Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Kathy Chambers
Wind turbine electrical power generation facility

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

Published by Daphne Evans
Wind Resource Map of the United States

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.

Published by Mary Schorn

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

Published by Kathy Chambers
3D model of wind plant aerodynamics that shows low velocity wakes and the result

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.

Published by Mary Schorn
President Roosevelt Establishes the Manhattan Project

On August 13, 1942, the Manhattan Engineer District, whose name was based upon the geographical location of its headquarters, was established.  In September, the Army appointed Colonel Leslie R. Groves to head the effort.  Groves held that the exigencies of war required scientists to move from laboratory research to development and production in record time.  Though traditional scientific caution might be short-circuited in the process, there was no alternative if a bomb was to be built in time to be used in the current conflict (World War II).

Various isotope separation methods (uranium enrichment) to produce uranium-235 were being researched at this time.  One was gaseous diffusion being done at Columbia and another was the electromagnetic method being done at Berkeley under Ernest O. Lawrence.  Based upon the success of the electromagnetic method, the S-1 (The Office of Scientific Research and Development Section On Uranium) Executive Committee recommended building plants in Tennessee at Site X (now Oak Ridge).