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

October 15, 2004

EERE-Funded Research Garners Ten Prestigious R&D 100 Awards

R&D 100 Award logo.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) contributed to 10 of the year's top 100 technology developments with commercial potential, according to R&D Magazine, which presented its 42nd annual R&D 100 Awards on October 14th. The awards recognize the most promising new products, processes, materials, or software developed throughout the world and introduced to the market the previous year.

DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory contributed to two winning technologies relating to renewable energy: a robust and lightweight thin-film solar power module and an enzymatic process for converting cellulose (found in wood and grasses) to glucose, which can then be converted into fuels or chemicals.

Four award-winning technologies relate to industrial energy efficiency: DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a system for heating high-performance aluminum forgings; DOE's Argonne National Laboratory helped develop a software model of a glass furnace; DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Sandia National Laboratories helped develop a radio imaging system that maps underground features to help mines avoid hazards; and NETL helped develop a system that replaces vibrating screen machines, used for tasks such as separating sand from gravel.

Four awards went to energy efficiency technologies for buildings and vehicles. NETL helped to develop a ceramic-based electrochromic window, which can be electronically dimmed to control glare and heat gain in buildings and vehicles. DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed its own electrochromic window prototype using lower-cost metals such as nickel and manganese. Sandia developed a process to create brighter, more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for high-efficiency lights, which have applications in both buildings and vehicles. And Argonne developed the Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit software, which lets vehicle designers compare advanced powertrain configurations, including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

Overall, DOE technologies won 36 of the 100 awards, including one that went to Argonne and NETL for a hydrogen-separation membrane technology. For more information about the awards, see the DOE press release, which includes links to press releases from the DOE national laboratories.

Awards also went to two energy-efficiency technologies that weren't developed by DOE: a high-efficiency air conditioner developed by Idalex Technologies, Inc., and a low-cost, high-temperature fuel cell membrane developed by Virginia Tech and Battelle. See R&D Magazine's descriptions of all R&D 100 Award winners or search for a specific winner in the R&D 100 Awards Archive.