Energy

Funding for Biomass R&D Initiative

Projects funded through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) — a joint program through the USDA and the DOE — will help develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. The White House has announced up to $35 million over three years to support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products.

Posted in: Biomass, Renewable Energy, Government Initiatives, News

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Using Electricity to Generate Alternative Fuel

Electrical energy generated by various methods can be difficult to store efficiently. Chemical batteries, hydraulic pumping, and water splitting suffer from low energy-density storage or incompatibility with current transportation infrastructure. UCLA researchers have demonstrated a method for storing electrical energy as chemical energy in higher alcohols, which can be used as liquid transportation fuels.

Posted in: Batteries, Alternative Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, Energy Storage, Solar Power, News

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New 3D Designs Double Solar Power

A team of MIT researchers is building cubes or towers that extend solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. The results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.

Posted in: Computers, Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Test & Measurement, News

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PDC Drill Bits Open Up Options for Geothermal Energy

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology full circle, showing how geothermal drillers might use it.

Posted in: Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy, Test & Measurement, Machinery & Automation, News

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Nanotrees Turn Sunshine into Hydrogen Fuel

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale.

Posted in: Alternative Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, Solar Power, Renewable Energy, Energy Harvesting, Nanotechnology, News

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Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity

Touted as possible first responders, insect cyborgs could be the research community's next big breakthrough. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have discovered that an insect's internal chemicals can be converted to electricity - potentially providing power to sensors and recording devices.

Posted in: Environmental Monitoring, Sensors, Transducers, Energy Efficiency, Energy, News

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Deploying U.S. Offshore Wind Projects

Offshore wind is an enormous potential resource for the United States - with strong, consistent winds located in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. As part of a planned six-year $180 million initiative, an initial $20 million will be available from the DOE this year as the first step in supporting up to four innovative offshore wind energy installations across the U.S.

Posted in: Wind Power, Renewable Energy, Government Initiatives, News

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