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The RAPID Manufacturing Institute delegation
NETL’s innovative work to develop energy technology solutions closely aligns with the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute’s core mission: Develop groundbreaking technologies to boost energy productivity and efficiency. Those mutual interests brought RAPID CEO William Grieco and Chief Technology Officer Jim Bielenberg to the Lab’s Morgantown site Thursday, Jan. 31, to explore possibilities for collaboration. They were joined by RAPID member John Hu, Ph.D., of West Virginia University, and RAPID colleagues Ignasi Palou-Rivera and Fereshteh Farzad.
Methane Detection done
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is expanding its work with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of San Antonio, Texas, to develop the next generation of methane leak detection technology combining remote sensing and artificial intelligence capabilities in a system that can operate from an aerial platform — an approach that can more effectively help alleviate methane emissions from multiple operations in the natural gas industry. The objective of the new research is to develop an airborne, autonomous, real-time leak detection technology that applies machine learning techniques to passive optical sensing modalities to mitigate emissions through early detection. NETL has supported SwRI work on the Smart Methane Emission Detection System (SLED/M) since 2016, and key progress has been made on a system that monitors various regions of a gas pipeline facility and interacts with natural gas mitigation technologies. However, so far, SLED/M has been land based.
NETL Developing Methods and Data Sheet Resources for Improved Designs of Power Grid Components
Advanced computer modeling methods can enable energy researchers to rapidly design and optimize the nation’s electric grid and the electrification of the energy infrastructure. Of particular significance is the need to rapidly predict and design improved performance of soft magnetic components that include transformers, inductors and even rotating electrical machinery such as motors and generators – all key components of the electrical grid. Because the utility of computer simulations and modeling techniques ultimately depend upon the accuracy of the data, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are gathering this information through extensive material characterization work of magnetic cores under a range of excitation conditions relevant for applications. Because the performance of magnetic cores is sensitively dependent upon the details of materials, manufacturing, fabrication, and processing techniques as well as the specific excitation conditions, this data fills a gap in the available information that is required for optimization of soft magnetic components.
Working with NETL – An Economic Development Webinar
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will hold a free one-hour webinar at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8 that will provide participants with detailed information on how to engage the Laboratory to advance economic and workforce development initiatives related to manufacturing and energy industries. NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI) is hosting the webinar, which targets regional stakeholders; technical and community colleges; workforce, economic and community development organizations; foundations; manufacturing and energy resource organizations; and public and private research entities. Registration is required for the webinar and space is limited. Registration can be arranged by visiting Working with NETL – An Economic Development Webinar. The mission of RWFI is to create a platform for regional stakeholders to engage the laboratory and other federal agencies in collaborative economic development and workforce development efforts.
NETL’s BIAS sorbents are one example of the Lab’s licensing successes.
NETL is dedicated to its mission to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations. Our scientists and engineers work diligently to create technology solutions to our nation’s energy challenges and the advances they make in the Lab have far-reaching impacts. However, they reach their full potential after making the challenging leap from the laboratory to the marketplace where they benefit the greatest number of people as quickly and efficiently as possible. With that goal in mind, NETL specialists work to open a wide array of pathways that take technologies to market. For example, patent licensing opportunities are key components of NETL’s technology transfer approach. As part of a federal agency, NETL grants licenses that permit private companies to further develop, use, make or sell a patent-pending or patented technology or process. NETL searches for licensing partners who can demonstrate a plan for technology development and marketing — key elements that help demonstrate a high probability for commercial success — and plans to make the benefits of the technology accessible to the public.
S&T poster session NETL
Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg NETL researchers leverage the Lab’s world-class capabilities and facilities each day to pursue innovative science and technology (S&T) advances that contribute to technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. The Lab recently celebrated more than 30 notable 2018 S&T accomplishments with an interactive poster session focused on key research priorities that promote safe, reliable and affordable energy nationwide. NETL welcomed Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management Lou Hrkman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas Shawn Bennett and university partners to the Jan. 23 event at the Morgantown site.
Stratigraphic Test Well
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), as part of an international partnership, has taken a significant step forward in investigating the resource potential of natural gas hydrates within the Prudhoe Bay Unit (PBU) on the Alaska North Slope. Gas hydrates are naturally occurring combinations of natural gas and water that form in specific conditions of relatively cold temperatures and relatively high pressures. They are known to occur in abundance in northern Alaska, as well as in the shallow sediments of deepwater continental margins around the world, including well documented deposits in the Gulf of Mexico and off the southeastern coast of Japan. Alaska is the only location in the world where gas hydrate recoverability can be feasibly tested and monitored over the desired timeframes. Alaska’s North Slope holds an estimated 85 trillion cubic feet of technically-recoverable gas in hydrate form according to the USGS. 
FOA Logo
 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL today announced up to $38 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects enhancing technologies that improve the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of the nation’s existing coal-fired power plant fleet. Coal is vital to the Nation’s energy security and provides around 30 percent of U.S. electricity. DOE is funding research to modernize the grid and improve the existing coal-fired power plant fleet under the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) funding opportunity announcement Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants. “Utilizing all of our energy resources to ensure the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s electricity is a top priority for the Department of Energy,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes. “Modernizing and advancing the existing coal fleet is imperative to this mission. By improving the efficiency of our baseload generation, we are strengthening the reliability of all our electricity generation.”
NETL’s Tom Tarka chats with Ramaco Carbon Chairman and CEO Randall Atkins during a tour at the Pittsburgh site. NETL and Ramaco signed an umbrella cooperative research and development agreement that allows them to collaborate on projects that use coal as a manufacturing feedstock for high-value products.
Technology transfer is critical to research and development efforts at NETL and across the country, as it ensures that emerging innovations move from the laboratory to the marketplace for the greatest impact. Partnerships with businesses, entrepreneurs, universities and others facilitate technology transfer by bridging the gap between research and commercialization. The necessity for collaboration puts NETL in a key position within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lab Partnering Service (LPS). Launched in July 2018, LPS helps potential investors/partners navigate the vast economic opportunities within the DOE complex by providing a single online access point for information from all 20 national labs and facilities. The LPS website enables users to connect with technology experts at relevant DOE national labs and facilities, learn about partnership possibilities and search technologies and patents available for licensing. Inquiries are routed to each lab’s Technology Transfer Office, which assists in answering questions and/or directing them to the appropriate individual within the DOE laboratory system.
NETL’s work in designing transformative advanced energy systems through a partnership of academic institutions and U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories — known as the Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) — and its innovations in the field of sensor development has drawn the attention of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII). Haresh Malkani, Ph.D., chief technology officer of CESMII, visited NETL in Pittsburgh Wednesday to learn more about the Laboratory’s work and discuss potential areas of mutual interest like sensor development and IDAES activities. CESMII, launched in 2016, is the ninth institute in the Manufacturing USA network. Its focus is the research and development of technologies and solutions that can capture, share and process the increasing amounts of information available at manufacturing facilities. These technologies are expected to enable dramatically improved process control and operation, and enable benefits such as improved energy efficiency, equipment reliability and productivity gains, as well as related improvements in safety and quality in manufacturing processes.