- Number 352 |
- December 12, 2011
All systems are “go” at the Long Island Solar Farm (LISF), the largest solar power plant in the eastern United States. Built on 200 acres in the southeast corner of Brookhaven Lab’s property, the LISF is owned by BP Solar and Met Life. Its 164,312 photovoltaic panels can produce 32-megawatts (MW) of electricity, feeding it to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) grid to power up to 4,500 homes and businesses.
Brookhaven scientists will have access to data from the array as a condition of the easement agreement granted by DOE for use of the land. They are installing sensors and imagers to collect large amounts of data from LISF systems. The data will be used by researchers at the Lab and across the country to address the key issues facing deployment of large-scale solar power plants.
Using the Advanced Photon Source at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory, a group of Northwestern University and Argonne scientists have figured out the secrets of algae that can preferentially take up strontium over calcium-a task so difficult that it's not easily done even in a laboratory. The algae could form the basis of new technologies to clean up contaminated land or water.
Strontium-90 is one of the deadly isotopes produced by nuclear weapons and reactors. If it's ingested in contaminated food or water, the human skeleton may take it up instead of calcium-where it can sit for decades, poised to trigger bone cancer or leukemia.
Last month, the preparations for the assembly of the NOvA neutrino detector passed a pivotal test in an assembly building at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Scientists, engineers and technicians from Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Minnesota successfully operated for the first time the NOvA pivoter, the hydraulic system used to move and rotate huge, 200-ton blocks of detector components for the assembly of the 15,000-ton particle detector.
Methods for generating synthesis gas from simple hydrocarbons such as methane routinely involve the use of a catalyst, but the high sulfur and aromatic content of fuels such as diesel poses a major challenge, since these components can deactivate conventional catalysts. Unfortunately, no economically feasible reforming catalyst is available for converting diesel and coal-based fuels into hydrogen-rich synthesis gas necessary for use in SOFCs.
Carbon in, carbon out. Uncovering better methods to distinguish the sources of carbon emitted into the atmosphere was the goal of a research team led by the Joint Global Change Research Institute. The team found more efficient methods to separate components of soil respiration in forests, replacing labor-intensive techniques. JGCRI is a partnership between DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland.