Today at Berkeley Lab

ETA Contributes to Energy Standards for Computer Servers

The Energy Technology Areas’ Industrial Applications team recently contributed to the development of NSF 426, an international standard for environmental leadership in the design and manufacture of computer servers. It includes criteria for certification to ISO 5001, which supports market-driven adoption of energy management best practices in manufacturing supply chains. More>

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‘Utility-Scale Solar 2016’ Report Finds Solar Power Increasingly Competitive

The Lab’s “Utility Scale Solar 2016” report on U.S. large ground-mounted solar projects explores trends in deployment and project design, installed project prices, operating costs, capacity factors, and power purchase agreement (PPA) prices (now under $30/MWh). More>

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JGI Develops Minimum Metadata Standards for Uncultivated Microbial Genomes

An international team led by Joint Genome Institute researchers has developed standards for the minimum metadata to be supplied with single amplified genomes and metagenome-assembled genomes submitted to public databases. “Robust comparative genomics relies on extensive and correct metadata,” said JGI’s Tanja Woyke. More>

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Predicting Unruly Plasma Behavior with Simulations

Multiscale gyrokinetic simulations at NERSC are helping to determine whether electron energy transport in a tokamak plasma discharge is multiscale in nature. Being able to accurately predict electron energy transport is critical for predicting performance in future reactors such as ITER, currently under construction in France. More>

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Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Lab scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies tackling the challenge of creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use. More>

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A TOAST for Next Generation CMB Experiments

Achieving a critical milestone for CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) experiments, researchers scaled their data simulation and reduction framework TOAST to run on all 658,784 Intel Knights Landing Xeon Phi processor cores on NERSC’s Cori supercomputer. A new module to simulate the noise introduced when telescopes view the CMB was also implemented. More>

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Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel. More>

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Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals; A New Step Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cells

A new Lab-led study provides insight into how an ultrathin coating can enhance the performance of graphene-wrapped nanocrystals for hydrogen storage applications. The findings could help researchers understand how similar coatings could also enhance the performance and stability of other materials that show promise for hydrogen storage applications. More>

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Hints From Hemoglobin Lead to Better Carbon Monoxide Storage

Carbon monoxide is an insidious poison because it loves the iron in our blood. This affinity for iron comes in handy in a newly created material that can absorb carbon monoxide far better than other materials, with potential applications in industrial processes like syngas production, where CO is a key player, and reactions where CO is an unwanted contaminant. More>

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Scientists Map Key DNA Protein Complex at Near-Atomic Resolution

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), Berkeley Lab researchers have obtained 3-D models of a human transcription factor at near-atomic resolutions. The protein complex is critical to gene expression and DNA repair, and could aid research in targeted drug development. More>

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