Science and Technology Highlights
NREL researchers' accomplishments in fundamental energy science contribute to a clean energy future for the nation. Take a look at recent technical highlights and learn about the key results and impacts in NREL's energy science research involving:
- Simple Method Quantifies Recombination Pathways in Solar Cells
NREL's analytic equation uses open-circuit voltage data to determine how much recombination occurs via different channels in a solar cell.
- New Pathway Developed to Silicon Quantum Dot Devices
Researchers create a way to prepare doped nanocrystal solutions for solar thin films that are nontoxic and less expensive than heavy metal-based thin films.
- Better Internal Optics Can Improve III-V Solar Cell Performance
NREL model that calculates external luminescent efficiency has potential to enhance performance of solar cells dominated by radiative recombination.
- Thermal Scout Pinpoints Hard-to-Find Problems in CSP Fields
Updated receiver survey system uses an infrared camera, GPS technology, and computer software to rapidly analyze concentrating solar power (CSP) fields and locate defective receivers.
- Distant Observer Tool Quickly Identifies Costly Flaws in CSP Fields
Remote control digital photography and metrology are combined to accurately define optical efficiency problems in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants.
- NREL Identifies Investments for Wind Turbine Drivetrain
NREL examines current U.S. manufacturing and supply chain capabilities for advanced wind turbine drivetrain technologies.
- National Wind Technology Center to Debut New Dynamometer
New test facility will be used to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation offshore and land-based wind energy technologies.
- New Facility to Shed Light on Offshore Wind Resource
Chesapeake Light Tower facility will gather key data for unlocking the nation's vast offshore wind resource.
- NREL Collaborates with SWAY on Offshore Wind Demonstration
NWTC researchers gain valuable data from one of the first floating offshore wind prototypes.
- NREL Demonstrates Photocatalytic Conversion With Mutant Microbe
Breakthrough will facilitate future research on photosynthetic production of biofuels.
- NREL Shows How Cyanobacteria Build Hydrogen-Producing Enzyme
Results will help researchers improve microbial hydrogen production.
- NREL Produces Ethylene via Photosynthesis
Environmentally friendly process offers intriguing alternative to fossil-fuel-based ethylene for chemicals and transportation fuels.
- Novel Combination of Enzyme Systems Could Lower Biofuel Costs
Two biomass-degrading enzyme systems that work in very different ways are shown to be more effective at releasing plant sugars when used together.
- New Cellulase Identification Method Holds Promise for Lower-Cost Biofuels
A new computational approach to genomic data effectively distinguishes cellulases and non-cellulases within the protein family GH48, a key component for degrading lignocellulose for biofuels.
- NREL Breaks New Ground in Plant Pretreatment for Biofuels
NREL researchers use imaging technologies to broaden knowledge of plant cell wall structures and identify ideal pretreatment of plant material.
- Lab Tests Demonstrate Effectiveness of Advanced Power Strips
NREL engineers evaluate the functionalities of advanced power strips and help consumers choose the right one for their plug loads.
- NREL Launches Collaborative Resource for Field Test Best
Dynamic portal documents and shares state-of-the-art residential field test tools and techniques.
- NREL Develops Method to Evaluate Accuracy of Home Energy Scoring Tool
Using data from existing homes, NREL researchers boost the accuracy of the new software tool.
- NREL Solves Residential Window Air Conditioner Performance Limitations
Comprehensive performance tests lead to enhanced modeling capability and affordable methods to increase energy efficiency.
- NREL Demonstrates Game-Changing Air Conditioner Technology
Testing of DEVAP prototype validates modeled predictions of 40% to 85% energy savings.
- AHEM Lab Opens Doors to New Technology Test Bed at NREL
NREL studies smart sensors and dynamic control systems to help homeowners conserve energy, save money, and live comfortably.
- Fuel Cell Vehicles Enhance NREL Hydrogen Research Capabilities
Expanded research, development, and testing activities will help advance fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
- Demo Projects Introduce New Class of Natural Gas Vehicles
NREL teams with industry and government stakeholders to identify and address technical and marketplace barriers.
- Study Reveals Fuel Injection Timing Impact on Particle Number Emissions
Start of injection can improve environmental performance of fuel-efficient gasoline direct injection engines.