Archive for the 'Alternative energy' Category

DOE’s OSTI Launches SciTech Connect, Consolidates Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 by

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has launched SciTech Connect, a new portal to free, publicly available DOE research and development (R&D) results. SciTech Connect incorporates the contents of two of the most popular core DOE collections and employs an innovative semantic search tool enabling scientists, researchers and the scientifically- attentive public to retrieve more relevant information. OSTI plans to gradually phase out its current DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations products and replace them with the improved search interface of SciTech Connect.

OSTI developed the new resource to help increase access to science, technology and engineering research information from DOE and its predecessor agencies. SciTech Connect represents one of the largest deployments of semantic search by a federal agency to date.

“OSTI historically has been a leader in pioneering the use of new technologies to make more DOE and federal science accessible to more people more conveniently than ever before,” said OSTI Director Walter Warnick. “Now, with SciTech Connect, we are expanding deployment of innovative semantic search technology to make DOE R&D results easier to retrieve and thereby better serve our dual core mission – getting DOE results out to the scientific community and beyond, and getting the community’s results into DOE.”

Consolidated in SciTech Connect, DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations accounted for approximately half of the 298 million transactions OSTI handled in 2012. OSTI will work to ensure a smooth transition for patrons as it consolidates these two web-based services into SciTech Connect.

Product Scope

SciTech Connect contains all the full-text documents and citations previously found in Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database. Thus, SciTech Connect contains over sixty-five years of energy-related citations created and/or collected by OSTI. There are over 2.5 million citations, including citations to 1.4 million journal articles, 364,000 of which have digital object identifiers (DOIs) linking to full-text articles on publishers’ websites. SciTech Connect also has over 313,000 full-text DOE sponsored STI reports; most of these are post-1991, but close to 85,000 of the reports were published prior to 1990.

SciTech Connect includes technical reports, bibliographic citations, journal articles, conference papers, books, multimedia, and data information sponsored by DOE through a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or similar type of funding mechanism from the 1940s to today. This collection continues to grow as new scientific and technical information resulting from DOE research becomes available.

The records for the early years represent a comprehensive worldwide collection of nuclear science literature. In addition to reports from the Atomic Energy Commission and other U.S. Government agencies, this collection includes numerous non-governmental publications, as well as foreign and foreign language material. In the mid-1970s, the scope of the database expanded to cover all forms of energy-related scientific and technical information.

Semantic Search

With the release of SciTech Connect, OSTI is expanding its deployment of semantic search, an innovative technology to radically improve the quality and relevance of search results across the majority of its DOE content. Semantic search is a way to enhance search accuracy contextually. Rather than relying on search algorithms that identify a specific query term, semantic search uses more complex contextual relationships among people, places and things. It is an especially effective search approach when a person truly is researching a topic (rather than trying to navigate to a particular destination).

SciTech Connect employs a semantic search technique known as keyword-to-concept mapping. It accepts keyword-based queries and returns concept-mapped queries as in a taxonomy; a search term is mapped to other associated terms, including narrower and related concepts.

In this way, semantic search enables the new SciTech Connect search engine to recognize and make use of the logical relations among concepts in different scientific documents, regardless of whether those documents use standard descriptors to express those concepts. As a consequence, even the casual user easily recognizes the superiority of semantic search results over traditional word/phrase search results in a side-by-side comparison.

SciTech Connect also includes a number of other features, including basic and advanced search; faceting; in-document search; word clouds; and personalization which allows users to save searches, define alerts based on saved searches and create and manage document libraries.

Transition Details

While SciTech Connect will eventually replace DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database, the transition will be gradual and seamless. The transition period should be completed in July 2013. Because SciTech Connect provides improved access to all the information previously available via DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database, OSTI recommends that users bookmark this new product and start using it as their primary access point to OSTI’s collection of DOE research and development results.

Webinars Upcoming for Brownfields Grants, Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Solar Hot Water in Higher Education Facilities, and Small-Scale CHP

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 by

October 22, 2012, 2:00–3:00 pm (EDT) – EPA FY13 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant Guidelines
All potential EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant applicants are invited to this webinar, which will walk through the FY13 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant Guidelines, discuss eligibility and ranking criteria, and answer any questions potential applicants may have

October 22, 2012, 11:00am–12:00 pm (EDT) – Mayor Bill Finch (Bridgeport, Connecticut) Speaks on Government Support for Environmental Justice and the BGreen 2020 Plan
Join Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities for a webinar on how the city of Bridgeport is working to become “New England’s greenest city.” An EPA Environmental Justice Showcase Community, Bridgeport was featured in the Partnership’s 2012 Accomplishments Report and recent Partnership video.

Mayor Finch will discuss Bridgeport’s BGreen 2020 plan for a sustainable Bridgeport and how Bridgeport accessed support from state and federal agencies to help improve the quality of life for city residents. Officials from HUD, DOT, and EPA will discuss how the Partnership (which helps communities improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and protect the environment) has been working to assist environmental justice communities.

  • Webinar link (no preregistration required; log in as “Guest” when the webinar starts.
  • Call-in for audio: (888) 850-4523. Participant passcode: 719661.Note that this conference has a maximum audio capacity of 299 callers. Please share phone lines if possible.

October 25, 2012, 1:00–2:30 pm (EDT) – Saving Energy through Solar Water Heating Technologies in Higher Education Buildings

This webinar, hosted by EPA’s Energy Supply and Industry Branch, will showcase solar thermal technology applications in higher education facilities that reduce water heating costs for cleaning, showering, and laundering. Two university professionals will discuss the economic, energy, and social motivations that led them to consider a solar water heating system, how they handled perceived and real risks or barriers to project development, as well as the financial and energy savings each institution has experienced. A technical expert will also provide an overview of the common solar thermal technologies in higher education that reduce water heating costs.

October 30, 2012, 1:00–2:00 pm (EDT) – Combined Heat and Power In the Mid-Atlantic: How Small-Scale CHP Systems Can Boost Energy Efficiency and Save Money
EPA Region 3 will host a webinar on small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) application in the Mid-Atlantic. The webinar will provide a forum for attendees to learn about small-scale CHP systems their economic, environmental, and efficiency benefits—particularly for hotel, college/university, and office buildings. Examples of current CHP applications in downtown Philadelphia will be profiled to highlight the CHP process. The webinar will include a presentation and case studies by Philadelphia Gas Works, the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas utility, serving more than 500,000 customers.

  • Preregistration (required). Note that participation is limited to the first 50 registrants.

DOE Announces Upcoming Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Webinars on Energy Storage Technology for Vehicles, Urban Wind Projects, and More

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 by

EERE offers webinars to the public on subjects ranging from how to adopt the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

Upcoming Webinars

September 18: Live Webcast on Accelerating Innovation: Energy Storage

The Energy Department, in partnership with the Battelle Commercialization Council of Labs, will present a live webcast titled Accelerating Innovation: Energy Storage on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This webcast will highlight several National Laboratory technologies, all of which are energy-focused and can be found on EERE’s Energy Innovation Portal. During this webcast, attendees will hear from J. Raymond Smith about using cryotanks to store hydrogen when used as a vehicle fuel. In addition, Zhuangchun Wu and Chunmei Ban—two researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory—will present their research in technologies including: lithium ion batteries, electrochromic windows, the fabrication of nano-architecture electrodes for electrochemical systems, and surface atomic modification of electrode materials to improve performance. Following the presentations, attendees will be able to participate in a live question-and-answer session with the researchers.

Register here to attend webinar.

September 18: Community Renewable Energy Success Stories: Tapping into Wind in Urban Environments

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled Community Renewable Energy Success Stories: Tapping into Wind in Urban Environments on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will provide information and lessons learned on urban wind turbine projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Hull, Massachusetts.

Register to attend the webinar.

September 27: Live Webcast on the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign

The Energy Department, in partnership with BOMA International, the Green Parking Council, and IFMA, will present a live webcast titled Overview of the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign on Thursday, September 27, 2012, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This webinar will provide an overview of the LEEP Campaign and it will highlight two case study examples of businesses that have implemented high efficiency lighting projects in parking facilities. Webinar attendees will learn about the benefits of high efficiency lighting technologies in parking applications and strategies to overcoming barriers to implementation of these projects.

Register to attend the webinar.

Past Webinars:

September 4: 2011-2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest Winners: On-campus Trigeneration Fuel Cell Systems

The Energy Department presented a live webinar titled 2011-2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest Winners: On-Campus Tri-Generation Fuel Cell Systems on September 4. This webinar focuses on the winning entries from the University of Maryland, Washington State University, and University of California, Davis. This year, teams created design concepts for a tri-generation system that produces electricity, heat, and hydrogen for their university campus. The first place winner, the University of Maryland’s design, utilizes organic and municipal solid waste via gasification and anaerobic digestion technology. Washington State University placed second and proposed a pyrolysis reactor for straw waste from agriculture in their community. The University of California, Davis won third place for a design that included a hydrogen power and heating system for a residential building complex next to their new solar village. During the webinar, the theme for the 2013 contest was discussed as well.

View the recorded webinar here.