Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

ORNL study projects how geothermal heat pumps that derive heating and cooling from the ground would improve grid reliability and reduce costs and carbon emissions when widely deployed. Credit: Chad Malone/ ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

New Study Projects Geothermal Heat Pumps’ Impact On Carbon Emissions & Electrical Grid by 2050

A modeling analysis led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory gives the first detailed look at how geothermal energy can relieve the electric power system and reduce carbon emissions if widely implemented across the United States within the next few decades. Researchers created a simulation model of the … [continued]

ORNL and UT researchers created a new method to calculate the power grid’s inertia in real time, using signals from pumped storage hydropower facilities such as TVA’s Raccoon Mountain project, pictured here. Credit: Tennessee Valley Authority

New Method Monitors Grid Stability With Hydropower Project Signals

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have developed an algorithm to predict electric grid stability using signals from pumped storage hydropower projects. The method provides critical situational awareness as the grid increasingly shifts to intermittent renewable power. Hydropower is a renewable energy source directly … [continued]

Deciphering Dynamics of Electric Charge

New tool presents precise, holistic picture of devices, materials Research led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Marti Checa and Liam Collins has pioneered a groundbreaking approach, described in the journal Nature Communications, toward understanding the behavior of an electric charge at the microscopic level. Their findings could be vital for improving efficiency, life … [continued]

Researcher Prasad Kandula is leading ORNL’s effort to develop medium-voltage building blocks, such as converter modules and specialized magnetics, in the Medium-Voltage Laboratory at GRID-C. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Grid Electronics Research to Bridge Gap to Cleaner, More Reliable Power

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are looking for a happy medium to enable the grid of the future, filling a gap between high and low voltages for power electronics technology that underpins the modern U.S. electric grid. Today’s power electronics, which take split seconds to … [continued]

Geothermal heat pumps can be scaled Image: Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, DOE

New Analysis: Geothermal Heat Pumps Key Opportunity in Switch to Clean Energy

ORNL and NREL Modeling Finds Installing Geothermal Heat Pumps in About 70% of US Buildings Could Reduce Need for New Long-Distance Transmission Lines by 33% A new analysis from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that, coupled with building envelope improvements, installing geothermal heat pumps in around 70% of U.S. buildings … [continued]

Florida Gulf Coast where Ian hit. Image courtesy of Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.

Coastal Chemistry Improves Methane Modeling

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using a new modeling framework in conjunction with data collected from marshes in the Mississippi Delta to improve predictions of climate-warming methane and nitrous oxide emissions from soils in coastal ecosystems. Underlying processes such as sulfur cycling and influences like salinity in these … [continued]

Scientists applied a simple approach for growing hBN films on the surface of ubiquitous steels and other metal alloys to “armor” them and thus increase their capabilities. Credit: Adam Malin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Armor For Steel: New Method Could Enable Advances In Energy, Electronics, & Aerospace

Researchers demonstrated that stainless steel and other metal alloys coated with hexagonal boron nitride, or hBN, exhibit non-stick or low-friction qualities along with improved long-term protection against harsh corrosion and high-temperature oxidation in air. Metal alloys — mixtures of two or more metals — are created to be strong, durable … [continued]

Success Story: New Tool Connects Multiple Microgrids to Increase Community Resilience

To ensure continual power during an outage, communities and local energy planners can install microgrids, which have their own power sources and can deliver renewable energy, like solar, to strengthen community resilience. Now, there is a tool designed to connect and coordinate multiple microgrids to maintain reliable electric service, integrate more solar … [continued]