Energy

Alternative Fuels

Find the latest technologies and applications being used in alternative fuels that impact design engineering in the commercial and government, aviation, and automotive sectors.

Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fuel Cell/Fuel Cell Hybrid System

Fuel cells can deliver clean, reliable, and uninterrupted power nearly 100 percent of the time. Fuel cells offer the advantage of efficiency by converting chemical energy directly to electricity. They have no moving parts, thereby eliminating failures associated with pumps, blowers, heat exchangers, and other...

INSIDER : Materials
New fuel cell concept brings biological design to better electricity generation

Fuel cells generate electricity directly from hydrogen and oxygen and produce only water vapor as emissions. But most fuel cells are too expensive, inefficient,...

INSIDER : Energy
Solar Cell Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy

In the quest for abundant, renewable alternatives to fossil fuels, scientists have sought to harvest the sun’s energy through “water splitting,” an artificial photosynthesis technique...

Blog : Energy
From Trash to Treasure: How to Convert ‘Fatberg’ Waste into Biofuel
Have you heard of "fatbergs?" Researcher Asha Srinivasan explains how her team is turning masses of fat, oil, and grease into biofuel.
INSIDER : Transportation
EV Charging in Cold Temperatures Could Pose Challenges for Drivers

New research from Idaho National Laboratory suggests that electric vehicle drivers could face longer charging times when temperatures drop. The reason: cold temperatures...

Articles : Software
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

In 1977, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO) started as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), spurred by national concern during the 1973 oil embargo that caused long lines...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Grid Friendly™ Charger Controller

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, and while they represent a cleaner alternative to fossil-fueled vehicles, their increased use may stress the grid if this growing load is left unmanaged. A need...

Articles : Energy
3D-Printed Lab on Wheels

Next-generation manufacturing takes on a 50-year-old icon as ORNL researchers transform the classic Shelby Cobra sports car into a 3D-printed laboratory on wheels. Additive manufacturing enables the seamless...

Briefs : Energy
High-Voltage Power System for Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a variable-frequency, alternating current (AC) power system to enable turbo-electric and hybrid electric...

Briefs : Energy
Aluminum as a Fuel

Batteries and combustion engines each have distinctive benefits and limitations. Batteries have simple construction and operate silently; however, their energy density (i.e., the energy per unit volume) is poor, and...

Articles : Energy
Facility Focus: Argonne National Laboratory

Located in Argonne, IL, Argonne National Laboratory (ARL) is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center. Born out of the University of Chicago’s work on the Manhattan Project in...

Articles : Transportation
Pros & Cons of Advanced Lightweighting Materials

Although cars have been around for more than a century, the material they are made of (steel) has mostly stayed the same. It has only been in the past few decades that advanced materials...

Articles : Communications
Technological Advances, and How Structural Adhesives Support Manufacturing

Exciting new technological innovations are making the planet cleaner, people healthier, food more plentiful, transportation speedier, communication more accessible,...

Articles : Communications
SAE WCX Preview: Experience the Evolution

Revolutionary changes are driving the mobility industry forward. Explore the next generation of transportation engineering at SAE’s WCX: World Congress Experience from April 10-12 in Detroit, MI....

Articles : Energy
Products of Tomorrow: March 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Blog : Energy
How Will the Rise of Electric Vehicles Impact the Power Grid? An Engineer Simulates the Effects
An energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory used computer simulation to project the impact of in-home charging on the grid.
Briefs : Automotive
Wireless Charging of Moving Electric Vehicles

If electric cars could recharge while driving down a highway, it would virtually eliminate concerns about their range and lower their cost, perhaps making electricity the standard fuel for vehicles. Researchers have wirelessly transmitted electricity to a nearby moving object, which could advance...

News : Automotive
Will Electric Vehicles Surpass Combustion Engine Vehicles?
Is the future electric? A reader asks an expert from Mercedes-Benz.
News : Energy
This Year’s ‘Create the Future’ Contest Winner: A Highlight in Carbon-Dioxide Conversion

Developers of a “HI-Light” chemical reactor were awarded top honors in this year’s "Create the Future" Design Contest. The...

Question of the Week : Automotive
Will the "ifbattery" catch on?

A new story on TechBriefs.com this week featured an interview with Purdue University's John Cushman. The professor's "ifbattery" system may someday allow drivers to recharge their cars as quickly and easily as filling up a gas tank. What do you think? Will the "ifbattery" catch on?

News : Energy
‘Instantly Rechargeable’ Battery Drives New Electric Car Possibilities

A new battery system may someday allow drivers to recharge their cars as quickly and easily as filling up a gas tank.

Question of the Week : Energy
Can hybrid systems become a mainstream trucking technology?

This week's Question: A lead INSIDER story today focused on an add-on system from Hyliion, based in Pittsburgh, PA, that will help truck fleets to reduce gas emissions and...

Articles : Defense
2016 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2016 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Mouser Electronics, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive/Transportation, Consumer Products, Electronics,...

Articles : Energy
2016 Create the Future Design Contest: Grand Prize Winner

HYLIION - HYBRID TECHNOLOGY FOR SEMI-TRAILERS AND THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

Thomas Healy, RF Culbertson, AJ Emanuele, Morgan Culbertson, Wilson Sa, Pam Culbertson, Chad Saylor,...

News : Energy
3D-Printed Polymer Turns Methane to Methanol

By combining biology and 3D printing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have created a reactor that continuously produces methanol from methane at room temperature and pressure.

News : Energy
Researchers Turn Urine into Power Source for Electronic Devices

A microbial fuel cell uses natural biological processes of ‘electric’ bacteria to turn organic matter, such as urine, into electricity. These fuel cells are efficient and relatively cheap to run, and produce nearly zero waste compared to other methods of electricity generation....

News : Test & Measurement
NASA Instruments Used in German Alternative Fuels Research

Working in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), NASA's aeronautical innovators supplied several key instruments for the DLR's Emissions and Climate Impacts of Alternative Aviation Fuels (ECLIF) experiments. NASA instruments are placed about 100 feet behind a parked DLR...

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