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Laboratories

NREL has laboratories available to industry and other organizations for researching, developing, and testing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Here you'll find an alphabetical listing and brief descriptions of NREL's laboratories.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N |O | P | Q |R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Accelerated Exposure Testing Laboratory

Researchers use temperature- and humidity-controlled chambers in this lab to study weathering durability, corrosion on mirrors, delamination of polymers under controlled conditions, and other research topics. Learn more about the Accelerated Exposure Testing Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Advanced Optical Materials Laboratory

This lab provides analytical and measurement capabilities for developing and testing optical materials used in concentrating solar power systems. Learn more about the Advanced Optical Materials Laboratory on our Concentrating Solar Power Research website.

Advanced Power Electronics Laboratory

In this lab, researchers develop thermal management technologies to improve electrical drive systems for hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. Learn more about the Electrical Systems Laboratory on our Advanced Vehicles and Fuels Research website.

Advanced Thermal Conversion Laboratory

The lab is available for measuring the realistic performance of building technologies, including desiccant dehumidifiers, air-conditioning components—such as heat exchangers, heat pipes, and evaporators—and entire systems. Learn more about the Advanced Thermal Conversion Laboratory on our Buildings Research website.

Advanced Thermal Storage Materials Laboratory

This lab is used to research and develop advanced heat-transfer fluids for the next generation of parabolic trough solar systems. Learn more about the Advanced Thermal Storage Materials Laboratory on our Concentrating Solar Power Research website.

Analytical Microscopy Laboratory

This lab is used to study photovoltaic surface and interface morphologies of interest to the photovoltaic industry. Learn more about the Analytical Microscopy Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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B

Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory

In the lab, researchers study plant structures from the tissue scale to the molecular scale to improve biofuels production techniques. See details in the fact sheet.

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C

Contact Process Development Laboratory

In this lab, various surface modification and deposition processes are used to research materials and contacts for advanced thin-film photovoltaic solar cells. Learn more about the Contact Process Development Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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D

Data Acquisition and Calibration Laboratory

The equipment in this laboratory is primarily used to collect, monitor, and store data from our field-testing systems in the photovoltaic array field. Learn more about the Data Acquisition and Calibration Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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E

Electro-Optical Diagnostic Development Laboratory

This lab uses electro-optical characterization techniques to develop new in-situ diagnostics tailored for specific growth and processing steps used in photovoltaic manufacturing. Learn more about the Electro-Optical Diagnostic Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Energy Storage Laboratory

In this lab, researchers use state-of-the-art equipment, modeling, and analysis tools to evaluate and develop on thermal management systems—from the cell level to the battery pack or ultracapacitor stack—for electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles. Learn more about the Energy Storage Laboratory on our Advanced Vehicles & Fuels Research website.

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F

Failure Analysis Laboratory

This lab contains equipment for testing and evaluating photovoltaic module leakage current, as well as an infrared camera for taking photos to pinpoint malfunctioning areas in photovoltaic systems. Learn more about the Failure Analysis Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Fuel Cell Laboratory

This lab allows researchers to test performance of individual proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuels cells for the purpose of improving both the design and materials of PEM fuel cell systems, and their manufacturing processes. Learn more about the Fuel Cell Laboratory on our Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research website.

Fuel Chemistry Laboratory

Researchers in this lab for characterize the effect of molecular structure on the ignition properties of various fuel molecules for both petroleum-based and non-petroleum-based fuels. Learn more about the Fuel Chemistry Laboratory on our Advanced Vehicles and Fuels Research website.

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H

High-Bay Accelerated Testing Laboratory

This lab is used to evaluate advanced or emerging photovoltaic technologies under simulated accelerated weathering conditions, as well as a variety of materials for their suitability as photolytic reactor materials for photobiological and photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Learn more about the High-Bay Accelerated Testing Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Hydrogen Sensor Laboratory

In this lab, researchers test sensors, which detect hydrogen gas releases at fueling stations, from stationary fuel cells, and at other hydrogen facilities. Learn more about the Hydrogen Sensor Laboratory on our Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research website.

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I

Interconnect Process Development Laboratory

This lab is used to research photovoltaic thin-films with techniques used for monolithic integration of cells into modules. Learn more about the Interconnect Process Development Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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M

Metrology Laboratory

The lab provides World Radiometric Reference traceability for solar absolute cavity radiometers, pyrheliometers, pyranometers, and pyrgeometers. Learn more about the Metrology Laboratory on our Solar Radiation Research website.

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O

Optical Mechanical Characterization Laboratory

Research in module packaging is conducted in this lab, which includes testing the ability of samples to reflect or transmit light and characterization mechanical properties of samples. Learn more about the Optical Mechanical Characterization Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Optical Metrology Laboratory

The lab ensures that optical radiation resource measurement equipment is calibrated to national or international standards to ensure the quality and traceability of data. Learn more about the Optical Metrology Laboratory on our Solar Radiation Research website.

Optical Testing Laboratory

This lab features Video Scanning Hartmann Optical Test and beam characterization systems to determine the optical performance of concentrators for concentrating solar power systems. Learn more about the Optical Testing Laboratory on our Concentrating Solar Power Research website.

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P

Photobiological Laboratory

Researchers use this lab for enzyme engineering to block the access of oxygen to hydrogen-producing enzymes in the algae and other manipulations of the algae so as to increase hydrogen production. Learn more about the Photobiological Laboratory on our Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research website.

Photoelectrochemical Laboratory

This lab contains the chemical and electrical equipment needed for researching photoelectrochemical devices that combine elements of solar cells and elements of electrolyzers to produce hydrogen directly from sunlight . Learn more about the Photoelectrochemical Laboratory on our Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research website.

Photovoltaic Manufacturing Diagnostics Laboratory

This lab allows the study of photovoltaic (PV) materials and devices by using optical diagnostics and special software applications. Learn more about the PV Manufacturing Diagnostics Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Photovoltaic Module Encapsulation Research Laboratory

Researchers use computer-based instruments in this lab to analyze samples solar films and other materials. Learn more about the Photovoltaic Module Encapsulation Research Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Process Development and Integration Laboratory

This lab is dedicated to researching and developing a new class of deposition, processing, and characterization tools for thin-film photovoltaics. Learn more about the Process Development and Integration Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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R

Receiver Test Laboratory

This lab features a parabolic trough receiver test stand that are used to analyze the steady-state, off-sun thermal losses of receivers. Learn more about the Receiver Test Laboratory on our Concentrating Solar Power Research website.

Renewable Fuels and Lubricants Laboratory

Also known as the ReFUEL laboratory, this facility tests advanced fuels in heavy-duty engines and vehicles, and advanced heavy hybrid vehicles. It features a heavy-duty chassis dynamometer, a heavy-duty engine transient test cell, and emissions measurement capability. Learn more about the ReFUEL Laboratory on our Advanced Vehicles and Fuels Research website.

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S

Solar Radiation Research Laboratory

Researchers use this lab to collect continuous measurements of basic solar radiation components. Learn more about the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory on our Solar Radiation Research website.

Solid-State Spectroscopy Laboratory

The lab's capabilities include ultrafast spectroscopy, near-field scanning optical microscopy, high-resolution continuous-wave spectroscopy, reflection/absorption spectroscopy, and infrared spectroscopy. Learn more on our Energy Sciences website.

Steam Gun Pretreatment Laboratory

Researchers use this lab to test bioprocessing and cellulosic biomass conversion technologies. Learn more about the Steam Gun Pretreatment Laboratory on our Biomass Research website.

Surface Analysis Laboratory

Researchers use this lab to study and control photovoltaic surfaces and interfaces. Learn more about the Surface Analysis Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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T

Thin-Film Deposition/Process Development Laboratory

This lab supports thin-film solar cell deposition and process development research, including the study of amorphous and thin-silicon materials and devices. Learn more about the Thin-Film Deposition/Process Development Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

Thin-Film Deposition and Mechanical Characterization Laboratory

This lab is equipped with barrier deposition equipment to test thin films used as mirrors and coatings in solar systems. Learn more about the Thin-Film Deposition and Mechanical Characterization Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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U

User Characterization Laboratory

For photovoltaic research, this lab features sample preparation equipment as well as general and specialized equipment to determine quantum efficiency, thickness, morphology, and more. Learn more about the User Characterization Laboratory on our Photovoltaic Research website.

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V

Vehicle Thermal Management and Climate Control Laboratories

NREL's Vehicle Thermal Management Laboratory features a test apparatus to assess combined cooling loop concepts for electric drive vehicles to simulate thermal characteristics of energy storage and power electronic components. The Vehicle Climate Control Laboratory passenger compartment simulator enables rapid, repeatable, and realistic evaluation of advanced climate control concepts, making it possible to predict impacts on thermal comfort and HVAC loads.

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W

Wet Chemistry/Electrodeposition Process Development Laboratory

This lab focuses on processes used to deposit metal, oxide, and semiconductor thin films for photovoltaic technologies. Learn more about the Wet Chemistry/Electrodeposition Process Development Laboratory on the Photovoltaic Research website.

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