The sun sustains life on Earth. For centuries humans have used solar heating to warm houses and plant life has relied on sunlight for photosynthesis. Efficiently converting solar energy into solar power or electricity is a recent challenge. Two common technologies for solar electricity generation are photovoltaic (sunlight is converted directly to electricity) and solar thermal (the sun heats water and creates steam that is then used to power steam engines). Learn how engineers and researchers use NI technologies to design, prototype, and deploy solar thermal systems or photovoltaic systems for solar power generation.Learn More about Solar Power
Wind power has become an important source of renewable energy around the world. In the United States, wind power capacity increased by 45 percent in 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Globally, wind power generation quadrupled between 2000 and 2006, according to the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). Engineers across the wind power industry are using NI technologies to conduct research, from the design and manufacturing of wind turbine blades to online machine condition monitoring for turbines deployed at wind farms. Learn how engineers and researchers are applying NI LabVIEW software and hardware to monitor vibration on wind turbines, design better control algorithms, and manufacture turbine blades. The end result is more efficient and safer wind-powered renewable energy.
Energy Storage Systems
Energy storage systems (ESSs) and renewable energy sources are critical technologies that combine to create power generation and transportation. ESSs also need to be renewable. There are many types of ESSs including chemical, electrical, mechanical, and thermal. The focus in this section is on electrochemical and electric ESSs including batteries, fuel cells, capacitors, and super capacitors or ultra capacitors. NI technologies are used to research, design, test, and deploy ESSs that range from fuel cells for automotive applications to large-scale battery tests with Exide Industries Limited.