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Sandia's Applied Energy Program

Fact Sheet

Sandia's Applied Energy Program focuses on three primary areas: renewable energy; energy efficiency; and fossil energy. The program staff work to ensure the energy security of the nation, reduce the damage to the environment created by the production of energy, and help to improve the competitiveness of U.S. industry. In addition to using program resources, staff are able to call on talent from throughout the laboratories. The program is part of Sandia's Energy and Environment Sector.

Sandia's work in applied energy began in the early 1970s and built on the Labs' experience in systems analysis, technology development, and engineering design, much of which was derived from the nuclear weapons programs. Much of the work has focused on finding solutions, including new techniques and instruments for locating and recovering deposits of oil and gas; solar central "power towers" for large-scale production of electricity; photovoltaic technology power from sunlight for both utility-scale and stand-alone uses; vertical axis wind turbines to produce megawatts of electricity from the wind; batteries that can store more energy and work more efficiently; and engines that operate efficiently and produce less pollution.

Renewable Energy
Sandia is working to develop commercially viable energy technologies based on solar, wind, and geothermal resources. Each of the technologies has the potential of eventually providing significant energy supplies both in the United States and abroad. Particular emphasis is placed on developing the technologies into utility-scale energy resources.

Sandia operates a Renewable Energy Office as part of its effort to accelerate the commercial use of U.S-developed and -produced renewable energy technology. The office is available to organizations, agencies, and industry to provide high-level engineering expertise on renewable energy systems and their application. The office is an outgrowth of Sandia's more than two decades of helping to develop and deploy renewable energy technologies to address electrical and thermal energy requirements. Much of Sandia's early work was devoted to basic research. Out of that research, the Labs has developed practical applications using renewable energy systems for diverse needs, from bulk power to stand-alone systems for remote areas.

Energy Efficiency
Sandia is working with U.S. industry and universities to develop methods to mitigate damage to the environment resulting from industrial processes. That is done through the use of advanced materials and processes, improved combustion processes, waste reduction, and improved sensing and control. Sandia is developing technologies such as advanced storage systems and superconducting materials that influence energy economics. The Labs also are analyzing how energy-related policies affect government decisions.

In cooperation with industry, Sandia is developing advanced rechargeable battery systems for utility energy storage applications and for electric vehicles. Sandia is part of the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, which is studying rechargeable battery technologies. The Labs also are working with U.S. automobile manufacturers and the U.S. Council of Automotive Research to develop critical technologies for advanced automobiles.

Fossil Energy Work
Sandia is developing technologies that will promote environmentally sound use of the nation's coal resources, and maintain a secure and economic supply of natural gas and crude oil. The Labs are helping to develop improved recovery and utilization and conversion methods of those energy resources. Sandia's involvement includes developing a new generation vehicle called "the clean car," utility partnerships such as U.S. PowerTech to work on creating integrated utility storage, and computational initiatives for the petroleum industry, particularly 3-D seismic mapping.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy.
Media Contact
Chris Miller

Last modified: August 6, 1997

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