Energy

Renewable Energy

Browse key developments, news, and technical briefs for renewable energy sectors. Design engineers will discover insights to the advantages and integration of renewable power technologies.

Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Materials
Measurement Method for Radioactive Methane

Anew method for measuring radioactive methane is an optical one based on spectroscopy. Previously, radioactive methane has been measured with accelerator mass spectrometry involving expensive machines. Optical measuring could be a cheaper and more agile method.

Blog : Energy
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
A new technology may lead to a more mainstream use of algal biofuels.
Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Create the Future Design Contest Alumni Achieve Market Success

The Create the Future Design Contest, launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine, helps stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has...

Briefs : Energy
Microscopy Technique Works at Extreme Heat

A stainless steel alloy — alloy 709 — has potential for elevated-temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures. It is exceptionally strong and resistant to damage when exposed to...

Briefs : Energy
Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block

Today's photovoltaic power systems are generally comprised of a single photovoltaic module or multiple modules connected by combinations of series and parallel circuits as a photovoltaic array....

Podcasts : Aerospace
Here's an Idea: Garbage!
In this episode of Here’s an Idea™, we talk with researchers who are finding small — and sometimes even fun — ways to take out all the trash.
INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
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.
Articles : Research Lab
Facility Focus: Idaho National Laboratory

In 1951, the first nuclear reactor in Idaho was built, starting a legacy at what is now Idaho National Laboratory (INL). INL is the site where 52 pioneering nuclear reactors were designed and...

Blog : Energy
‘Smart’ Squid Material Offers Thermal Conductivity, On Demand
Researchers discovered that an on-and-off kind of thermal regulation is possible if you look to the squid.
Articles : Energy
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...

Q&A : Energy
Q&A: NYU's Dr. André D. Taylor Shows Pathway for Perovskite Cells

An international team of university researchers, led by Dr. Taylor, reports solving a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells — the intriguing potential challengers to silicon-based solar cells. These crystalline structures show great promise because they can absorb...

Articles : Energy
Solar PV and Lithium-Ion Battery Hybrids for the IIoT — A User's Guide

Hybrid solutions that combine small photovoltaic (PV) panels with industrial grade rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries provide long-term power for remote...

Blog : Energy
Scientists Find Right Combination for a Better Flow Battery

By introducing some new ingredients to the flow battery, Stanford University scientists are advancing a new way to store wind and solar electricity.

Blog : Energy
From Chemical Engineer to Solar-Powered Whiskey and Beer: Meet Jim Batdorf, Chief Distiller
Jim Batdorf tells Tech Briefs about his unique career path, from chemical engineer to distiller of solar-powered spirits.
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Products of Tomorrow: July 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
Following Up: What is the Future of Flexible Solar Cells?
Researcher Jaana Vapaavuori answered an additional question regarding the future of flexible solar cells.
Question of the Week : Energy
Will Flexible Solar Cells Catch On?

Though a flexible solar cell offers exciting, new ways of powering vehicles, clothing, and other smart technologies, manufacturing the photovoltaic component is a challenge.

Briefs : Communications
Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

Blog : Energy
A 'Solid' Idea for Powering Spacecraft: Thermoacoustics
Researchers from Purdue University demonstrated that thermoacoustics properties could theoretically occur in solids as well as liquids.
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Fabric Converts Kinetic Energy into Electric Power

A fabric was developed that converts kinetic energy into electric power. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes, the more electricity it generates. The woven fabric generates electricity when it is stretched or exposed to pressure. The fabric can currently generate...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This year, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) marks 75 years as a research institution. Located in Oak Ridge, TN, ORNL is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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
Solar-Powered Device Generates Electricity Through Ion Transport

By binding photosensitive dyes to common plastic membranes and adding water, chemists have made a new type of solar power generator. The device is similar to familiar silicon...

Briefs : Energy
Generating Electricity with Energy-Harvesting Yarns

Researchers have developed yarns that generate electricity when they are stretched or twisted. The “twistron” yarns are constructed from carbon nanotubes — hollow cylinders of carbon...

Question of the Week : Energy
Will low-cost 'smart glass' catch on?

Our second INSIDER story today featured an achievement from University of Delaware engineers: liquid-activated panels that change from transparent to opaque.