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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2018-10-19 16:05:18
    • Article ID: 702524

    Argonne and Capstone receive funding to advance thermal energy storage technology

    • Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

      Argonne and Capstone Turbine Corp. plan to refine Argonne’s system to capture and store waste heat.

    • Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

      This shows a magnified view of the high-thermal-conductivity foam used in Argonne’s TESS thermal battery.

    • Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

      This is a magnified view of the application-specific phase change material incorporated into TESS’s high-thermal-conductivity porous foam.

    Thermal energy storage systems to capture and store waste heat for later use when operating a manufacturing facility or large building could reduce costs for combined heat and power systems.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Capstone Turbine Corp. have received $380,000 from the DOE Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) to refine Argonne’s high-efficiency, fast charging/discharging latent heat thermal energy storage system (TESS) for use in building applications and process/manufacturing industries.

    The TESS is a “thermal battery” developed originally for storing heat in concentrated solar power applications, funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technology Office. Argonne’s TESS incorporates a phase change material in a high thermal conductivity porous preform, resulting in a composite material system that has enhanced thermal performance. One of the TESS’s most valuable features is its tunability for specific applications through the selection of appropriate phase change material. Additionally, TESS’s high thermal energy density results in a small footprint.

    “Storing thermal energy and using it during periods of high electricity pricing can result in significant cost savings. This is particularly important for process/manufacturing industries and building applications, as it reduces costs and increases energy efficiency.” – Dileep Singh, principal investigator and senior materials scientist/group manager in Argonne’s Applied Materials division

    Capstone Turbine Corporation manufactures combined heat and power (CHP) systems used in environments that can support reuse of process-related waste heat to improve system performance efficiencies and reduce operational costs. This project focuses on integrating Argonne’s TESS into a Capstone C200 CHP system, specifically, using thermal modeling and simulations to optimize system design; fabricating and integrating the TESS to the C200 system; testing the performance of the integrated TESS-C200 system and conducting a techno-economic analysis to establish performance/cost benefits of the integrated system.

    According to Argonne Principal Investigator Dileep Singh, “Storing thermal energy and using it during periods of high electricity pricing can result in significant cost savings. This is particularly important for process/manufacturing industries and building applications, as it reduces costs and increases energy efficiency.”

    Argonne has made it a core mission to develop advanced manufacturing technologies, such as materials with advanced properties and manufacturing processes that are more energy efficient. Sign up here to learn more about Argonne’s technologies advancing manufacturing, including energy efficient processes and advanced materials design.

    The award is one of 12 Argonne projects funded in 2018 through TCF, which is managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. Argonne’s work to develop the TESS is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office.

    EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and strengthen the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid.

    Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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    New Laws of Attraction: Scientists Print Magnetic Liquid Droplets

    New Laws of Attraction: Scientists Print Magnetic Liquid Droplets

    Scientists at Berkeley Lab have 3D-printed a magnetic device out of liquids. Their findings could lead to printable liquid magnetic devices for a variety of applications such as artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots.

    A sharper focus: New computational technique resolves compressed X-ray data

    A sharper focus: New computational technique resolves compressed X-ray data

    With high-energy X-rays, such as those that will be produced by the upgrade to Argonne's Advanced Photon Source comes a potential hitch -- the more penetrating the X-rays are, the higher a likelihood that researchers could run into problems with the image data. In a new study, researchers at Argonne have found a novel way to combat this image degradation.

    A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune

    A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune

    Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a graphene device that switches from a superconducting material that conducts electricity without losing any energy, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current - all with a simple flip of a switch.

    After blasting a molecule with light, researchers watch its structure vibrate and change in real time

    After blasting a molecule with light, researchers watch its structure vibrate and change in real time

    A new study describes how a team of researchers watched a molecule vibrate after they excited it with ultraviolet light.

    Scientists deepen understanding of the magnetic fields that surround the Earth and other planets

    Scientists deepen understanding of the magnetic fields that surround the Earth and other planets

    Now, a team of scientists has completed research into waves that travel through the magnetosphere, deepening understanding of the region and its interaction with our own planet, and opening up new ways to study other planets across the galaxy.

    Light dark matter is a thousand times less likely to bump into regular matter than previous astrophysical analyses allowed

    Light dark matter is a thousand times less likely to bump into regular matter than previous astrophysical analyses allowed

    A team led by scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has narrowed down how strongly dark matter particles might interact with normal matter. Based on the number and distribution of small satellite galaxies seen orbiting our Milky Way, the team found this interaction to be at least a thousand times weaker than the strongest interaction allowed by previous astrophysical analyses.

    New Sensor Could Shake Up Earthquake Response Efforts

    New Sensor Could Shake Up Earthquake Response Efforts

    An optical sensor developed at Berkeley Lab could speed up the time it takes to evaluate whether buildings are safe to occupy after a major earthquake. After four years of extensive peer-reviewed research and simulative testing at the University of Nevada's Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, the Discrete Diode Position Sensor (DDPS) will be deployed for the first time this summer in a multi-story building at Berkeley Lab - which sits adjacent to the Hayward Fault, considered one of the most dangerous faults in the United States.

    The best of both worlds: how to solve real problems on modern quantum computers

    The best of both worlds: how to solve real problems on modern quantum computers

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, along with researchers at Clemson University and Fujitsu Laboratories of America, have developed hybrid algorithms to run on size-limited quantum machines and have demonstrated them for practical applications.

    Designer proteins form wires and lattices on mineral surface

    Designer proteins form wires and lattices on mineral surface

    This research is a fundamental discovery of how to engineer proteins onto non-biological surfaces. Artificial proteins engineered from scratch have been assembled into nanorod arrays, designer filaments and honeycomb lattices on the surface of mica, demonstrating control over the way proteins interact with surfaces to form complex structures previously seen only in natural protein systems. The study provides a foundation for understanding how protein-crystal interactions can be systematically programmed and sets the stage for designing novel protein-inorganic hybrid materials.

    Giving nanowires a DNA-like twist

    Giving nanowires a DNA-like twist

    Argonne National Laboratory played a critical role in the discovery of a DNA-like twisted crystal structure created with a germanium sulfide nanowire, also known as a "van der Waals material." Researchers can tailor these nanowires in many different ways -- twist periods from two to twenty micrometers, lengths up to hundreds of micrometers, and radial dimensions from several hundred nanometers to about ten micrometers. By this means, they can adjust the electrical and optical properties to optimize performance for different applications.


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    Department of Energy awards $4.6 million to Argonne to support collaborations with industry

    Department of Energy awards $4.6 million to Argonne to support collaborations with industry

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced more than $24 million in funding for 77 projects aimed at advancing commercialization of promising energy technologies and strengthening partnerships between DOE's National Laboratories and private-sector companies to deploy important technologies to the marketplace. DOE's Argonne National Laboratory received $4.6 million to fund 12 projects across four research divisions.

    SLAC makes 'electron camera,' a world-class tool for ultrafast science, available to scientists worldwide

    SLAC makes 'electron camera,' a world-class tool for ultrafast science, available to scientists worldwide

    Over the past few years, the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has developed a new tool to visualize physical and chemical processes with outstanding clarity: an ultra-high-speed "electron camera" capable of tracking atomic motions in a broad range of materials in real time. Starting this week, the lab has made this tool available to researchers worldwide.

    Berkeley Lab Scientists Earn Prestigious White House Early Career Award

    Berkeley Lab Scientists Earn Prestigious White House Early Career Award

    Two scientists with Berkeley Lab - and two faculty scientists jointly affiliated with Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley - are among 315 researchers named on July 2 by President Trump to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

    Caltech's Castaneda Named Director of Human Resources at PNNL

    Caltech's Castaneda Named Director of Human Resources at PNNL

    April Castaneda, a senior executive with 20 years of experience leading human resources programs at Caltech and NASA's Jet propulsion Laboratory, has been named director of Human Resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

    JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

    JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

    Jefferson Sciences Associates has announced the award of nine graduate fellowships to doctoral students for the 2019-2020 academic year.

    Argonne's Jim Morman Elected Fellow of American Nuclear Society

    Argonne's Jim Morman Elected Fellow of American Nuclear Society

    Jim Morman from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has been elected a fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), the highest grade of membership that the society offers.

    Will Fox wins 2019 Thomas H. Stix Award for early career contributions to plasma physics

    Will Fox wins 2019 Thomas H. Stix Award for early career contributions to plasma physics

    PPPL physicist brings astrophysical processes down to Earth

    U.S. Department of Energy Renews Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials

    U.S. Department of Energy Renews Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials

    The Department of Energy has announced that, over the next four years, it will invest $32 million to accelerate the design of new materials through use of high-performance computing. One of the seven funded projects is the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials (MICCoM), founded in 2015 and led by the Materials Science Division at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. This center draws co-investigators from the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, and University of California, Davis.

    Department of Energy Announces $13 Million for Atmospheric Research

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $13 million in funding for 27 projects in atmospheric sciences in an effort to improve models for predicting weather and climate.


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    Bursts of Light Shape Walls Between Waves of Charge

    Bursts of Light Shape Walls Between Waves of Charge

    To better store data, scientists need ways to change a material's properties suddenly. For example, they want a material that can go from insulator to conductor and back again. Now, they devised a surprisingly simple way of flipping a material from one state into another, and back again, with flashes of light. A single light pulse turns thin sheets of tantalum disulfide from its original (alpha) state into a mixture of alpha and beta states. Domain walls separate the two states. A second pulse of light dissolves the walls, and the material returns to its original state.

    Deep Learning Reveals Mysteries of Deep Space

    Deep Learning Reveals Mysteries of Deep Space

    How do you determine the measurable "things" that describe the nature of our universe? To answer that question, researchers used CosmoFlow, a deep learning technique, running on a National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center supercomputer. They analyzed large, complex data sets from 3-D simulations of the distribution of matter to answer that question. The team showed that CosmoFlow offers a new platform to gain a deeper understanding of the universe.

    At DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, science drives next-gen creations

    At DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, science drives next-gen creations

    American ingenuity is providing radical productivity improvements from advanced materials and robotic systems developed at the Department of Energy's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    High-Fidelity Multiphysics Simulations to Improve Nuclear Reactor Safety and Economics

    High-Fidelity Multiphysics Simulations to Improve Nuclear Reactor Safety and Economics

    Engineers can model heat distribution in reactor designs with fewer or no approximations.

    Tiny Vortices Could One Day Haul Microscopic Cargo

    Tiny Vortices Could One Day Haul Microscopic Cargo

    The behavior of active magnetic liquids suggests new pathways to transport particles across surfaces and build materials that self-heal.

    How Does Mother Nature Tackle the Tough Triple Bond Found in Nitrogen?

    How Does Mother Nature Tackle the Tough Triple Bond Found in Nitrogen?

    Researchers demystify how the nitrogenase enzyme breaks bonds to learn a better way to make ammonia.

    A Detailed View of the Ancestor of Photosynthesis

    A Detailed View of the Ancestor of Photosynthesis

    The symmetrical light-gathering, energy-producing complex offers insights into how modern photosystems evolved.

    Unique Interface and Unexpected Behavior Help Explain How Heavy Metals Act

    Unique Interface and Unexpected Behavior Help Explain How Heavy Metals Act

    Three types of water molecules form around a platinum-based ion, offering insights for waste processing and metal refining.

    Maximizing Ozone Signals

    Maximizing Ozone Signals

    New technique enables more efficient and precise estimates of trends in ozone and other atmospheric constituents within selected geographical regions and timeframes.

    How Much Water Does the World Use?

    How Much Water Does the World Use?

    Global data set shows monthly water use by irrigation, manufacturing, and other uses, helping researchers to analyze water use by region and season.


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