Researchers Striving to Cut Waste When Slicing Silicon

A filigree wire is standardly used to slice silicon blocks (ingots) into paper-thin wafers for solar cells. This wire can cut through the ingot at a speed of up to 60 km/h. Several hundred kilometers long, the wire is arranged in such a way that the ingot is sliced into hundreds of wafers simultaneously. The process takes around six hours and the resultant slices are approximately 180 µm thick. Researchers are setting out to reduce this thickness, and therefore reduce waste.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Solar Power


Process Cleans Wastewater, Generates Electricity, Desalinates Seawater

A team of researchers from the U.S. and China modified a microbial fuel cell - a device that uses naturally occurring bacteria to convert wastewater into clean water producing electricity - so it could desalinate salty water. The new process cleans wastewater, generates electricity, and removes 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater.

Posted in: Pollution, News, News, Energy Efficiency, Remediation Technologies


Emitters Provide Flexibility

Philips Lumileds (San Jose, CA) expanded its LUXEON® Rebel family of LEDs with nine new emitters designed for illumination solutions such as recessed lighting, street lamps, and retrofit bulbs. The new LEDs meet ENERGY STAR® requirements.

Posted in: Products, News, Energy Efficiency


Ethanol Funding Opportunity

DOE announced the availability of up to $5.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the use of higher ethanol blends up to E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) by expanding refueling infrastructure.

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


Modular Battery Charge Controller

A John H. Glenn Research Center-developed controller features distributed charge control and a masterless communication bus, enhancing its robustness for use in battery energy-storage applications. The modular battery charge controller is required in battery chemistries that need cell-level charge control for safety.

Posted in: Briefs, Briefs, Batteries, Energy Storage


Reinventing the Tuktuk

In large cities across Asia, auto rickshaws (tuktuks) are one of the most important means of transportation. These tuktuks produce considerable CO2 emissions and air pollution, and their drivers are underpaid. Students participating in the Hybrid Auto Rickshaw project sought to cut CO2 emissions by 40%, while improving the economic positions of drivers.

Posted in: Pollution, News, News, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gases


Green Aircraft Contest Takes Off

Today, the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation officially announced the Green Flight Challenge. The flight efficiency competition is for aircraft that can average at least 100 mph on a 200-mile flight, while achieving greater than 200 passenger miles per gallon.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Alternative Fuels