Having good room ventilation to dilute and disperse indoor air pollutants has long been recognized, and with the COVID-19 pandemic its importance has become all the more heightened. But new experiments by Berkeley Lab indoor air researchers show that certain circumstances will result in poor mixing of room air, meaning airborne contaminants may not be effectively dispersed and removed by building level ventilation.
Wind energy continues to see strong growth, solid performance, and low prices in the U.S., according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. With levelized costs of just over $30 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for newly built projects, the cost of wind is well below its grid-system, health, and climate benefits.
Berkeley Lab and Stanford researchers collaborate to find promising solution for converting waste heat to electricity.
Berkeley Lab team combines thermal and electrochemistry expertise to make battery testing cheaper and faster.
Since buildings consume 75% of electricity in the U.S., they offer great potential for saving energy and reducing the demands on our rapidly changing electric grid. But how much, where, and through which strategies could better management of building energy use actually impact the electricity system?
Windows make up 7% of the envelope area of a home but can account for 47% of the envelope heat loss. High-performance windows thus represent a significant opportunity for consumers to be more comfortable and save money – and help reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while doing so.
Companies like Purple Air and IQAir, with air pollution sensors that cost under $300, have brought air quality monitoring to the masses. But when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Tom Kirchstetter looked at Purple Air’s map last year during wildfire season, he noticed a big hole in Richmond, a city of 110,000 to the north of Berkeley.
In our future electrified world, the demand for battery storage is projected to be enormous, reaching to upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. However, concerns are growing as to whether key raw materials will be adequate to meet this future demand.
A multidisciplinary team has been working for several years to develop a game-changing plastic that, unlike traditional plastics, can be recycled indefinitely and is not made from petroleum. In this Q&A, we asked two project leaders about the inspiration for the unique plastic, shortfalls in our current recycling systems, and how this ambitious project is enabled by a diverse combination of scientific expertise.
Sunlight-reflecting “cool walls” have been shown to reduce energy costs by lowering heat gain in buildings. But they do more – reflective walls can also cool cities, fighting the urban heat island effect. The concept has new support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which has issued a pilot credit for the installation of cool exterior walls in new homes, schools, and commercial buildings to mitigate urban heat islands.