Energy

Remarkable new prototype battery developed by researchers from the University of Maryland

In a breakthrough in the design of batteries, a research funded by the US Department of Energy has produced a remarkable new prototype battery that just needs 12 minutes to get fully recharged compared to the hours the conventional cells take up to get replenished.

U.S. Senate votes against Keystone XL Pipeline

In a combustible blend of oil and politics, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected legislation Tuesday night aimed at forcing completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Republicans vowed to resurrect the controversial issue swiftly after taking two-house control of Congress in January.

US Buying What Will Be World's Fastest Supercomputers

The U.S. Department of Energy has chosen IBM, Nvidia and Mellanox to help it build supercomputers that are many times faster than the most advanced computing systems available today. The $325 million project aims to develop two ultra-fast computers that DOE labs will use for national security, defense and scientific research.

House votes in favor of Keystone oil pipeline

Congress inched closer to a possible showdown with President Barack Obama over the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the Republican-controlled House approved the project. Supporters in the Democratic-run Senate predicted they will get the 60 votes needed to pass it next week.

White House would 'consider' Keystone bill

The White House said Thursday it would "consider" a rider approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline if it was offered in legislation that was able to pass both houses of Congress. But press secretary Josh Earnest also emphasized that the administration was "committed" to the "firmly established precedent" for such transnational projects, which includes the ongoing review at the State Department.

GOP has votes to pass Keystone

Before Tuesday’s election, supporters had 57 votes in the Senate in support of Keystone, including a dozen Democrats. After Republicans picked up seven Senate seats (and counting) in Tuesday's election, the vote count for Keystone had ballooned to 61.

What Washington Politicians -- and Those of Other Countries -- Can Learn from the U.S. Energy Miracle

After decades of decline in domestic oil production and growing dependence on foreign oil sources, the situation has been stunningly reversed by the use of revolutionary methods in drilling for oil and natural gas. The increase in U.S. oil production since 2008 (more than 4 million barrels per day) now exceeds the total output of every member of OPEC but one, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. Military Is Working on Nuclear Batteries

A 2013 report by the Defense Science Board identified “nuclear batteries” as an essential technology for the U.S. military in the 21st century. Though the technology sounds like science fiction, nuclear batteries have long served space exploration and medicine.

New technology helps study potential of offshore wind energy in the US

Two data collecting buoys will help determine the energy-harnessing possibilities of this sea-based renewable source of power. The buoys are equipped with advanced oceanographic and meteorological equipment.

Nano Paint Captures Concentrated Solar Rays

The paint – developed by a team at the University of California, San Diego, with funding from the Energy Department’s SunShot program – uses a range of particles from 10 nanometers to 10 micrometers to trap 90 percent of the concentrated sunlight that strikes it, the team reported last week.

Energy Department expands efficiency push to 'fast-charging' power cords

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced it will hold a public meeting later this month to discuss the proposed rules for external power supplies that charge the devices. The agency proposed new efficiency standards for certain fast-charging power cords last month, which will be the topic of discussion at the meeting on Nov. 21.

3 STEM programs making an impact in Pittsburgh (one worth $21 million)

Teacher Tim Liller took on a rather ambitious project last year with his tech ed class at Big Beaver Falls High School. His students spent the better part of the year designing and building photo voltaic modules, better known as solar panels. The project was an experiment, he says, to see if students could not only master the advanced problem-solving skills required to design the modules but stay focused and engaged on a highly technical project that spanned the entire school year.

DOE invests in more efficient nuclear power plants

The Obama administration is looking to develop more efficient nuclear power facilities. As part of the Obama administration's climate action plan, the Energy Department announced it will provide tens of millions of dollars to support companies involved in key nuclear energy research.

Will a Breakthrough Solar Technology See the Light of Day?

The power unit is a rectangular slab about the size of a movie theater screen. It’s mounted on a thick steel post, and equipped with a tracking mechanism that continuously points it at the sun. The slab is made of over 100,000 small lenses and an equal number of even smaller solar cells, each the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. This contraption is part of one of the most efficient solar power devices ever made.

A conversation with the U.S. Energy Secretary on energy innovation and the Valley’s role

A year and a half after taking the lead at the Department of Energy, Ernie Moniz reflects on changes to the loan programs, and how the government and Silicon Valley can fund energy innovation.

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