- Number 405 |
- January 20, 2014
Premature failures of mechanical systems significantly impact the cost of wind turbine operations and thus the total cost of wind energy. Recently, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) took a step forward toward more reliable, lower-cost wind power with the addition of the new 5-megawatt (MW) Dynamometer Test Facility at its National Wind Technology Center (NWTC). The new facility expands the capability of NWTC engineers and industry partners to verify the performance and reliability of wind turbine drivetrain prototypes and commercial machines.
The facility is capable of testing drivetrains up to 5 MW—large enough to test virtually any land-based turbine—and employs dynamically variable loading capabilities that will allow researchers to better simulate conditions a turbine might experience in the field.
Fifteen minutes can seem like an eternity to engineer Paul Brindza. It's the average lifetime of a neutron, one of the many subatomic particles that scientists study at the U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab. And while 900 seconds seems like a fleetingly short life to most of us, it’s more than enough time for swarms of neutrons to do real damage as they travel inside Jefferson Lab's experimental Hall C.
To stop the neutrons and other particles before they can inflict harm on sensitive scientific equipment and computers, Brindza and his colleague Bert Metzger have devised a system of patented and patent-pending products now being installed in Hall C.
If scientists can control cellular functions such as movement and development, they can cripple cells and pathogens that are causing disease in the body.
Supported by National Institutes of Health grants, researchers at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee, and the UT–ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) discovered a molecular “switch” in a receptor that controls cell behavior using detailed molecular dynamics simulations on a computer called Anton built by D. E. Shaw Research in New York City. To study an even larger signaling complex surrounding the switch, the team is expanding these simulations on the 27-petaflop, CPU–GPU machine Titan—the nation’s most powerful supercomputer, managed by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL.