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Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility

At the Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility (DERTF), researchers use state-of-the-art laboratories and outdoor test beds to characterize the performance and reliability of distributed power systems, support standards development, and investigate emerging and complex system integration issues.

The DERTF contains a variety of distributed generation and storage, interconnection and testing, and electric power systems equipment. Researchers at the facility can vary equipment configurations and introduce common electrical disturbances such as sags, swells, and harmonic issues on the replica grid. These capabilities allow them to evaluate the real-time dynamics of distributed power systems, collect information about the long-term performance of such systems, and test new design concepts.

Data from tests at the facility are used to characterize distributed energy resource equipment and support the development and validation of interconnection standards and certification tests. These results can lead to better equipment, improvements to help equipment meet interconnection requirements, and a better understanding of the dynamics of equipment interconnected with the power grid. In addition, the facility is used by industry and academia for cooperative testing and characterization of developmental distributed energy systems.

NREL's DERTF is also used for examining the issues related to renewable energy sources and hydrogen production via the electrolysis of water. The facility offers the flexibility of interconnecting various renewable sources to electrolyzers and their hydrogen-producing stacks. NREL is testing integrated electrolysis systems and investigating options for improved designs that will lower capital costs and enhance performance of the naturally varying power input from renewable sources to the electrolyzer.

The DERTF is located at the National Wind Technology Center.


Ben Kroposki

Center Director, Power Systems Engineering | 303-275-2979