PNNL Solar Researchers Win R&D Award
PNNL researchers have brought home 3 of the 100 R&D awards, also known as the "Oscars of Innovation", after a ceremony in Las Vegas on November 7, 2014.
PNNL researchers have brought home 3 of the 100 R&D awards, also known as the "Oscars of Innovation", after a ceremony in Las Vegas on November 7, 2014. One of the awards, featured in EERE's blog, recognizes the collaboration efforts of PNNL, BARR Engineering, Diver Solar LLC, and Oregon State University in the creation of the Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System (STARS).
STARS converts sunlight and natural gas into syngas, an energy-rich fuel that power plants can then burn to create electricity. The dish pushes sunlight towards a four foot long pod that contains a chemical reactor and several heat exchangers. The sunlight then heats natural gas that flows through the reactor’s channels, where a catalyst converts the gas to syngas. Another application of syngas is its ability to be used as feedstock for the production of hydrogen and synthetic hydrocarbon transportation fuels.
STARS uses 69% of the sunlight collected by the dish to convert gas to syngas, breaking the 63% world record also set by STARS during a 2011 demonstration. The technology was awarded funding through the 2012 SunShot CSP Research and Development program and the 2009 DOE CSP American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program.
PNNL's Robert Wegeng served as the Principal Developer for the STARS team. To read more about the PNNL-won R&D awards, read the PNNL News Release.
Staff Members: Robert Wegeng, Daryl Brown, Dustin Caldwell, Richard Cameron, Robert Dagle, Brad Fritz, Paul Humble, Shankar Krishnan, Jair Lizarazo-Adarme, Dan Palo, and Fen (Richard) Zheng.