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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Energy / Environment / Water

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A fresh look at restoring power to the grid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Climate change can alter extreme weather events, and these events have the potential to strain, disrupt or damage the nation’s grid. Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists have been working on an innovative computer model to help grid operators quickly restore power to the grid after a complete disruption, a process called “black […]

Surveilling carbon sequestration: A smart collar to sense leaks

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories engineers are working on a device that would help ensure captured carbon dioxide stays deep underground — a critical component of carbon sequestration as part of a climate solution. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing CO2 — a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere — […]

Sandia studies vulnerabilities of electric vehicle charging infrastructure

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With electric vehicles becoming more common, the risks and hazards of a cyberattack on electric vehicle charging equipment and systems also increases. Jay Johnson, an electrical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has been studying the varied vulnerabilities of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the past four years. Johnson and his team recently […]

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 […]

“We’ve Got the Power”: Sandia technology test delivers electricity to the grid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For the first time, Sandia National Laboratories researchers delivered electricity produced by a new power-generating system to the Sandia-Kirtland Air Force Base electrical grid. The system uses heated supercritical carbon dioxide instead of steam to generate electricity and is based on a closed-loop Brayton cycle. The Brayton cycle is named after 19th […]

20th anniversary of Sandia tribal energy internship program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 2022 marks a major milestone for Sandia National Laboratories’ groundbreaking tribal energy internship program: two decades of meeting the growing renewable energy technical needs of Native American tribes and providing valuable, real-world experience for Native and Alaska Native STEM students. “My hope for the interns is for them to be leaders in […]

Chiles smoking with mountains in the background

Using the power of the sun to roast green chile

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Every August and September the unmistakable pungent aroma of roasting green chile permeates the air across New Mexico and neighboring states. This delectable staple of regional cuisine is green in color, but roasting the chile pepper to deepen the flavor and make the inedible skin easier to remove is hardly environmentally friendly. […]

Exploring explosives for expanding geothermal energy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Why are scientists setting off small-scale explosions inside 1-foot cubes of plexiglass? They’re watching how fractures form and grow in a rock-like substance to see if explosives or propellants, similar to jet fuel, can connect geothermal wells in a predictable manner. Geothermal energy has a lot of promise as a renewable energy […]

An illustration with solar panels and a dome on the moon with another base further away and the Earth in the sky.

Powering the moon: Sandia researchers design microgrid for future lunar base

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is well-known for designing reliable and resilient microgrids for military bases and vital city services. Now, Sandia researchers are working with NASA to design one for the moon. This is not the first time Sandia has partnered with NASA to power equipment on the moon. In fact, Sandia provided […]

Guangping Xu employs a digital optical microscope

Seashell-inspired Sandia shield protects materials in hostile environments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Word of an extraordinarily inexpensive material, lightweight enough to protect satellites against debris in the cold of outer space, cohesive enough to strengthen the walls of pressurized vessels experiencing average conditions on Earth and yet heat-resistant enough at 1,500 degrees Celsius or 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit to shield instruments against flying debris, raises […]

Woman and man talk with a colorful computer model on a screen behind them.

International collaboration compares geologic repository assessment tools

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and partner national laboratories will compare their Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment software framework to the safety assessment software of international peers at a late-April workshop. The Sandia-led Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment framework is a computer modeling system designed to answer critical safety assessment questions about future disposal […]

Preserving the past

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When archaeologist Christina Chavez surveys Sandia National Laboratories land and finds rusted tobacco tins, ceramic fragments, glass shards or rocks resting in deliberate formations, she documents and determines who at the Labs needs to know. “Archaeological resources are all around us, and even if most people don’t see them, there’s still a […]

Foreground: Two men, one passing a nickel-sized wafer. Background: A device for testing the diodes on the wafer and a computer screen showing an array of dots/diodes

Record-breaking, ultrafast devices step to protecting the grid from EMPs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse. The team published the fabrication and testing results […]

Two men, one holding a shiny battery testing case, stand beside a beach-ball-sized, thick-metal testing instrument.

Safer, more powerful batteries for electric cars, power grid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solid-state batteries, currently used in small electronic devices like smart watches, have the potential to be safer and more powerful than lithium-ion batteries for things such as electric cars and storing energy from solar panels for later use. However, several technical challenges remain before solid-state batteries can become widespread. A Sandia National […]

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