NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
At NREL, they focus on creative answers to today’s energy challenges. From breakthroughs in fundamental science to new clean technologies to integrated energy systems that power our lives, NREL researchers are transforming the way the nation and the world use energy.
National Wind Technology Center
National Wind Technology Center offers specialized facilities and provides technical support critical to the development of wind energy. The center provides the wind industry with every aspect of technical support needed to develop new wind turbine designs. Wind researchers with experience in fluid dynamics and structural testing are now helping the nation advance new power technologies using the energy in flowing water.
Energy Systems Integration Facility
Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is the only facility that can conduct integrated megawatt-scale testing of the components and strategies needed to reliably move significant amounts of clean energy onto the electrical grid. The ESIF includes 15 laboratories with unique capabilities where organizations can partner with NREL on energy system integration projects.
Research Support Facility
Completed in 2010, NREL’s ultra-high-efficiency Research Support Facility (RSF) is a model for new office building construction and a living laboratory for sustainability. The RSF was awarded LEED Platinum status by the U.S. Green Buildings Council for its energy performance and widespread use of recycled and repurposed materials. Energy efficient attributes include daylighting, natural ventilation, next-generation data center, and a rooftop photovoltaic system.
Solar Energy Research Facility
Photovoltaic (PV) and basic energy sciences are conducted in the Solar Energy Research Facility (SERF). Laboratories are used to develop semiconductor material for high-efficiency crystalline solar cells, fabricate prototype solar cells and analyze the semiconductor material used to make solar cells, research hydrogen generation and storage, and measure and characterize solar cell and module performance.
Science & Technology Facility
NREL researchers conduct advanced solar cell, thin film, and nanostructure research in the Science and Technology Facility (S&TF). The S&TF was the first LEED Platinum building in the federal system and was completed in 2006. The S&TF houses the Process Development and Integration Laboratory and nine advanced material synthesis, characterization, and general support laboratories.
Field Test Laboratory Building
The Field Test Laboratory Building (FTLB) is the original research building on NREL’s campus. Its lab supports many programs, but it is primarily devoted to biomass research. The researchers in the FTLB also study waste management, materials recycling, and enzymology (microbial and enzyme studies) needed to make alternative biomass fuels cost-competitive. The center of the building is a greenhouse for growing feedstocks, including algae.
Outdoor Test Facility
The Outdoor Test Facility (OTF) test beds are used to track the performance and reliability of photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules, and small systems. The OTF is like a test track for PV design. Inside the OTF, NREL researchers use simulation chambers to test PV technologies under intensified and simulated weather conditions. Using this equipment, the performance and durability of PV products over 20 years can be predicted in a matter of weeks.
Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility
The Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility (IBRF) is a pilot-scale laboratory that can process up to two dry tons of biomass per day into biofuels. The IBRF also includes small-scale fermentation and compositional analysis laboratories. The compositional analysis lab allows researchers to quantify (and verify) sugars available from various species of plants used in the biomass industry.
Take a photo tour through NREL’s campus
NREL’s 327-acre campus in Golden, Colorado, houses many research laboratories and the lab’s administrative office. With a commitment to sustainable operations, the main campus boasts several LEED-platinum rated buildings, along with multiple on-site renewable energy installations.
- Name: National Renewable Energy Labratory (NREL)
- Add: 15013 Denver West Parkway Golden, CO 80401
- Tel: 303-275-3000
- Website: www.nrel.gov