Energy

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

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Today's lithium-ion batteries use cathodes (one of the two electrodes in a battery) made of a transition metal oxide. Batteries with cathodes made of sulfur are considered a...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Researchers have created wearable technology to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. It presents a step toward the practical realization of self-powered, human-integrated technologies.

Briefs: Energy

Methanol is a key feedstock for the production of chemicals, some of which are used to make products such as plastics, plywood, and paints. Methanol also can fuel vehicles or be reformed to...

Briefs: Aerospace

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a double-sided Si(Ge)/ Sapphire/III-Nitride hybrid structure. This technology uses both sides of a sapphire wafer to build device...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The color of a material can often tell how it handles heat. With clothing, for example, the darker the pigment, the warmer you're likely to feel on a hot day. Likewise, the more...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cryogenic Hydraulically Actuated Isolation Valve

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a cryogenic isolation valve that utilizes the upstream line pressure of cryogenic fluids for actuation. Previously, the use of cryogenic fluids for actuation systems had been too difficult to control and resulted in unsafe operating...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Researchers have created technology that is 10 times more reliable than current methods of producing unclonable digital fingerprints that can be used to...

Briefs: Materials

Whereas hydrogen fuel cells (e.g., proton exchange membrane (PEM) and other fuel cells) generate electricity from the chemical reaction between pure hydrogen and oxygen, direct carbon fuel cells...

Briefs: Energy

Nearly 70 percent of the energy produced in the United States each year is wasted as heat. Much of that heat is less than 100 °C and emanates from things like computers, cars, or...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a new means of avoiding and mitigating icing events for aircraft flying above 14,000 feet, dramatically improving aviation...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

By capping liquids with graphene (an ultrathin sheet of pure carbon), researchers can easily image and analyze liquid interfaces and the surface of nanometer-scale objects...

Briefs: Lighting
3D Printing of Flexible Circuits

A process was developed for 3D printing that can be used to produce transparent and mechanically flexible electronic circuits. The electronics consist of a mesh of silver nanowires that can be printed in suspension and embedded in various flexible and transparent plastics (polymers). This technology can enable...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multistep Self-Assembly for Reconfigurable Materials

Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure; however, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures that can handle multiple tasks.

Briefs: Test & Measurement

In the polymer composites industry, cure cycles are typically developed from trial-and-error or a more effective processing science approach to reduce...

Briefs: Data Acquisition

Experimental photonic switches developed at UC Berkeley have shown promise toward the goal of fully optical, high-capacity switching for...

Briefs: Medical

Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE™) allows creation of wire, bar, and tubular extrusions that show significant improvement in material properties; for example, magnesium extrusions have...

Briefs: Materials

A system was developed that can remove radioactive cesium contamination from porous structures such as brick and concrete that are hard to clean, as well as contamination from...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Researchers have developed a hybrid transformer that has the benefit of a full planar transformer design but uses a wire-wound secondary winding to keep the parasitic winding capacitances lower. Alone, planar transformers...

Briefs: Wearables

Researchers have created highly stretchable supercapacitors for powering wearable electronics that consist of crumpled carbon nanotube (CNT) forests. The supercapacitors demonstrated solid performance...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Techniques to prevent frost and ice formation on surfaces rely heavily on heating or on liquid chemicals that need to be repeatedly reapplied because they easily wash away. Even advanced...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

There's an entire world our eyes miss, hidden in the ranges of light wavelengths that human eyes can't see. But infrared cameras can pick up this light emitted as...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Wood-Based Technology Creates Electricity from Heat

Researchers have transformed a piece of wood into a flexible membrane that generates energy from the same type of electric current (ions) on which the human body runs. This energy is generated using charged channel walls and other unique properties of the wood’s natural nanostructures. With...

Briefs: Energy

Increase in bioethanol production throughout the US has led to an increase in the process coproduct — distiller’s grains with solubles (DGS). DGS can be used to feed...

Briefs: Materials

Batteries with metallic lithium anodes offer enhanced efficiency compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries because of their higher capacity. However, safety concerns and a short lifespan stand in the way. To...

Briefs: Energy
Using Laser Metal Printing to Cool Computer Chips

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to be attached to the CPU or the graphics processor via a thermal interface material such as thermal paste. It...

Briefs: Transportation

Lithium batteries allow electric vehicles to travel several hundred miles on one charge. Their capacity for energy storage is well known — so is their tendency to occasionally...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Battery Electrolyte Doubles Driving Range for Electric Vehicles

Conventional electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries that power household electronics like computers and cellphones are not suitable for lithium-metal batteries. Lithium-metal batteries that replace a graphite electrode with a lithium electrode are the holy grail of energy...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Directly converting electrical power to heat is easy; however, converting heat into electrical power is not as easy. To address this issue, a tiny silicon-based device was developed that can...

Briefs: Materials

Metal-air batteries are one of the lightest and most compact types of batteries but when not in use, they degrade quickly, as corrosion eats away at their metal electrodes. While...

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