Culn(Ga)Se2 (CIGS) Nanowire Solar Cells

Developing CIGS solar cells calls for the understanding of materials and processing in order to translate the record small efficiency to module and the strategy to produce thin cells for materials and processing saving. This project has exploited nanostructuring of CIG solar cells, including nanowires and nanotextured substrates. We showed that nanowires function as well-defined CIGS-CdS p-n junction for understanding the chemical fluctuation, defect formation interface and grain boundary behaviors and the effect of ion diffusion, which are important but complicated issues for solar cell fabrication. We have also demonstrated effective nanoscale photon management on nanotextured substrate to provide opportunity for thin CIGS solar cells. We also developed the scalable methods for producing such nanotextured substrates. The research output in this project helps advancing the CIGS solar cells and broadly other solar cell technologies in cost reduction per unit power.  Product No. DE20131072974  For availability

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Personal Author Y. Cui

Improved Structure and Fabrication of Large, High-Power KHPS Rotors, Final Scientific/Technical Report

The research, development, deployment and demonstration (RDD&D) conducted under this US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Water Power Program (AWPP) project has significantly contributed to advancing the design and construction of stronger, larger, and higher-capacity composite turbine blades for use in the nascent Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) renewable energy industry. MHK turbines convert energy from water current resources, including tidal and river flows, into electricity. Specifically, Verdant Power, Inc, working in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and the University of Minnesota (UMN) St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), among other partners, used evolving Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models and techniques to improve the structure and fabrication of large, high-power composite Kinetic Hydropower System (KHPS) rotor blades. The execution of the project was organized by a series of ten tasks with the objectives to: design; analyze; develop for manufacture and fabricate; and thoroughly test, in the lab and at full scale in the water, the improved KHPS rotor blade.  Pub No. DE20131084212

Personal Author D. Corren F. Sotiropoulos J. Calkins J. Paquette S. Hughes

Keywords Composite rotor blade
Kinetic hydropower system
Turbine blades

Developing a High Throughput Protocol for using Soil Molecular Biology as Trace Evidence. Final Technical Report

Soil has a long and successful history as trace evidence. Originally, the use of soil as trace evidence was accomplished via light microscopy. But the value of soil as trace evidence has expanded significantly with the development of new techniques. Most recently these include using the biochemical molecules from soil microbial communities to make a fingerprint of the specific soil. The current research examines the changes to the microbial community profile that take place during storage of a soil sample. The purpose of this research was to determine the optimal conditions for storing soil when using biochemical molecules as trace evidence. The examination of the soil microbial biochemical molecules was divided into two sections: DNA profiles and fatty acid profiles.  Publication Number:  PB2013106266/www.ntis.govbiochem[1]

Personal Author C. Bailey D. O. Carter R. A. Drijber S. Larson



Integration Costs: Are They Unique to Wind and Solar Energy

In the past several years there has been considerable interest and effort in assessing wind integration costs (solar integration costs have not been as rigorously pursued but this is expected to change with increasing solar energy penetration). This interest is understandable, because wind energy does increase the variability and uncertainty that must be managed on the power system. Measuring this integration cost can be challenging. In addition to wind and solar energy (and load), there are other sources of variability and uncertainty that must be managed in the power system. In this paper we describe some of these sources, which can include the performance of thermal plants. We also show that even the introduction of baseload generation can cause additional ramping and cycling, along with lower capacity factor, of at least some thermal units. The paper concludes by demonstrating that integration costs are not unique to wind and solar, and should perhaps instead be assessed by power plant and load performance instead of technology type.

Personal Author B. Kirby B. M. Hodge C. Clark M. Milligan

United States Conference of Mayors. Clean Energy Solutions for America’s Cities.

The report, from the National League of Cities US Conference of Mayors reports that most mayors expect their cities deployments of new energy technologies to increase over the next five years, despite today’s economic climate. Three in four cities (75%) say their use of new energy technologies is likely to grow, with more than one-quarter (27%) of the 396 cities in this survey expecting the increase to be significant. Cities in the Northeast and South anticipate faster growth, but there is little difference across cities small and large cities alike expect to be deploying more clean technology in five years than they do currently. Only three percent of cities expect their use of new energy technologies to decrease during this period.
Report number – PB2013106243

Featured Research: Pounding Pavement


Full-Depth Reclamation: New Test Procedures and Recommended Updates to Specifications.

Report produced in 2012 by the Texas Transportation Inst., College Station.

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Personal authors: Scullion, T.; Sebesta, S.; Estakhri, C.; Harris, P.; Shon, C. S.

Information on authors can be found at:

ntispavementcoverRehabilitating an old pavement by pulverizing and stabilizing the existing pavement is a process referred to as Full Depth Reclamation (FDR). The stabilized layer becomes either the base or sub-base of the new pavement structure. This process has been used widely for over 20 years in Texas to strengthen and widen structurally inadequate pavement sections. This project developed guidelines on successful FDR practices, developed training materials, and identified areas where improvements to current practices are required. To improve the FDR process, this report includes the following enhancements: Current laboratory testing to select the optimal type and amount of stabilizer takes too long and requires too much material. Continue to run parallel testing with the small sample test protocols proposed in this report. Use the falling weight deflectometer (FWD) during construction to validate that the design assumptions are being met. Implement the proposed bond test to select the optimum prime material and amount needed to effectively bond the base to the surfacing materials. Modify the specifications to avoid working in freezing conditions. Consider implementing the other modifications to specifications proposed in this report.

This report is one of many featured in the January 2014 issue of the National Technical Reports Newsletter, which may be viewed online at   For your convenience, previous issues of the newsletter are posted at

This issue features a sampling of new and historic information available from NTIS via the NTRL V3.0 and the NTIS website related to the topic of Recycling