Tuesday, September 27, 2011

RTI Internationals DoE funded solid state lighting technology program wins R&D100 Award in energy-efficient lighting

RTI International has a team of researchers working on what they call "Solid State Lighting" that promises huge gains in energy efficient lighting, and at the same time making LED lighting more pleasant for humans.   Leveraging advanced polymeric nanofibers with diameters on the order of 300 nm, their scientists have created a cost-effective solution for light management across the visible spectrum.

Their research is into creating "Photoluminescent Nanofibers" (PLN) and manipulating their use in different ways to create pleasing lighting systems.  PLN's are a composite nano-material (a.k.a. nanocomposite) that combines nanofibers (extremely thin fibers) with luminescent particles (known as quantum dots).  They have several techniques for constructing lighting devices this way.

The PLN materials do not themselves emit light.  They are luminescent, which means they receive light emitted by other sources and re-emit light with a color frequency signature determined by the luminescent material.  In particular they are using a "blue LED", covering it with their PLN material, and converting the bluish light from the LED into full spectrum white light.

Pln luminescence

A poster from 2010 shows they achieve efficiencies of over 50 lumens/watt with "excellent color rendering" attributes.

Partial support for their work was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Core Technologies Program through award DE-FC26-06NT42860.

We should remember this sort of thing as Washington DC Politics is currently in a bitterly divided phase with narrow minded right wing ideologues claiming the Federal Government shouldn't be funding this kind of research.  They seem to have no problem with the government funding research into machines that kill people (a.k.a. weapons) so are they having some hypocrisy (or is it hypocracy) about the governments role in funding things private corporations do.   While they spouting ideology about government meddling with private corporations, this particular research would have a highly positive result, one that decreases the negative impact of our energy intensive lifestyle, and by decreasing electricity use (through improved efficiency) reduces the need to destroy the environment to get coal to run the system we live in.

Why is Washington DC Politics so hell-bent on funding research for machines to kill people, and so resistent to funding research into beneficial machines?

See below for a youtube video, a link to the research poster, and a pair of press releases concerning the technology.



Photoluminescent Nanofibers for Solid-State Lighting Applications (poster from RTI's solid state lighting research program)


Solid state lighting hr

DOE Investment Yields R&D 100 Award Winner in Energy-Efficient Lighting

September 27, 2011

RTI International's innovative nanofiber lighting technology has been honored with a 2011 R&D 100 Award. Established in 1963 by the editors of R&D Magazine, the annual R&D 100 Awards identify the 100 most significant, newly introduced research and development advances of the past year in multiple disciplines.

RTI's technology was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which supports research and development in solid-state lighting, a technology that uses highly energy-efficient semiconductors. At the core of RTI's invention is an advanced polymer nanofiber structure – a resilient material thinner than a human hair – which allows engineers to adjust the color palette of the light (or color rendering) to match the desired application. Powered by a blue light-emitting diode (LED), the RTI device produces a well-balanced white light that uses far less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and provides the basis for higher energy efficiency in a wide range of lighting types.

In fact, LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs) have the potential to be ten times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 times longer. Through competitive solicitations, the Department of Energy invests in projects that advance core R&D goals, develop new products, and expand domestic manufacturing. DOE funding leverages additional private sector funding in these projects.

The Department's investments to advance solid-state lighting help accelerate the adoption of these technologies by reducing costs, enhancing product quality and performance, and saving energy and money for consumers. They also play an important role in encouraging U.S.-based manufacturing of solid-state lighting products, creating jobs, and promoting America's role as a global leader in energy efficiency.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE's support of research and development of energy-efficient lighting, and visit our Energy Savers lighting choiceswebsite to start saving money by saving energy.

Join the clean energy conversation on Facebook at DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyEnergy Savers, and Solar Decathlon pages.



RTI International's NLITeTM Lighting Technology Earns R&D 100 Award

News Highlights

— Nanofiber lighting improvement technology (NLITe™) honored with a 2011 R&D 100 award.
— The technology provides for higher energy efficiency in a wide range of lighting types.
— Nlight can also produce an aesthetically pleasing light with better color rendering properties.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—RTI International's nanofiber lighting improvement technology (NLITe™) has been honored with a 2011 R&D 100 award.

The annual awards, sponsored by R&D Magazine, honor the 100 most significant new technologies of the past year.

RTI's technology, which was funded in part by the Department of Energy's Solid-State Lighting program, has led to the development of high-performance, nanofiber-based reflectors that result in substantial energy savings. It has also led to the development of photoluminescent nanofibers (PLNTM) that can be used to produce an aesthetically pleasing light with better color rendering properties, especially in solid-state lighting applications.

"This breakthrough provides for higher energy efficiency in a wide range of lighting types," said Lynn Davis, Ph.D., director of RTI's Nanoscale Materials Program. "In addition, we can now adjust the appearance color palette of the light to match the desired application. Receiving this award is an honor for our team, and we are very proud of the innovation that resulted in the development of this exciting technology."

At the core of RTI's invention is an advanced nanofiber structure that provides exceptional lighting management. Nanofibers are materials with diameters and surface features much smaller than the human hair but with comparable lengths.

"We are excited that R&D Magazine has chosen to recognize this technology," said Galen Hatfield, RTI vice president of Strategic Initiatives. "Not only is it exceptionally innovative, but it represents a new platform of commercially viable materials to improve energy efficiency and appearance in lighting. We are aggressively moving this technology into the marketplace and it has captured the attention of a number of key players."

RTI also received the R&D 100 award in 2002 for thin-film and vacuum technologies, in 2004 for its syngas desulfurization technology, and in 2010 for the Nextreme thermal solutions 'hot spot' electronics chip cooler technology.



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