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Category Archives: Climate Change

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Propelling wind energy innovation

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Motivated by the need to eliminate expensive rare-earth magnets in utility-scale direct-drive wind turbines, Sandia National Laboratories researchers developed a fundamentally new type of rotary electrical contact. Sandia is now ready to partner with the renewable energy industry to develop the next generation of direct-drive wind turbines. Sandia’s Twistact technology takes a […]

Back to the drawing board: Reinventing offshore wind turbines

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Brandon Ennis, Sandia National Laboratories’ offshore wind technical lead, had a radically new idea for offshore wind turbines: instead of a tall, unwieldy tower with blades at the top, he imagined a towerless turbine with blades pulled taut like a bow. This design would allow the massive generator that creates electricity from […]

Sandia applied mathematician wins DOE Early Career Research Award

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Examination of very fine real-world data can improve the fidelity by which complex computer simulations are guided, says Sandia National Laboratories applied mathematician Pete Bosler. He investigates multiscale simulations that, integrated, could combine individual raindrops, thunderstorms and the entire global atmosphere, guided by data currently thought too fine to be used, that […]

flames at dusk with house in the foreground

Together we rise

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As fierce wildfires spread through New Mexico, burning hundreds of structures and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate, Sandia National Laboratories found a way for the workforce to help. “We know that when people in our state are struggling, our staff feel the desire and immediate need to react and pull together,” […]

close-up rear view of airplane on tarmac

Cycloalkanes a strong candidate for reducing aviation emissions

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have released data that could play an important role in the future development of cleaner and more sustainable aviation fuel. In collaboration with researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the team explored the physical properties of cycloalkanes, or molecules composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms arranged in […]

Truman and Hruby 2022 fellows explore their positions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Postdoctoral researchers who are designated Truman and Hruby fellows experience Sandia National Laboratories differently from their peers. Appointees to the prestigious fellowships are given the latitude to pursue their own ideas, rather than being trained by fitting into the research plans of more experienced researchers. To give wings to this process, the […]

Particle Distribution Random Walk Video

Neuromorphic computing widely applicable, Sandia researchers show

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With the insertion of a little math, Sandia National Laboratories researchers have shown that neuromorphic computers, which synthetically replicate the brain’s logic, can solve more complex problems than those posed by artificial intelligence and may even earn a place in high-performance computing. The findings, detailed in a recent article in the journal […]

Two men look at blue shipping container-like shelters. One points.

Sandia-operated Arctic measurement facility moves, research to continue

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After eight great years of observations and research, a Sandia National Laboratories-operated atmospheric measurement facility moved from Oliktok Point, on the North Slope of Alaska, this summer. The mobile facility will be relocating to the southeastern United States; the exact location is still being decided. The Department of Energy Office of Science’s […]

‘I’m melting, melting’ — environmentally hazardous coal waste diminished by citric acid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In one of nature’s unexpected bounties, a harmless food-grade solvent has been used to extract highly sought rare-earth metals from coal ash, reducing the amount of ash without damaging the environment and at the same time increasing an important national resource. Coal ash is the unwanted but widely present residue of coal-fired […]

Sandia uncovers hidden factors that affect solar farms during severe weather

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researchers combined large sets of real-world solar data and advanced machine learning to study the impacts of severe weather on U.S. solar farms, and sort out what factors affect energy generation. Their results were published earlier this month in the scientific journal Applied Energy. Hurricanes, blizzards, hailstorms and wildfires […]

Two small balloons against a blue sky to the left of a large tower with a

Here comes the sun: Tethered-balloon tests ensure safety of new solar-power technology

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What do tiny dust particles, 22-foot-wide red balloons and “concentrated” sunlight have in common? Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories recently used 22-foot-wide tethered balloons to collect samples of airborne dust particles to ensure the safety of an emerging solar-power technology. The study determined that the dust created by the new technology is […]

A song of ice and fiber

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researchers are beginning to analyze the first seafloor dataset from under Arctic sea ice using a novel method. They were able to capture ice quakes and transportation activities on the North Slope of Alaska while also monitoring for other climate signals and marine life. The team, led by Sandia […]

Hot red flame coming out of white ice-like blocks on black background.

Finding fire and ice: Modeling the probability of methane hydrate deposits on the seafloor

RALEIGH, N.C. — Methane hydrate, an ice-like material made of compressed natural gas, burns when lit and can be found in some regions of the seafloor and in Arctic permafrost. Thought to be the world’s largest source of natural gas, methane hydrate is a potential fuel source, and if it “melts” and methane gas is […]

International research team begins uncovering Arctic mystery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Something lurks beneath the Arctic Ocean. While it’s not a monster, it has largely remained a mystery. According to 25 international researchers who collaborated on a first-of-its-kind study, frozen land beneath rising sea levels currently traps 60 billion tons of methane and 560 billion tons of organic carbon. Little is known about […]

Machine-learning technique from Sandia Labs could improve fusion energy outputs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Machine-learning techniques, best known for teaching self-driving cars to stop at red lights, may soon help researchers around the world improve their control over the most complicated reaction known to science: nuclear fusion. Fusion reactions are typically hydrogen atoms heated to form a gaseous cloud called a plasma that releases energy as […]

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