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Solar Radiation Research Laboratory

Since 1981, NREL's Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (SRRL) has been collecting continuous measurements of basic solar radiation components, and has expanded its expertise to include integrated metrology, optics, electronics, data acquisition capabilities, and outdoor performance testing.

Photo of a man outdoors working with metrology equipment

The SRRL is located on NREL's main campus in Golden, Colorado, where it has excellent solar access because of its unrestricted view of the horizon from sunrise to sunset throughout the year. At 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) above sea level, the SRRL provides a unique outdoor research facility to support renewable energy conversion technologies and climate change studies for NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy.

At the SRRL, researchers use pyranometers, pyrheliometers, pyrgeometers, photometers, and spectroradiometers to provide the solar resource information necessary for renewable energy research and development. The SRRL is the home of the world's largest collection of radiometers in continuous operation. More than 75 instruments contribute to the Baseline Measurement System by recording surface meteorological conditions. All data collected are available to the public.


The 2,600-square-foot SRRL facility houses the Metrology Laboratory, Optical Metrology Laboratory, Data Acquisition Laboratory, and Electronics Laboratory.