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Feature Stories

The following feature stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

December 2011

Retailers Checking 'Nice' on Energy Savings List

NREL is working with the nation's commercial building owners to discover new and innovative ways to reduce energy use.

Tiny Solar Cell Could Make a Big Difference

Semprius is building a factory in North Carolina to make solar power modules after a fruitful partnership with NREL.

New Lab to Help Utilities 'See' Grid of the Future

NREL tackles the challenge of keeping the decades old power grid running reliably while adding new clean technologies.

November 2011

Secretary Chu: We Can Win Clean Energy Battle

Secretary of Energy touts American innovation and invention in visit to NREL.

Growth Forum Boosts Cleantech Startups

Companies, venture capitalists, and NREL join forces to help market-ready innovations speed the adoption of clean technology.

Farm Fields Could Yield Jet Fuel of the Future

NREL is helping develop a process to cost effectively convert cellulosic biomass into a replacement for petroleum-based aviation fuel.

October 2011

Sun Trackers Gather to Calibrate Instruments

Annual pyrheliometer comparisons ensure that measurements of solar "fuel" are the same all over the globe.

Breakthrough Furnace Can Cut Solar Costs

Award-winning Optical Cavity Furnace takes advantage of photonic effects, using less energy to make more efficient solar cells.

Alternative Fuels Data Center Keeps Pace

DOE and NREL are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the AFDC, an ever evolving online resource for alternative transportation information.

September 2011

Silicon Ink Is Spot On, NREL Experiments Show

Innovalight's "liquid gold" passes precision tests, wins R&D award and could boost solar cell efficiency 5-7 percent.

NREL Partners Take Technology to Market

NREL is helping industry leverage the lab's research, technologies and intellectual property to bolster existing and start-up businesses.

Nationwide Utility Rates Now on Open EI

Online Open Energy Information platform helps officials and consumers make better energy decisions.

August 2011

Clean Energy Top Priority, U.N. Chief Tells NREL

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says renewable energy will create jobs, empower women and combat climate change.

Low Emission Cars Under NREL's Microscope

National laboratory researchers put advanced vehicles through their paces and give consumers a taste of promising technologies.

NREL Mentors Keep It Real For Summer Interns

Student interns at NREL have a unique opportunity for hands-on research and their mentors learn a thing or two along the way.

July 2011

A Better Way to Connect Solar, Wind to the Grid

NREL and Semikron's new power block is poised to make connecting renewable energy to the electricity grid less expensive, more reliable.

Turning Warehouses into Solar Powerhouses

NREL energy execs graduate spearheads the largest solar installation project in U.S. history on Prologis rooftops.

At NREL, Even the Ones and Zeros Are Green

NREL's data center redefines world class in energy savings with strategies and techniques that can serve as a model for others.

June 2011

NREL Invention Speeds Solar Cell Quality Tests

Award-winning Flash QE, licensed and improved by Tau Science, could help manufacturers make less expensive, more efficient solar cells.

Prestigious Cherry Award Goes to NREL Scientist

Jerry Olson's idea for a multi-junction solar cell now powers spacecraft and is the basis of today's photovoltaic concentrator industry.

New Magazine Highlights Clean Energy Innovations

showcases researchers and facilities at the forefront of renewable energy and energy efficiency discovery and deployment.

May 2011

Solar and Hydrogen Car Races Spark Imaginations

Fun and enthusiasm fuel competitions that are among the educational tools NREL and DOE provide to encourage students to pursue science.

Biden Says U.S. Will Lead Energy Revolution

New low licensing fees, partnerships between national labs and American entrepreneurs, are key, VP says during NREL visit.

Best for Batteries: Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Thermal management is crucial in the development of new car batteries; NREL's Large-Volume Calorimeter helps prepare for a surge in electric vehicles.

April 2011

NREL Adds Giant Wind Turbine to Research Site

New 3 megawatt machine towering over the National Wind Technology Center could lead to more reliable turbines, less expensive power.

Antarctica's Ice Puts Electric Vehicles to Test

If these electric vehicles can survive in Antarctica, they could help establish a fleet to offset fossil fuel use in an environmentally sensitive research area.

NREL Helping the Army Be as Green as it Can Be

NREL is helping the U.S. Army with a new program that will have installations across the country "greening" all the way to net zero.

March 2011

Algorithm Positions Solar Trackers, Movie Stars

NREL researchers work out a way to predict the sun's position with unmatched precision over 8,000 years.

PV Incubator Pushes Solar Innovations

NREL is helping the U.S. Army with a new program that will have installations across the country "greening" all the way to net zero.

OpenStudio Visualizes Energy Use in Buildings

NREL's free software tools help industry drive down energy use in new and retrofit building projects.

February 2011

NREL Expands Biofuels Partnerships

Companies on the path to commercialization can leverage the lab's new Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility.

Super-Efficient Cells Key to Low-Cost Solar Power

Record-breaking multi-junction solar cells combined with cheap lenses and Amonix's two-axis sun tracker cut the price of solar electricity.

Colorado School Headed to Science Super Bowl

Students stretch their knowledge of math and science through Science Bowl competition. Many find career path.

January 2011

Small Improvements to Make Big Difference

Research Support Facility expansion provides a rare opportunity to apply efficiency lessons right away.

Searching for a Diamond in the Muck

Prospecting for elusive fast-growing, oily microalgae is a soggy, muddy, rewarding job for NREL researcher.


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