gap between relatively cheap and inefficient room air conditioners and
much more expensive mini splits and central air conditioners.
Eco-Friendly Electrocoat Coatings
For more than 50 years, electrocoat coatings have been used in the
global automotive industry to provide unmatched corrosion protection
for metal bodies and parts and to serve as a primer layer for subsequent
decorative coatings. These water-based, environmentally-friendly
coatings offer the ultimate in corrosion and chemical resistance and serve
as the benchmark for primer performance. Practically every commercial
automobile manufacturer in the world uses electrocoat coatings to
protect their vehicles. PPG recently introduced its innovative
Enviro-Prime EPIC Electrocoat with Organic Catalyst—a next-generation,
organically-catalyzed product that provides excellent corrosion
protection, facilitates optimized appearance and helps save money
in the production processes while significantly reducing the overall
environmental impact. Concerned with ever-increasing environmental
regulations and with a desire to enhance product sustainability without
relying on metal-based catalysts, PPG invested significant effort in
the creation of a novel and proprietary organic metal-free catalyst
system that permits the electrocoat to cure without the use of tin-based
compounds while enhancing its overall performance.
SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES
Clean, Renewable Energy
The Falling Particle Receiver for Concentrated Solar Energy has
significant cost and performance advantages over conventional
concentrating solar power technologies and intermittent renewables
such as wind and photovoltaics. The technology enables clean,
renewable energy with cheap, efficient thermal storage that is up
to two orders of magnitude less expensive than batteries, pumped-hydro, compressed-air or flywheel storage. The falling particle receiver
implements a simple design that uses inexpensive, commercially
available particles (currently used in the oil and gas industry for
hydraulic fracturing) and highly concentrated sunlight to efficiently
heat the particles to temperatures greater than 700 °C. The energy
from the hot particles can be stored and dispatched as needed to heat a
power cycle to generate electricity when demand is greatest, even when
the sun is not shining. The particle receiver yields higher efficiencies
and capacity factors and lower costs than conventional renewable
energy technologies when storage is considered. Particle receivers
open up new possibilities for high-temperature applications including
thermochemical storage, solar fuels, industrial process heat and water
treatment to address global energy and water needs.
INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ITRI)
Heavy Metal Absorbent
Green Glass Adsorbent Technology is a novel type of heavy metal
adsorbent with high efficiency. It is transformed from waste LCD
panel glass with ITRI’s patented technique. It features some specific
characteristics including high-adsorption capacity; excellent acidic
and chemical resistance; recyclable; pretreatment before adsorption
is unnecessary; no secondary pollution generates after the adsorption
process; adsorbed metal ions can be simply desorbed and recycled.
Because heavy metals are extremely hazardous to the environment
and organisms, they harm human wellness through the food chain.
However, there are some problems or limitations in the current
treatments of wastewaters and soils that contain heavy metals, such as
high treatment cost, complicated pretreatment, secondary pollution,
matrix consideration etc. Due to the excellent metal adsorption
characteristics, ITRI’s green glass adsorbent is very suitable for treating
wastewaters containing heavy metals including copper, cadmium, nickel,
chromium, zinc, lead, arsenic etc.
LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY
Departure from Conventional Cooking
Gas burner technology has not changed significantly in 100 years.
The Grid Burner is a fundamentally different burner design, enabled
by innovations that allow the use of a fully premixed fuel-air stream.
This departure from conventional cooking technology is an elegant,
efficient, high-BTU and high turn-down burner that can match flame
area to pot size, is easy to clean, provides even heating, boils water in
one-quarter less time than conventional burners, and reduces NOx,
CO, and GHG emissions—all at one-half to one sixth of the cost of
current options. The flexibility of flame-port designs enables burner
manufacturers to rearrange them to increase cooking performance,
target specific applications and uniquely brand burners for different
appliance manufacturers. The deceptively simple Grid Burner design
took significant innovation and optimization effort to achieve.
GENERAL MOTORS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
A Novel Fabrication Method
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are widely used from portable
electronics to electric vehicles. Silicon (Si) has been identified as one
of the most promising anode candidates for the next-generation high-energy-density LIBs. Hierarchically Porous Silicon Anodes enable the
reversible inward lithium breathing through the unique hierarchically
porous structure. Such behavior is beneficial to maintain effective and
robust transport pathways of electron and ions, as well as minimizing
reactions between electrodes and electrolytes, which is critical to ensure
batteries with high power and long cycling life. Lithium ion battery
assembled with this new material shows high capacity (>1800 mAh/g),
long cyclability and high coulombic efficiency, which are superior to
the current commercial Si materials. The technology is compatible with
the current slurry coating electrode fabrication process. It can also be
extended to other advanced high-capacity anode materials such as tin,
germanium and silicon alloy materials.
TOYOTA RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF NORTH AMERICA
A Leap Forward in Power Electronics
Toyota’s High Performance Two-Phase Cold-Plate for Automotive
Power Electronics represents a significant leap forward in power
electronics packaging design from current state-of-the-art single-phase
cold plates. The novel design mates liquid jet impingement with an
advanced heat sink using pin fins coated with a metallic porous layer.
The cold plate design dissipates power densities that are four times
higher than the current generation in a more compact package. The
performance is achieved with three times lower pressure drop, which
means that the overall parasitic power of the cooling system (pumping
power) is significantly reduced. The low pumping power provides a
substantially higher overall Coefficient of Performance for the system.
The design was developed considering not just the overall performance
but also adaptability and scalability of the design to future power
electronics packaging needs.