SLAC was established in1962 at Stanford University. The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory and home to a two-mile linear accelerator—the longest in the world. Originally a particle physics research center, SLAC is now a multipurpose laboratory for astrophysics, photon science, accelerator and particle physics research and home to some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies used by researchers from around the world to uncover scientific mysteries on the smallest and the largest scales—from the workings of the atom to the mysteries of the cosmos.
A modern wind turbine has more than 8,000 component parts that must withstand the wear and tear of wind stresses. DOE researchers and stakeholders have been working hard to predict and eliminate wind stress related barriers and extend the lifespan of wind turbines. Working on a paper on this subject? OSTI can save you wear and tear by providing web tools that eliminate the need to search through database after database to find the research you need. For example, if you use DOE’s Science Accelerator, you could search through 11 DOE databases, and in about 10 seconds or less, retrieve hundreds of documents about the use of simulations to understand wind turbine shear stress.
If you can accurately predict the weather, you may be able to predict how much energy can be generated from wind turbines. That was one objective of the “Great Plains Wind Energy Transmission Development Project,” completed in 2011, to “develop a wind energy forecast system, and demonstrate its efficacy in scheduling power output from wind farms in the Great Plains.” The forecasting system described in the report was comprised of three elements, a software component using various weather prediction models, a wind energy output model, and a graphical user interface.
DOE's RTG is doing it again. The Department's Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) is providing continuous power to the Mars rover Curiosity. This radioactive power source is "essentially a nuclear battery that will operate the rover’s instruments, robotic arm, wheels, computers and radio. It is fueled with plutonium-238 that gives off heat as it naturally decays. No moving parts are required to convert this heat into electricity."1
New simulation tools and data collection capabilities now available for wind power research are creating a lot of excitement and significant advances in the wind energy industry. For example, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tripled previous estimates of U.S. wind power potential by using advanced wind mapping and validation techniques. New wind development areas were also identified where the wind resource was previously considered unsuitable.