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OSTIblog Articles in the OSTI collections Topic

Plasmas - The Greatest Show on Earth

by Kathy Chambers 24 Jun, 2013 in Products and Content

Perhaps the most beautiful and eerie displays of light in our sky are a phenomenon known as the auroras. This natural glow of light in the sky in high latitude regions usually displays ribbons of colors from a fluorescent green to brilliant purple to a vivid crimson somewhat like an unexpected beautiful sunrise or sunset.  Observers often call it the greatest show on Earth.

Auroras are triggered by geomagnetic storms when gusts of solar plasma wind strike the Earth’s magnetic field; charged particles rain down over the north and south magnetic poles, lighting up the atmosphere and causing the air to glow.

Related Topics: ambient-gas, auroras, geomagnetic storms, microwave thrusters, nanomaterials, OSTI collections, plasma, SciTech Connect, spaceship propulsion, William Watson

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Energy in the Forecast

by Daphne Evans 13 Aug, 2012 in Science Communications
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.

Related Topics: energy, maps, OSTI collections, weather, wind, wind collection

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Fine tuning fuel cells

by Kathy Chambers 14 Jun, 2012 in Products and Content
photo of a fuel cell stack

Researchers are finding ways to fine tune fuel cells to make them affordable, reliable, efficient and commercially competitive. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) researchers have discovered ways to improve the fuel cell terminal surface area of solid oxide fuel cells and found novel methods to synthesize large batches of nanotubes to increase fuel cells’ output.

Related Topics: alkaline membrane cells, fuel cells, nanotubes, OSTI collections, oxide

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Perfecting the fuel improves the cell…

by Daphne Evans 08 Jun, 2012 in Products and Content

A large portion of DOE fuel cell research is about improving the fuel.  Many fuels contain contaminants that can damage the cell and impede the processes involved.  Developing methods for removing impurities from fuels may help improve their efficiency and environmental impact, thereby increasing their marketability.

In Fuel Quality Issues in Stationary Fuel Cell Systems, from the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory,   researchers point out contaminants of particular concern because of their effects on the functionality and resilience of fuel cell systems, and suggest strategies for clean-up.

Related Topics: OSTI collections

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