The following feature stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
June 20, 2008
Gas prices aren't the only records being broken. Triple-digit fuel economy once was reserved for exotic vehicles. Now NREL engineers have modified a Toyota Prius hybrid that cracks the 100-mpg benchmark. Road warriors can't buy one of these vehicles yet, but automakers say they are interested in the technology.
June 13, 2008
The energy it takes to power and cool growing data centers now adds up to more that it costs to buy the information technology (IT) equipment. And that does not compute. NREL plans to help lead by example with green IT practices and innovations in its new buildings.
June 8, 2008
NREL will push wind energy technology forward with new large projects at its National Wind Technology Center in Colorado and on the coasts of Texas and Massachusetts in a bid to help the U.S. realize the full potential of this rapidly growing source of renewable energy.
May 30, 2008
Identifying and manipulating semiconductor "quantum dots" a billionth of a meter in diameter to boost solar cell efficiency has brought international recognition to Dr. Arthur Nozik and his NREL team. The Eni Award has been a top energy prize for 20 years. Now the Italian energy giant Eni has repurposed its award to provide incentives for technological achievement with a special emphasis on renewable sources.
May 23, 2008
Solar research is leading to exciting new developments that could mean powering more with less. NREL's Dr. Mark Wanlass has come up with an upside down way to build tiny solar cells with a big kick. For the soldier in the field, it means carrying less weight and a reliable energy pack for key gear.
May 16, 2008
Harnessing the wind that comes sweepin' down the plain could provide 20 percent of America's electricity by 2030, according to a first-of-its-kind report from the U.S. Department of Energy, spearheaded by NREL. The environmental and economic benefits of boosting wind energy's contribution would be enormous and the costs are modest, the report says. "First of all it is doable, second of all it's desirable," NREL Director Dan Arvizu said.
May 12, 2008
A "lunchbox" that turns high school students loose on algae may help solve the nation's energy challenges. At least that's the intent of an amazing learning tool called the Lunchbox Lab that gives students the power to examine strains of algae to see if they can produce hydrogen. Researchers at NREL and Futurefarmers designed and built the first Lunchbox Lab, which is now on display at New York City's Museum of Modern Art.
May 2, 2008
Only a few people were able to see the spark of hope and opportunity after the devastation of a rural Kansas town a year ago. But that spark, with NREL's help, has grown to a bright future for Greensburg as it pursues its vision of rebuilding as one of the greenest communities in America. It's the one-year anniversary of the nearly complete destruction of the farming community by a 1.7-mile-wide tornado, and the story of Greensburg's path to recovery is a remarkable one.
April 1, 2008
NREL has five new Research Fellows, leaders in bioenergy, nanotechnology, photochemistry and photophysics, wind energy and hydrogen research. Helena Chum, David Ginley, Garry Rumbles, Bob Thresher and John Turner join the top rank of internationally recognized NREL scientists and engineers who help guide the Laboratory's research.
April 1, 2008
He's only one manikin, but he's a manikin with NREL's mission at heart. ADAM, as he is affectionately called, is an Advanced Automotive Manikin who daily helps researchers find new ways to make cars more comfortable, while saving significant amounts of fuel. He does it by sweating. Usually in a car.
April 1, 2008
R&D Magazine picked NREL's Science and Technology Facility as one of the best laboratories built in the U.S. in 2007. In the 42nd Laboratory of the Year competition, the NREL facility was one of only two labs recognized as design trendsetters.
March 1, 2008
NREL's significant profile at one of the leading world conferences on renewable energy included Director Dan Arvizu providing keynote remarks on March 4 at the business conference for the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008).
Jan. 1, 2008
NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis and Applications Center is leading efforts to design models that produce credible, reliable analyses that support NREL research. The Wind Deployment System, or WinDS, is one such model.