Creating "Cool" Cars

Operating the air conditioning is the largest auxiliary energy drain on cars. In December 2008, DOE announced a project to study and develop thermoelectric heating and cooling systems. As partners in the project, NREL will team up with Ford to research efficient ways of cooling vehicles.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Thermoelectrics


Windshields to Reflect Sunlight, and Perhaps Produce Electricity

The California Air Resources Board will require new cars sold in California to have windows that reflect or absorb heat-producing rays from the sun. Starting in 2012, windows must prevent 45 percent of the sun's total heat-producing energy from entering the car, and the windshield must reject at least 50 percent. In 2016, this increases to 60 percent.

Posted in: Features, Products, Articles, Solar Power


Improvements in Organic Photovoltaics on the Horizon

Organic photovoltaics, which rely on organic molecules to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity, have come a step closer to reality thanks to discoveries by NIST researchers. The scientists have deepened their understanding of the complex organic films at the heart of the devices.

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


New Supercomputer Ready to Tackle Earth's Problems

Chinook – a $21.4 million supercomputer built by HP - has been commissioned for use by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. It's primed to take on problems in areas such as climate science and hydrogen storage.

Posted in: Climate, News, News, Energy Storage, Alternative Fuels, Remediation Technologies


Efficient Light Source Technology

New cavity organic light-emitting diode (COLED) technology from SRI International and light-emitting polymers from Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) produce a highly efficient light source that could replace incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency


A House Built of Straw

This summer, University of Bath, UK researchers are constructing a “BaleHaus” made of prefabricated straw bale and hemp cladding panels on campus. Straw is a truly environmentally-friendly building material, being both renewable and a by-product of farming.

Posted in: Building Technologies, News, News, Energy Efficiency, Recycling Technologies


Students Design World's First Solar-Powered Blimp

Over 30 French college students have collaborated to design the world’s first solar-powered blimp, Nephelios. One hundred years after the first flight across the English Channel by Louis Blériot, Nephelios will undertake an English Channel crossing in late August.

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