Energy

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on energy, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Catalysis Approach Reduces Carbon Dioxide to Methane
Catalysis Approach Reduces Carbon Dioxide to Methane
This approach is a cost-effective way to convert carbon dioxide gas into methane.
Catalysis Approach Reduces Carbon Dioxide to Methane
Briefs : Motion Control
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Electric motors and gas-alcohol engines could slash pollution levels and greenhouse gases from long-haul trucks.
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Briefs : Energy
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
These robust materials convert excess heat energy into electricity.
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
Briefs : Wearables
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
These stickers wirelessly beam health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing.
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Applying a surface-active agent makes metal easier to cut and shape into parts and pieces.
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Shape Sensing Innovations Dramatically Improve Structural Design Tools
Shape Sensing Innovations Dramatically Improve Structural Design Tools
These advances are useful for transportation, infrastructure, and aerospace.
Shape Sensing Innovations Dramatically Improve Structural Design Tools
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Pinpointing Consumption “Sweet Spot” Makes Formation Flight More Fuel-Efficient
Pinpointing Consumption “Sweet Spot” Makes Formation Flight More Fuel-Efficient
A new method of estimating the optimal trailing aircraft position in a formation increases fuel savings.
Pinpointing Consumption “Sweet Spot” Makes Formation Flight More Fuel-Efficient
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Potassium-Oxygen Battery Stores Clean Energy
Potassium-Oxygen Battery Stores Clean Energy

Researchers have developed a more efficient, more reliable potassium-oxygen battery with a cathode that stores the energy produced by a chemical reaction in a metal-oxygen or metal-air battery....

Potassium-Oxygen Battery Stores Clean Energy
Briefs : Automotive
Chemical Mixture Widens the Temperature Range for Electric Car Batteries
Chemical Mixture Widens the Temperature Range for Electric Car Batteries
A combination of additives shows promise for boosting battery performance in very cold or hot weather.
Chemical Mixture Widens the Temperature Range for Electric Car Batteries
Briefs : Energy
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
The nanogenerator also acts as a weather station.
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
Briefs : Materials
Ultra-Thin Layers of Rust Generate Electricity from Flowing Water
Ultra-Thin Layers of Rust Generate Electricity from Flowing Water
When combined with saltwater, rust can be a source of electricity.
Ultra-Thin Layers of Rust Generate Electricity from Flowing Water
Briefs : Materials
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
This lightweight material brings strength and durability to complex shapes.
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
This technology has applications in sonar, range measuring, directional-force sensors, flow meters, and vibration/noise sensing and control.
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
The device could impact composites manufacturing and health monitoring.
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Li-ion Cell Calorimeter Makes Commercial Lithium Batteries Safer
Li-ion Cell Calorimeter Makes Commercial Lithium Batteries Safer

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a calorimeter that is able to measure the total heat generated when specific types of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells are...

Li-ion Cell Calorimeter Makes Commercial Lithium Batteries Safer
Briefs : Materials
Aerogel-Fiber Layered Laminate System
Aerogel-Fiber Layered Laminate System
This multifunctional hybrid laminate composite can be used for residential and commercial construction.
Aerogel-Fiber Layered Laminate System
Briefs : Energy
Undercooled Metal Technology for Flexible Electronics
Undercooled Metal Technology for Flexible Electronics

Undercooled metal technology was developed that features liquid metal (in this case, Field's metal, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin) trapped below its melting point in polished,...

Undercooled Metal Technology for Flexible Electronics
Briefs : Energy
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use

To investigate oceans, researchers aim to build a submerged network of interconnected sensors that sends data to the surface. Supplying constant power to scores of sensors designed to stay for long...

Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics

Contact lenses that can monitor the wearer’s health and correct eyesight use embedded electronics. These, and other curved devices such as solar cells and electronics, could be...

Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wind Event Warning System
Wind Event Warning System

NASA Langley Research Center developed a wind event warning technology that provides a practical early warning system (5-10 minutes) for a severe change in the wind vector. Events such as gusts, shear, microbursts,...

Wind Event Warning System
Briefs : Energy
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor

Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen....

Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
New Class of Two-Dimensional Materials
New Class of Two-Dimensional Materials

A process was developed for producing oxide perovskite crystals in flexible, free-standing layers. A two-dimensional rendition of this substance is intriguing because 2D materials have been shown to...

New Class of Two-Dimensional Materials
Briefs : Energy
Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water
Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water

A new device, inspired by a rose, inexpensively collects and purifies water. The device is a new approach to solar steaming for water production — a technique that uses energy from sunlight...

Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight Sensing and Control System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Monitoring

A new sensing and control system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) allows for semi-autonomous flight. Pilots need not leave the ground to conduct routine monitoring and surveillance quickly and cost-effectively. Such systems are particularly useful during long flight...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Chip Converts Wasted Heat to Usable Energy

Car engines, laptop computers, cellphones, and refrigerators all heat up with overuse. That heat can be captured and turned into energy using a method that produces electricity from heat. The technology uses a silicon chip, also known as a “device,” that converts more thermal radiation into...

Briefs : Energy
Wireless Transceiver Quadruples Speed of 5G
Wireless Transceiver Quadruples Speed of 5G

A new wireless transceiver was developed that boosts radio frequencies into 100-gigahertz territory, which is quadruple the speed of the upcoming 5G, or fifth-generation, wireless communications...

Wireless Transceiver Quadruples Speed of 5G
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Thin Nylon Films for Transparent Electronic Devices
Thin Nylon Films for Transparent Electronic Devices

Very thin nylon films were created that can be used in electronic memory components. The films are several hundreds of times thinner than a human hair and could be used in bendable...

Thin Nylon Films for Transparent Electronic Devices
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Low-Cost Thermoelectric Material Works at Room Temperature

The widespread adoption of thermoelectric devices that can directly convert electricity into thermal energy for cooling and heating has been hindered, in part, by the lack of materials that are both inexpensive and highly efficient at room temperature. A new material was developed that...

Question of the Week
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’