Pacific Northwest developments earn spots in top 100 list

Pacific Northwest's technologies that won R&D100 Awards are leading to:

  • tiny personal and home heating systems
  • fuel cells for automobiles
  • better radiation monitoring
  • enhanced scientific measurements
  • advanced chemical modeling
  • safer drinking water.

RICHLAND, Wash. - Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory aren't in the business of winning awards, but their commitment to solving some of the nation's most complex problems rarely fails to garner attention. Six of the laboratory's technologies are part of R&D Magazine's list of the 100 most significant innovations of 1998.

The magazine conducts the annual R&D 100 Award competition to honor the most promising new products, processes, materials or software developed throughout the world. Awards are based on each achievement's technical significance, uniqueness and usefulness. Pacific Northwest researchers have received 51 R&D 100 Awards since 1969 - 25 of those within the last five years.

The researchers and their technologies will be honored at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on September 23. The winning technologies are:

  • MicroHeater. This palm-sized combustion unit weighs less than .2kg (5 oz.) and can provide heat for portable personal heating/cooling devices, in-line water heaters, fuel cell systems and indoor heating systems such as baseboard heaters. An array of units can heat a house efficiently and reduce energy loss by 45 percent compared to conventional natural gas central heating. It's the first device of its kind and offers special opportunities for miniaturizing heating and heat pump devices. MicroHeater achieves its small size, affordability and very low emission levels by relying on high rates of heat and energy mass transfer through specially fabricated microchannels carrying hot water. <

Contact: Susan Bauer
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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