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PNNL scientists win 3 R&D 100 awards for visual display, analytics and energy technologies
Date:7/14/2014

-inch screen from 8 feet away.

Avegant's Kickstarter campaign brought $1.5 million in investments, more than five times its fundraising goal. The Glyph also made The CNN 10: Inventions list for 2014. The beta version of the Glyph will ship out later this year.

The team recognized for developing Glyph includes: PNNL's Bruce Bernacki and Avegant's Allan Evans, Edward Tang and Neil Welch.

Solar boosts natural gas, saves energy

STARS Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System

Natural gas power plants can use about 20 percent less fuel when the sun is shining by injecting solar energy into natural gas with a new system developed by PNNL.

The Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System, or STARS, converts natural gas and sunlight into a more energy-rich fuel called syngas, which power plants can burn to make electricity.

DOE's Energy Information Administration estimates natural gas will be used to produce 27 percent of the nation's electricity by 2020. With the U.S. increasingly relying on inexpensive natural gas for energy, this system can reduce the carbon footprint of power generation.

The STARS uses a mirrored parabolic dish to concentrate sunlight on a pod about four feet long and two feet wide. The device contains a chemical reactor and several heat exchangers. The reactor and heat exchangers have narrow channels that are as wide as six dimes stacked on top of each other. Concentrated sunlight heats up the natural gas flowing through the reactor's channels, which hold a catalyst that helps turn natural gas into syngas.

The heat exchangers' channels help recycle heat left over from the chemical reaction gas. By reusing the heat, solar energy is used more efficiently to convert natural gas into syngas.

STARS has set a world record with 69 percent of the solar energy that hit the system's mirrored dish converted into chemical energy contained in th
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Contact: Eric Francavilla
eric.francavilla@pnnl.gov
509-372-4066
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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