This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 16, 2014

31 Energy Department Projects Win R&D 100 Awards for 2014

Energy Department researchers have won 31 of the 100 awards this year by R&D Magazine for the most outstanding technology developments with promising commercial potential. The R&D 100 awards are given annually in recognition of exceptional new products or processes that were developed and introduced into the marketplace during the previous year.

To be eligible for an award, the technology or process has to be in working and marketable condition and had to be first available for purchase or licensing during 2013. Of the winning technologies, 11 are primarily devoted to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Those include:

  • A chemical solution developed by Argonne National Laboratory chemists to prevent overcharging a lithium-ion battery by electrochemically “locking in” a maximum voltage which is dependent on the chemical structure of the chemical additive and the nature of the battery material;

  • The Advanced Electrolyte Model, a powerful tool from Idaho National Laboratory that analyzes and identifies potential electrolytes for battery systems;

  • Two projects from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): NREL worked with the company Crystal Solar to demonstrate the viability of high-efficiency thin monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules that are less than 80 microns thick and to show that they can be grown at low-cost through an epitaxial process. NREL collaborated with Hewlett Packard to develop the HP Apollo 8000 System, which uses component-level warm-water cooling to dissipate heat generated by a supercomputer, thereby eliminating the need for expensive and inefficient chillers in the data center.

Since 1962, when the annual competition began, the Energy Department’s national laboratories have received more than 800 R&D 100 awards. The awards are selected by an independent panel of judges based on the technical significance, uniqueness, and usefulness of products and technologies from across industry, government, and academia. See the Energy Department news release and the R&D 100 awards website.