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Berkeley Lab Opens State-of-the-Art Facility for Computational Science

Berkeley Lab's Wang Hall - computer research facility - exterior photos taken July 6, 2015.

A new center for advancing computational science and networking at research institutions and universities across the country opened today at Berkeley Lab. Named Wang Hall, the facility will house the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), one of the world’s leading supercomputing centers for open science, and be the center of operations for DOE’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the fastest network dedicated to science.

Gaming Computers Offer Huge, Untapped Energy Savings Potential


In the first study of its kind, Berkeley Lab researcher Evan Mills co-authored an investigation of the aggregate global energy use of personal computers designed for gaming—including taking direct measurements using industry benchmarking tools—and found that gamers can achieve energy savings of more than 75 percent by changing some settings and swapping out some components, while also improving reliability and performance. This corresponds to a potential estimated savings of $18 billion per year globally by 2020, or 120 terawatt hours (TWh).

Berkeley Lab Releases Most Comprehensive Analysis of Electricity Reliability Trends


In the most comprehensive analysis of electricity reliability trends in the United States, researchers at Berkeley Lab and Stanford University have found that, while, on average, the frequency of power outages has not changed in recent years, the total number of minutes customers are without power each year has been increasing over time.

Berkeley Lab Study Finds that Future Deployment of Distributed Solar Hinges on Electricity Rate Design


Future distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment levels are highly sensitive to retail electricity rate design, according to a newly released report by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The study also explores the feedback effects between retail electricity rates and PV deployment, and suggests that increased solar deployment can lead to changes in PV compensation levels that either accelerate or dampen further deployment.

Counting All Costs, Berkeley Lab Researchers Find that Saving Energy Is Still Cheap


Researchers at Berkeley Lab have conducted the most comprehensive study yet of the full cost of saving electricity by U.S. utility efficiency programs and now have an answer: 4.6 cents. That’s the average total cost of saving a kilowatt-hour in 20 states from 2009 to 2013, according to a new Berkeley Lab report. To arrive at that average, researchers collected and analyzed several hundred regulatory documents filed in each state by utilities and other administrators of efficiency programs that are funded by utility customers.

From the Lab to Your Digital Device, Quantum Dots Have Made Quantum Leaps

The TV on the right using Nanosys’ quantum dot technology shows a 50% wider range of colors than the standard white LED set on the right. (Courtesy Nanosys)

Berkeley Lab’s quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now Paul Alivisatos’ lab is exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications.

Local Market Conditions and Policies Strongly Influence Solar PV Pricing

PV Pricing cover photo

Differences in local market conditions and policies, and other factors, particularly the size of the system, can lead to wide disparities in what consumers across the United States pay to install solar energy systems on their homes or small businesses. This translates into thousands of dollars difference in the price of comparable solar energy systems around the U.S.

DOE Secretary Helps Usher in New Era of Energy Research at Berkeley Lab

Berkeley Lab's General Purpose Laboratory

Inaugurated today with help from U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Berkeley Lab’s new General Purpose Laboratory will be devoted to flagship centers in materials sciences and energy storage research, as well as to key biosciences programs. Among the building’s new tenants will be the Berkeley Lab site of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, or JCESR, a multi-lab program aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance.

Berkeley Lab Report Quantifies the Financial Impacts of Customer-Sited Photovoltaics on Electric Utilities


A new report prepared by analysts from Berkeley Lab examines the potential impacts of customer-sited solar photovoltaics (PV) on electric utility profitability and rates. The report shows that these impacts can vary greatly depending upon the specific circumstances of the utility and may be reduced through a variety of regulatory and ratemaking measures.

Interactive Map Reveals Rooftop Reflectance for Five California Cities

Los Angeles2

Berkeley Lab scientists use aerial imagery to create an interactive map that displays the solar reflectance (also known as albedo) of individual roofs in Bakersfield, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.