Using algorithms to see the world differently

Cameras see the world differently than humans. Resolution, equipment, lighting, distance and atmospheric conditions can impact how a person interprets objects on a photo. For Sophie Voisin, a software engineer at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, images can reveal what human eyes can’t see, giving a different perspective to understanding how the world changes day to day.

The facts behind hydropower

To further the potential benefits of the nation’s hydropower resources, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed and maintain a comprehensive water energy digital platform called HydroSource that informs key stakeholders of development and operational costs, environmental concerns and licensing requirements.

Hydropower accounts for nearly 7% of all electricity generated in the United States and provides quick-start capabilities during blackouts and the ability to store power for high-demand periods.

Steady as it goes and flows

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated that microchannel heat exchangers in heating, ventilation and air conditioning units can keep refrigerants evenly and continually distributed by inserting a device called a piezoelectric-driven magnetic actuator, or PEDMA. 

Orchestrating rhythms of the light

A team of scientists led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a theory that thylakoids, membrane networks key to plant photosynthesis, also function as a defense mechanism to harsh growing conditions, which could aid the development of hardier plants.

Thylakoids contain grana, structures resembling stacked coins that expand and contract when water flows in and out, like the bellows of an accordion. The action mirrors the movement of guard cells, structures on plant leaves that act like accordion buttons, allowing carbon dioxide in and water vapor out. 

Data science teams analyzed COVID-19 data for early pandemic response

When the COVID-19 pandemic stunned the world in 2020, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory wondered how they could extend their support and help. The health crisis demanded medical professionals to work on the front lines caring for ill patients; but, what about those not in medicine? ORNL researchers who focus on human security quickly turned to what they do best: They crunched data to provide actionable information for the COVID-19 response.