Environment – Hotter urban hydrology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory worked with Colorado State University to simulate how a warming climate may affect urban hydrological systems in the United States.

ORNL’s Shih-Chieh Kao calibrated the University of Washington’s hydrological model to a higher resolution for project use by CSU. Researchers then modeled future precipitation scenarios to analyze possible climate conditions for 14 U.S. greater urban areas called “megaregions.”


Buildings – Empowering savings potential

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated that cooling cost savings could be achieved with a 3D printed concrete smart wall following a three-month field test.

The team used data from the 5-foot by 8-foot wall installed in an ORNL conference room and predictive modeling to estimate performance in the Southeastern United States climate zone during summer months. The modeling indicated a full deployment would show an 8% savings with the potential to go higher.


Cao receives Young Investigator Award from American Chemical Society

Pengfei Cao, a polymer chemist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been chosen to receive a 2021 Young Investigator Award from the Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society, or ACS PMSE.


Climate – Getting to the root

New data hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory is helping scientists around the world understand the secret lives of plant roots as well as their impact on the global carbon cycle and climate change.

The Fine Root Ecology Database, or FRED 3.0, brings together 150,000 observations of root anatomy and function from a variety of ecosystems. These root traits are informing Earth system models that predict the future of the planet.


High-power wireless vehicle charging technology licensed by HEVO

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed its wireless charging technology for electric vehicles to Brooklyn-based HEVO. The system provides the world’s highest power levels in the smallest package and could one day enable electric vehicles to be charged as they are driven at highway speeds. 

HEVO intends to work with ORNL to continue development of this critical technology to increase power levels and efficiency of existing charging techniques.