tech Tools Tackle Wind Farm Performance

High-Tech Tools Tackle Wind Farm Performance

Wind plant underperformance is a significant concern in the wind energy industry. Simulation models developed at NREL are showing the way to solutions.

NREL Summer Interns Lap Up Lab Experience

NREL Summer Interns Lap Up Lab Experience

Fifty-nine students from all around the United States do real research in real laboratories that generates real results.

August 2012

Microgrids: So Much More than Backup Energy

Microgrids: So Much More than Backup Energy

NREL is working with industry to maintain a secure, reliable flow of energy in microgrids.

Embrace of Renewables in Heartland Wows Execs

Embrace of Renewables in Heartland Wows Execs

NREL's Executive Energy Leadership Academy takes decision-makers to witness clean energy and energy efficiency at work on the Great Plains.

NREL Parking Garage Leads in Efficiency

NREL Parking Garage Leads in Efficiency

Early attention to design makes employee parking structure a model of low energy use.

July 2012

Solar Cells Light Up Prison Cells on 'The Rock'

Solar Cells Light Up Prison Cells on 'The Rock'

1,300 solar panels turn sunlight into electricity on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

NREL Helps Cut Building Energy Use in Half

NREL Helps Cut Building Energy Use in Half

NREL is working with industry to find ways to reduce the energy intensity of large hospitals, schools, and retail buildings by 50%.

NREL: 35 Years of Clean Energy Leadership

NREL: 35 Years of Clean Energy Leadership

From humble beginnings, NREL's expanding campus is a model of research, deployment, and sustainability.

June 2012

Thermal Scout Finds Trouble at Solar Plants

Thermal Scout Finds Trouble at Solar Plants

Device combines infrared camera with GPS and software to identify failing receivers at concentrating solar power plants.

NREL Helps

NREL Helps "Supersize" Butanol Production

Growing renewable butanol refiner demonstrates its process for a future scale-up of the drop-in petroleum replacement.

NREL Helps PV Industry Make Panels Last

NREL Helps PV Industry Make Panels Last

Photovoltaic reliability focuses on tests, standards, seals, glues, failure modes … and mutual trust.

May 2012

Sci-Fi No Longer, NREL Engineers Smart Homes

Sci-Fi No Longer, NREL Engineers Smart Homes

Homes will soon communicate with the grid to conserve energy and save money.

Fast Cars and Science Thrill Colorado Students

Fast Cars and Science Thrill Colorado Students

Record number of entrants sparks the 2012 middle-school competitions for cars powered by solar cells, hydrogen, and lithium-ion batteries.

NREL Narrows Energy Tech Emissions Estimates

NREL Narrows Energy Tech Emissions Estimates

Narrowing ranges of lifetime emissions estimates helps to clarify the environmental impacts of different generation technologies.

April 2012

NREL Catalyst Brings Drop-In Fuels Closer

NREL Catalyst Brings Drop-In Fuels Closer

Lab's patented material cleans up biomass gas, making it ready to convert into fuels compatible with today's infrastructure.

Solar Leases Attracting New Demographic

Solar Leases Attracting New Demographic

NREL study finds the finances of solar leasing appeal to younger homeowners in less affluent neighborhoods.

March 2012

NREL Thinks Big at Wind Technology Center

Further technology improvements will be critical to the future of wind energy. Research at NREL is leading the way.

February 2012

Thermal Storage Gets More Solar on the Grid

Thermal Storage Gets More Solar on the Grid

NREL analysis says thermal energy storage can give photovoltaic power the grid flexibility it needs to meet demand at peak hours.

Success Comes in Twos at the 2012 Science Bowl

Success Comes in Twos at the 2012 Science Bowl

Cherry Creek High School scores two dramatic victories in final round at twin-abundant Colorado Science Bowl to secure trip to national competition.

January 2012

NREL's REDB Connects Smart Grid Research

NREL's REDB Connects Smart Grid Research

NREL is building interconnected laboratories where partners can "plug in" and test new energy technology before hooking it up to the grid.

Sustainability Efforts Earn Accolades for NREL

Sustainability Efforts Earn Accolades for NREL

NREL has been a quiet leader in sustainability efforts; recently, the lab won three national awards, including one from the White House.

NREL Helping Virgin Islands Cut Fuel Use

NREL Helping Virgin Islands Cut Fuel Use

Partnership could serve as a model for how to make renewable energy a large part of the electricity grid.

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