In order to harness the power of waves to generate electricity, engineers must be able to predict how large floating devices will perform in a dynamic environment—that is, in the water among waves. A team sponsored by the Energy Department, including members from NREL and Sandia National Laboratories, addressed that challenge and won a recent international competition.
New Small Business Vouchers Pilot will connect clean energy innovators across the country with the top-notch scientists, engineers, and world-class facilities at Energy Department National Laboratories.
Despite great recent advances in lowering the cost of solar energy, this technology is not yet affordable for every segment of the population. For low-income communities, solar energy is still viewed as a luxury. But new programs are working to expand access to solar energy and create job opportunities for all Americans.
The Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF) at the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers a unique, highly flexible, highly instrumented research space for demonstrating ways to scale up and bring down testing costs of carbon-fiber prototypes for use in new polymers and products to manufacture larger land-based wind turbine blades and lighter vehicles with improved fuel efficiency. The 42,000-square-foot facility can make up to 25 tons of carbon fiber each year, enabling industry to experiment with new carbon-fiber precursors, or base materials, at a small scale.
A mill owned and operated for six generations by the Weisenberger family has been grinding grains in the heart of Kentucky since the Civil War. In 1862, August Weisenberger emigrated from Baden, Germany, to start milling grains in Midway, Kentucky. He purchased the existing three-story stone mill on the banks of South Elkhorn Creek in 1865—the perfect location to harness water power to operate the mill.
In an effort to help our nation's veterans transition to civilian life, veterans are being trained for jobs in the growing solar industry as part of a workforce program supported by the Energy Department.
Selling corn stover—the non-edible corn stalks, husks, and leaves of a corn plant—after the corn harvest has generated a new revenue stream for many farmers. Biorefineries buy the corn plant residue from farmers and turn it into cellulosic ethanol, allowing farmers to "add revenue without adding acres."