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Recent technological advances in thin film solar cells

Description: High-efficiency, low-cost thin film solar cells are an exciting photovoltaic technology option for generating cost-effective electricity in 1995 and beyond. This paper reviews the substantial advances made by several thin film solar cell technologies, namely, amorphous silicon, copper indium diselenide, cadmium telluride, and polycrystalline silicon. Recent examples of utility demonstration projects of these emerging materials are also discussed. 8 refs., 4 figs.
Date: March 1, 1990
Creator: Ullal, H.S.; Zwelbel, K. & Surek, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CO sub 2 sources for microalgae-based liquid fuel production

Description: Researchers in the Aquatic Species Program at the Solar Energy Research Institute are developing species of microalgae that have high percentages of lipids, or oils. These lipids can be extracted and converted to diesel fuel substitutes. Because microalgae need carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) as a nutrient, optimal microalgae growth occurs in CO{sub 2}-saturated solutions. For this reason, the authors of this study sought to identify possible large-scale sources of CO{sub 2} for microalgae-based liquid fuels production. The authors concluded that several such promising sources exist. 42 refs., 14 figs., 10 tabs.
Date: August 1, 1990
Creator: Feinberg, D. & Karpuk, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Atmospheric performance of the special-purpose Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) thin-airfoil family

Description: The Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), in cooperation with SeaWest Energy Group, has completed extensive atmospheric testing of the special-purpose SERI thin-airfoil family during the 1990 wind season. The purpose of this test program was to experimentally verify the predicted performance characteristics of the thin-airfoil family on a geometrically optimized blade, and to compare it to original-equipment blades under atmospheric wind conditions. The tests were run on two identical Micon 65/13 horizontal-axis wind turbines installed side-by-side in a wind farm. The thin-airfoil family 7.96 m blades were installed on one turbine, and AeroStar 7.41 m blades were installed on the other. This paper presents final performance results of the side-by-side comparative field test for both clean and dirty blade conditions. 7 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.
Date: September 1, 1990
Creator: Tangler, J; Smith, B; Jager, D & Olsen, T
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Influences of atmospheric conditions and air mass on the ratio of ultraviolet to total solar radiation

Description: The technology to detoxify hazardous wastes using ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation is being investigated by the DOE/SERI Solar Thermal Technology Program. One of the elements of the technology evaluation is the assessment and characterization of UV solar radiation resources available for detoxification processes. This report describes the major atmospheric variables that determine the amount of UV solar radiation at the earth's surface, and how the ratio of UV-to-total solar radiation varies with atmospheric conditions. These ratios are calculated from broadband and spectral solar radiation measurements acquired at SERI, and obtained from the literature on modeled and measured UV solar radiation. The following sections discuss the atmospheric effects on UV solar radiation and provide UV-to-total solar radiation ratios from published studies, as well as measured values from SERI's data. A summary and conclusions are also given.
Date: August 1, 1990
Creator: Riordan, C.J.; Hulstrom, R.L. & Myers, D.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon dioxide release from ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) cycles

Description: This paper presents the results of recent measurements of CO{sub 2} release from an open-cycle ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) experiment. Based on these data, the rate of short-term CO{sub 2} release from future open-cycle OTEC plants is projected to be 15 to 25 times smaller than that from fossil-fueled electric power plants. OTEC system that incorporate subsurface mixed discharge are expected to result in no long-term release. OTEC plants can significantly reduce CO{sub 2} emissions when substituted for fossil-fueled power generation. 12 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: September 1, 1990
Creator: Green, H.J. (Solar Energy Research Inst., Golden, CO (USA)) & Guenther, P.R. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of available saline water resources in New Mexico for the production of microalgae

Description: Researchers evaluated saline water resources in New Mexico for their suitability as sites for large-scale microalgae production facilities. Production of microalgae could provide a renewable source of fuel, chemicals, and food. In addition, making use of the unused saline water resources would increase the economic activity in the state. After analyzing the 15 billion acre-ft of unused saline water resources in the state, scientists narrowed the locations down to six sites with the most potential. With further analysis, they chose the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico as the best-suited area for 100-hectare microalgae production facility. 34 refs., 38 figs., 14 tabs.
Date: August 1, 1990
Creator: Lansford, R.; Hernandez, J.; Enis, P.; Truby, D. & Mapel, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A planning framework for transferring building energy technologies: Executive Summary

Description: Accelerating the adoption of new and existing cost-effective technologies has significant potential to reduce the energy consumed in US buildings. This report summarizes some of the key results of an interlaboratory technology transfer planning effort in support of the US Department of Energy's Office of Building Technologies (the full report is published under SERI number TP-260-3729). A guiding assumption for planning was that OBT's R D program should forge linkages with existing programs whose goals involved enhancing energy efficiency in buildings. An ad hoc Technology Transfer Advisory Group reviewed the existing analysis and technology transfer program, brainstormed technology transfer approaches, interviewed DOE program managers, identified applicable research results, and developed a framework that management could use in deciding on the best investments of technology transfer resources. Representatives of 22 organizations were interviewed on their views of the potential for transferring energy efficiency technologies through active linking with OBT. The report describes in summary these programs and interview results; outlines OBT tools, technologies, and practices to be transferred; defines OBT audiences; identifies technology transfer functions and presents a framework devised using functions and audiences; presents some example technology transfer activities; and summarizes the Advisory Group's recommendations.
Date: August 1, 1990
Creator: Farhar, B C; Brown, M A; Mohler, B L; Wilde, M & Abel, F H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CO sub 2 emissions from coal-fired and solar electric power plants

Description: This report presents estimates of the lifetime carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired, photovoltaic, and solar thermal electric power plants in the United States. These CO{sub 2} estimates are based on a net energy analysis derived from both operational systems and detailed design studies. It appears that energy conservation measures and shifting from fossil to renewable energy sources have significant long-term potential to reduce carbon dioxide production caused by energy generation and thus mitigate global warming. The implications of these results for a national energy policy are discussed. 40 refs., 8 figs., 23 tabs.
Date: May 1, 1990
Creator: Keith, F.; Norton, P. & Brown, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transferring building energy technologies by linking government and private-sector programs

Description: The US Department of Energy's Office of Building Technologies (OBT) may wish to use existing networks and infrastructures wherever possible to transfer energy-efficiency technologies for buildings. The advantages of relying on already existing networks are numerous. These networks have in place mechanisms for reaching audiences interested in energy-efficiency technologies in buildings. Because staffs in trade and professional organizations and in state and local programs have responsibilities for brokering information for their members or client organizations, they are open to opportunities to improve their performance in information transfer. OBT, as an entity with primarily R D functions, is, by cooperating with other programs, spared the necessity of developing an extensive technology transfer program of its own, thus reinventing the wheel.'' Instead, OBT can minimize its investment in technology transfer by relying extensively on programs and networks already in place. OBT can work carefully with staff in other organizations to support and facilitate their efforts at information transfer and getting energy-efficiency tools and technologies into actual use. Consequently, representatives of some 22 programs and organizations were contacted, and face-to-face conversations held, to explore what the potential might be for transferring technology by linking with OBT. The briefs included in this document were derived from the discussions, the newly published Directory of Energy Efficiency Information Services for the Residential and Commercial Sectors, and other sources provided by respondents. Each brief has been sent to persons contacted for their review and comment one or more times, and each has been revised to reflect the review comments.
Date: July 1, 1990
Creator: Farhar, B.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conceptual design of an open-cycle ocean thermal energy conversion net power-producing experiment (OC-OTEC NPPE)

Description: This report describes the conceptual design of an experiment to investigate heat and mass transfer and to assess the viability of open-cycle ocean thermal energy conversion (OC-OTEC). The experiment will be developed in two stages, the Heat- and Mass-Transfer Experimental Apparatus (HMTEA) and the Net Power-Producing Experiment (NPPE). The goal for the HMTEA is to test heat exchangers. The goal for the NPPE is to experimentally verify OC-OTEC's feasibility by installing a turbine and testing the power-generating system. The design effort met the goals of both the HMTEA and the NPPE, and duplication of hardware was minimal. The choices made for the design resource water flow rates are consistent with the availability of cold and warm seawater as a result of the seawater systems upgrade carried out by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the state of Hawaii, and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research. The choices regarding configuration of the system were made based on projected performance, degree of technical risk, schedule, and cost. The cost for the future phase of the design and the development of the HMTEA/NPPE is consistent with the projected future program funding levels. The HMTEA and NPPE were designed cooperatively by PICHTR, Argonne National Laboratory, and Solar Energy Research Institute under the guidance of DOE. The experiment will be located at the DOE's Seacoast Test Facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. 71 refs., 41 figs., 34 tabs.
Date: July 1, 1990
Creator: Bharathan, D.; Green, H.J.; Link, H.F.; Parsons, B.K.; Parsons, J.M. & Zangrando, F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Research on polycrystalline thin-film materials, cells, and modules

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) supports research activities in polycrystalline thin films through the Polycrystalline Thin-Film Program at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI). This program includes research and development (R D) in both copper indium diselenide and cadmium telluride thin films for photovoltaic applications. The objective of this program is to support R D of photovoltaic cells and modules that meet the DOE long-term goals of high efficiency (15%--20%), low cost ($50/m{sup 2}), and reliability (30-year life time). Research carried out in this area is receiving increased recognition due to important advances in polycrystalline thin-film CuInSe{sub 2} and CdTe solar cells and modules. These have become the leading thin-film materials for photovoltaics in terms of efficiency and stability. DOE has recognized this potential through a competitive initiative for the development of CuInSe{sub 2} and CdTe modules. This paper focuses on the recent progress and future directions of the Polycrystalline Thin-Film Program and the status of the subcontracted research on these promising photovoltaic materials. 26 refs., 12 figs, 1 tab.
Date: November 1, 1990
Creator: Mitchell, R.L.; Zweibel, K. & Ullal, H.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The sensitivity of wind technology utilization to cost and market parameters

Description: This study explores the sensitivity of future wind energy market penetration to available wind resources, wind system costs, and competing energy system fuel costs for several possible energy market evolution scenarios. The methodology for the modeling is described in general terms. Cost curves for wind technology evolution are presented and used in conjunction with wind resource estimates and energy market projections to estimate wind penetration into the market. Results are presented that show the sensitivity of the growth of wind energy use to key cost parameters and to some of the underlying modeling assumptions. In interpreting the results, the authors place particular emphasis on the relative influence of the parameters studied. 4 refs., 8 figs., 1 tab.
Date: November 1, 1990
Creator: Dodd, H.M. (Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA)); Hock, S.M. & Thresher, R.W. (Solar Energy Research Inst., Golden, CO (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Degradation of desiccants upon contamination: An experimental study

Description: Experiments were conducted to quantify the effects of thermal cycling and exposure to contamination on solid desiccant materials that may be used in desiccant cooling systems. A test apparatus was used to thermally cycle several desiccant samples and expose them to ambient or contaminated humid air. The source of contamination was cigarette smoke. Six different solid desiccants were tested: two types of silica gel, activated alumina, activated carbon, molecular sieves, and lithium chloride. The exposed desiccant samples were removed after 0.5, 1, 2, 4, or 11 months of exposure and their moisture capacities were measured. Other tests were conducted to characterize pollutants deposited on the exposed samples or to evaluate impact of exposure on internal structure of the samples. Compared to fresh samples, the capacity loss due to thermal cycling with ambient air was generally 10% to 30%. The capacity loss due to only cigarette smoke was generally between 20% to 50%. 7 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: November 1, 1990
Creator: Pesaran, A.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A discussion of the results of an in-situ comparison of three full-vector anemometers

Description: Extensive field measurements and the numerical modeling of dynamic responses associated with wind turbine rotor blades have pointed to strong interactions with coherent turbulent structures in the turbine inflow. These interactions are thought to be a major source of high-cycle fatigue in the primary structural components of wind turbines. The sources of such turbulent structures are not only natural terrain features but also the wakes from upwind turbines. Many unsteady aerodynamic processes are excited by turbulent eddies ranging in size from several rotor diameters down to the dimensions of the mean blade chord. These processes are responsible for inducing large, fluctuating loads on the turbine rotor blades. For the wind turbine generators now in use, this encompasses a spatial range of about 0.1 to 300 m. To assess our ability to measure the coherent properties of inflow turbulence over such a wide range of spatial range, we performed a study to compare three full-vector anemometers. We believe that to identify the dominant fluid dynamic properties of such flows, the instrumentation used must be capable of good fidelity measurements over the desired spatial range. The sonic anemometer is a primary candidate; we also wanted to compare the results associated with a well-designed mechanical instrument which is available at considerably less cost. Two sonic designs and as propeller-bivane were exposed to turbulent flows downstream of both extremely complex and moderately rolling terrain. This paper discusses some of the results of these comparisons with an emphasis on the measurements of turbulent fluctuations.
Date: October 1, 1990
Creator: Kelley, N.D.; Scott, G.N. & Allread, J.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The high cost of low quality in R D (research and development)

Description: The principles of quality assurance and quality control yield high payoffs when applied to research activities. Researchers are usually highly motivated individuals who earnestly desire to produce excellent results. The nature of research and the temperament of researchers are such that considerable freedom and latitude are usually required so that the creative processes are not impeded. These are approaches that can be used in applying quality assurance and control that researchers will accept and use when they see the payoff. Some examples are given, with particular emphasis on quality cost systems applied to measurement processes in R D. 14 refs.
Date: October 1, 1990
Creator: Wells, C.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Vacuum window glazings for energy-efficient buildings

Description: The technical feasibility of a patented, laser-welded, evacuated insulating window was studied. The window has two edge-sealed sheets of glass separated by 0.5-mm glass spheres spaced 30 mm apart in a regular array. A highly insulating frame is required and several designs were analyzed. The vacuum window's combination of high solar transmittance and low thermal conductance makes it superior to many other windows in cold climates. In the US Pacific Northwest, the vacuum window could save about 6 MJ of heating energy annually per square meter of window in comparison to conventional, double-glazed windows. A large, vacuum laser-welding facility was designed and installed to conduct glass welding experiments and to fabricate full-sized vacuum windows. Experiments confirmed the feasibility of laser-sealing glass in vacuum but identified two difficulties. Under some circumstances, bubbles of dissolved gases form during welding and weaken the seal. Glass also vaporizes and contaminates the laser beam steering mirror. A novel moving metal foil mirror was developed to circumvent the contamination problem, but it has not yet been used to complete welding experiments and fabricate full-sized vacuum windows. 63 refs., 53 figs., 19 tabs.
Date: May 1, 1990
Creator: Benson, D.K.; Smith, L.K.; Tracy, C.E.; Potter, T.; Christensen, C. (Solar Energy Research Inst., Golden, CO (USA)) & Soule, D.E. (Western Illinois Univ., Macomb, IL (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of municipal solid waste for energy production in the western United States

Description: Municipal solid waste (MSW) represents both a significant problem and an abundant resource for the production of energy. The residential, institutional, and industrial sectors of this country generate about 250 million tons of MSW each year. In this report, the authors have compiled data on the status of MSW in the 13-state western region, including economic and environmental issues. The report is designed to assist the members of the Western Regional Biomass Energy Program Ad Hoc Resource Committee in determining the potential for using MSW to produce energy in the region. 51 refs., 7 figs., 18 tabs.
Date: August 1, 1990
Creator: Goodman, B.J. & Texeira, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectral solar radiation data base documentation

Description: The Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), Electric Power Research Institute, Florida Solar Energy Center, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company cooperated to produce a spectral solar radiation data base representing a range of atmospheric conditions. These data will help to characterize the natural variability in the spectral (color) content of outdoor solar radiation so that the sensitivity of spectrally selective solar devices (such as photovoltaics) to these variations can be studied quantitatively. Volume I of this report documents the history, approach, content and format of the data base; Volume II contains graphs and field notes for each of the spectral data sets. The data reside on magnetic tape at SERI. 18 refs., 29 figs., 5 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Riordan, G.J.; Myers, D.R. & Hulstrom, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation criteria and test methods for electrochromic windows

Description: Report summarizes the test methods used for evaluating electrochromic (EC) windows, and summarizes what is known about degradation of their performance, and recommends methods and procedures for advancing EC windows for buildings applications. 77 refs., 13 figs., 6 tabs.
Date: July 1, 1990
Creator: Czanderna, A.W. (Solar Energy Research Inst., Golden, CO (USA)) & Lampert, C.M. (Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A planning framework for transferring building energy technologies

Description: Accelerating the adoption of new and existing cost-effective technologies has significant potential to reduce the energy consumed in US buildings. This report presents key results of an interlaboratory technology transfer planning effort in support of the US Department of Energy's Office of Building Technologies (OBT). A guiding assumption for planning was that OBT's R D program should forge linkages with existing programs whose goals involved enhancing energy efficiency in buildings. An ad hoc Technology Transfer Advisory Group reviewed the existing analysis and technology transfer program, brainstormed technology transfer approaches, interviewed DOE program managers, identified applicable research results, and developed a framework that management could use in deciding on the best investments of technology transfer resources. Representatives of 22 organizations were interviewed on their views of the potential for transferring energy efficiency technologies through active linking with OBT. The report describes these programs and interview results; outlines OBT tools, technologies, and practices to be transferred; defines OBT audiences; identifies technology transfer functions and presents a framework devised using functions and audiences; presents some 60 example technology transfer activities; and documents the Advisory Group's recommendations. 37 refs., 3 figs., 12 tabs.
Date: July 1, 1990
Creator: Farhar, B C; Brown, M A; Mohler, B L; Wilde, M & Abel, F H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photovoltaic Program Branch annual report, FY 1989

Description: This report summarizes the progress of the Photovoltaic (PV) Program Branch of the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) from October 1, 1988, through September 30, 1989. The branch is responsible for managing the subcontracted portion of SERI's PV Advanced Research and Development Project. In fiscal year (FY) 1989, this included nearly 50 subcontracts, with a total annualized funding of approximately $13.1 million. Approximately two-thirds of the subcontracts were with universities, at a total funding of nearly $4 million. The six technical sections of the report cover the main areas of the subcontracted program: Amorphous Silicon Research, Polycrystalline Thin Films, Crystalline Silicon Materials Research, High-Efficiency Concepts, New Ideas, and University Participation. Technical summaries of each of the subcontracted programs provide a discussion of approaches, major accomplishments in FY 1989, and future research directions. Each report will be cataloged individually.
Date: March 1, 1990
Creator: Summers, K A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PC-based PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) telemetry data reduction system hardware

Description: The Solar Energy Research Institute's (SERI) Wind Research Program is using pulse code modulation (PCM) telemetry systems to study horizontal-axis wind turbines. SERI has developed a low-cost PC-based PCM data acquisition system to facilitate quick PCM data analysis in the field. The SERI PC-PCM system consists of AT-compatible hardware boards for decoding and combining PCM data streams and DOS software for control and management of data acquisition. Up to four boards can be installed in a single PC, providing the capability to combine data from four PCM streams direct to disk or memory. This paper describes the SERI PC-PCM system hardware, focusing on the practicality of PC-based PCM data reduction. A related paper highlights our comprehensive PCM data management software program which can be used in conjunction with this hardware to provide full quick-look'' data processing and display. The PC-PCM hardware boards support a subset of the Inter-Range Instrumentation Group (IRIG) PCM standard, designed to synchronize and decommutate NRZ or Bi-Phase L PCM streams in the range of 1 to 800 Kbits/sec at 8 to 12 bits per word and 2 to 64 words per frame. Multiple PCM streams (at various rates) can be combined and interleaved into a contiguous digital time series. Maximum data throughput depends on characteristics of the PC hardware, such as CPU rate and disk access speed. 7 refs., 6 figs., 4 tabs.
Date: February 1, 1990
Creator: Simms, D.A. & Butterfield, C.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectral solar radiation data base documentation

Description: The Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), Electric Power Research Institute, Florida Solar Energy Center, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company cooperated to produce a spectral solar radiation data base representing a range of atmospheric conditions. These data will help to characterize the neutral variability in the spectral (color) content to outdoor solar radiation so that the sensitivity of spectrally selective solar devices (such as photovoltaics) to these variations can be studied quantitatively. Volume 1 of this report documents the history, approach, content, and format of the data base; Volume 2 contains graphs and field notes for each of the spectral data sets. The data reside on magnetic tape at SERI.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Riordan, C.J.; Myers, D.R. & Hulstrom, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Health, safety and environmental issues relating to cadmium usage in photovoltaic energy systems

Description: This paper discusses the current technology base and hazards associated with two promising thin-film photovoltaic cells that contain cadmium compounds--cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium deselenide (CuInSe{sub 2}). More specifically, this paper summarized the toxicological information on cadmium (Cd) compounds;evaluates potential health, safety and environmental hazards associated with cadmium usage in the photovoltaics industry; describes regulatory requirements associated with the use, handling and disposal of cadmium compounds; and lists management options to permit the safe and continued use of these materials. Handling of cadmium in photovoltaic production can present hazards to health, safety and the environment. Prior recognition of these hazards can allow device manufacturers and regulators to implement appropriate and readily available hazard management strategies. Hazards associated with product use (i.e., array fires) and disposal remain controversial and partially unresolved. The most likely effects that could be expected would be those associated with chronic low-level exposures to cadmium wastes. Because of the general immobility of the cadmium present in these devices and availability of environmental and biomonitoring protocols, chronic hazards can be monitored, and remediated if necessary. 26 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Moskowitz, P.D.; Fthenakis, V.M. (Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (USA)) & Zweibel, K. (Solar Energy Research Inst., Golden, CO (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department