Energy – Building a better thermostat

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers designed and field-tested an algorithm that could help homeowners maintain comfortable temperatures year-round while minimizing utility costs.

The algorithm learns over time to keep the home at residents’ desired temperature settings while minimizing energy costs and adjusting to environmental conditions, all with no existing knowledge of the building. Results suggest the algorithm could save homeowners as much as 25% on annual utility bills.

Fusion – Helping JET soar

Equipment and expertise from Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow scientists studying fusion energy and technologies to acquire crucial data during landmark fusion experiments in Europe. 

ORNL’s Ted Biewer led a team that developed diagnostics equipment for JET, the Joint European Torus facility in the United Kingdom, which will allow scientists to better measure and understand the nuclear fusion process.

Wireless charging – Get on the bus

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated their wireless charging technology on an autonomous electric vehicle for the first time in a project with Local Motors.

Climate – Accelerating methane

Scientists studying a unique whole-ecosystem warming experiment in the Minnesota peatlands found that microorganisms are increasing methane production faster than carbon dioxide production. These results could mean a future with more methane, a greenhouse gas that is up to 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Manufacturing – Powered by nature

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated the ability to additively manufacture power poles from bioderived and recycled materials, which could more quickly restore electricity after natural disasters.

Using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing system, the team 3D printed a 55-foot pole designed as a closed cylindrical structure. They evaluated three different composite materials with glass fibers including cellulose ester, recycled polycarbonate and bamboo fiber reinforced polystyrene.