NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Researchers from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will exhibit their work at the 2013 Energy Innovation Summit of high-impact energy research funded by DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. The summit runs Feb. 25-27 at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. Below is an overview of PNNL research that will be highlighted there.
Nighttime solar power with cheaper thermal energy storage
Solar power is a clean source of energy, but its use is limited to when the sun shines. One option that extends solar energy into the night involves capturing the sun's heat during the day and releasing it when it's dark. Called thermal energy storage, the practice has been limited because the molten salts typically used to store solar heat for power production require large, expensive equipment. PNNL materials scientist Ewa Rnnebro and her team have shown that a powder made of a proprietary metal hydride can store up to 10 times more heat per mass than molten salts and operate at higher temperatures. PNNL and project partners University of Utah and Heavystone Lab are developing a 3 kilowatt-hour thermal demonstration system that will collect heat for six hours and discharge it over another six hours. If successful, the project could make thermal energy storage systems smaller and more cost-competitive.
New fuel storage tanks lighten the load for compressed natural gas vehicles
With the nation's supply of natural gas increasingly abundant and inexpensive, the fuel is being considered as a cleaner way to power light-duty cars and trucks. But while more than 15 million natural gas vehicles operate throughout the world, only about 150,000 are running on America's roads. One challenge is that natural gas exists as a vapor, meaning it contains less energy per volume than the denser, liquid gasoline most of us pump i
|Contact: Franny White|
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory