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

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 : Materials
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 : Energy
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 : Energy
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 : Transportation
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 : Energy
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...

Blog : Energy
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 : Automotive
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

News : Propulsion
NASA’s Green Propellant Spacecraft Moves Toward Launch

The propulsion subsystem for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) has been integrated onto the spacecraft, moving the mission another major step toward scheduled launch in 2016. The propulsion subsystem will be the primary payload on the mission’s spacecraft. The mission will...

News : Propulsion
NASA Tests New Green Propellants for Satellites

To stay in the proper orbit, many satellites have thrusters – small rocket engines – that fire to change altitude or orientation in space. On Earth, where gravity dominates, five pounds of thrust, equivalent to 22 Newtons of force, may seem small, but in space, it doesn’t take much thrust to...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NASA Tests Aircraft Wing Coatings that Slough Bug Guts

Bug guts create drag, and drag increases fuel consumption. But aircraft of the future could be made more fuel-efficient with non-stick coatings NASA recently tested on Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator 757. NASA and Boeing engineers tested non-stick wing coatings designed to shed insect residue and...

News : Aerospace
Researchers Create Jet Fuel Compounds From Fungus

Washington State University researchers have found a way to make jet fuel from a common black fungus found in decaying leaves, soil, and rotting fruit. They used Aspergillus carbonarius ITEM 5010 to create hydrocarbons, the chief component of petroleum, similar to those in aviation fuels.