Energy

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

44
-1
0
30
Briefs: Materials
A promising, more durable fuel cell design could help transform heavy-duty trucking and other clean fuel cell applications.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
When it comes to making batteries that last longer, a team of researchers including engineers at Brown University and Idaho National Laboratory believes the key might be in how things get clean — specifically how soap works in this process.
Feature Image
Briefs: Materials
Many electric vehicles are powered by batteries that contain cobalt — a metal that carries high financial, environmental, and social costs. MIT researchers have now designed a battery material that could offer a more sustainable way to power electric cars. The new lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery includes a cathode based on organic materials, instead of cobalt or nickel (another metal often used in Li-ion batteries).
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have invented and patented a new cathode material that replaces lithium ions with sodium and would be significantly cheaper.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
New Solid-State Battery Design Charges in Minutes
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a new lithium metal battery that can be charged and discharged at least 6,000 times — more than any other pouch battery cell — and can be recharged in a matter of minutes.
Briefs: Energy
Combination of Stressors Key to Testing Perovskite Solar Cells
Solar cells must endure a set of harsh conditions — often with variable combinations of changing stress factors — to judge their stability, but most researchers conduct these tests indoors with a few fixed stressing conditions.
Briefs: Materials
Inventors from NASA Langley and NASA Ames have created a new type of carbon fiber polymer composite that has a high thermal conductivity.
Feature Image
Briefs: AR/AI
UC Santa Cruz Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Yu Zhang and his lab are leveraging tools to improve the efficiency, reliability, and resilience of power systems, and have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based approach for the smart control of microgrids for power restoration when outages occur.
Feature Image
Briefs: Power
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a conductive polymer coating — called HOS-PFM — that could enable longer lasting, more powerful lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for electric vehicles.
Feature Image
Briefs: Design
This advancement, one of the first of its kind, enables a useful new capability for a variety of applications, including improved prostheses, haptics for new modalities in augmented reality (AR), and thermally modulated therapeutics for applications such as pain management. The technology also has a variety of potential industrial and research applications.
Feature Image
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The NIST camera is made up of grids of ultrathin electrical wires, cooled to near absolute zero, in which current moves with no resistance until a wire is struck by a photon. In these superconducting-nanowire cameras, the energy imparted by even a single photon can be detected because it shuts down the superconductivity at a particular location (pixel) on the grid. Combining all the locations and intensities of all the photons makes up an image.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
A research team from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reports that the flow battery, a design optimized for electrical grid energy storage, maintained its capacity to store and release energy for more than a year of continuous charge and discharge.
Feature Image
Briefs: Materials
A team from Chalmers University of Technology has succeeded in observing how the lithium metal in the cell behaves as it charges and discharges. The new method may contribute to batteries with higher capacity and increased safety in our future cars and devices.
Feature Image
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Wireless power transfer was recently demonstrated by MAPLE — Microwave Array for Power-transfer Low-orbit Experiment — one of three key technologies being tested by the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD-1), the first space-borne prototype from Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project (SSPP), which aims to harvest solar power in space and transmit it to the Earth’s surface.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are researching solutions to these Li-ion battery issues by testing new materials in battery construction. One such material is sulfur.
Feature Image
Briefs: Nanotechnology
A stretchable system that can harvest energy from human breathing and motion for use in wearable health-monitoring devices may be possible, according to an international team of researchers.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
A research team has developed a robotic system that can be unobtrusively built into the frame of a standard honeybee hive. Composed of an array of thermal sensors and actuators, the system measures and modulates honeybee behavior through localized temperature variations.
Feature Image
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
The system harnesses the sun's heat to directly split water and generate hydrogen — a clean fuel that can power long-distance trucks, ships, and planes, while in the process emitting no greenhouse gas emissions.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
To improve battery performance and production, Penn State researchers and collaborators have developed a new fabrication approach that could make for more efficient batteries that maintain energy and power levels.
Feature Image
Briefs: Materials
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have created a new and efficient way to recycle metals from spent electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The method allows recovery of 100 percent of the aluminum and 98 percent of the lithium in EV batteries.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
A team developed a framework for designing solid-state batteries (SSBs) with mechanics in mind. Their paper, published in Science, reviewed how these factors change SSBs during their cycling.
Feature Image
Briefs: Materials
A collaborative research team has achieved a groundbreaking milestone in battery technology. Their remarkable achievement in developing a non-flammable gel polymer electrolyte is set to revolutionize the safety of Li-ion batteries by mitigating the risks of thermal runaway and fire incidents.
Feature Image
Briefs: Power
Cornell researchers have combined soft microactuators with high-energy-density chemical fuel to create an insect-scale quadrupedal robot that is powered by combustion and can outrace, outlift, outflex, and outleap its electric-driven competitors.
Feature Image
Briefs: Manned Systems
A team of MIT engineers is creating a one-megawatt motor that could be a key stepping-stone toward electrifying larger aircraft. The team has designed and tested the major components of the motor.
Feature Image
Briefs: Power
Launched by Purdue University postgraduate students, Aerovy Mobility commercializes cloud-based software solutions to plan and operate infrastructure that charges electric aircraft with renewable energy.
Feature Image
Briefs: Materials
Engineers have made progress toward lithium-metal batteries that charge as fast as an hour. This fast charging is thanks to lithium metal crystals that can be seeded and grown — quickly and uniformly — on a surprising surface.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
NASA engineers have developed a new approach to mitigating unwanted motion in floating structures. Ideally suited to applications including offshore wind energy platforms and barges, the innovation uses water ballast as a motion damping fluid.
Feature Image
Briefs: Materials
With a new microscopy technique that uses blue light to measure electrons in semiconductors and other nanoscale materials, a team of researchers is opening a new realm of possibilities in the study of these critical components, which can help power devices like mobile phones and laptops.
Feature Image
Briefs: Energy
Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) sleeve, that, when fitted over a cylindrical Li-ion battery cell, can prevent cell-to-cell propagation by containing a thermal runaway (TR) event to the originating cell.
Feature Image

Videos