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Facilities

Photo of two researchers standing on a platform near a solar tracker at the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory.

The Solar Radiation Research Laboratory gathers solar radiation and meteorological data on South Table Mountain.

NREL's Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (SRRL) has been collecting continuous measurements of basic solar radiation components since 1981. Since then, it has expanded its expertise to include integrated metrology, optics, electronics, and data acquisition capabilities. In addition, the SRRL provides facilities for outdoor performance testing of new research instrumentation and energy conversion devices such as photovoltaic modules.

The SRRL is located on NREL's South Table Mountain site in Golden, Colorado, where it has excellent solar access because of its unrestricted view of the horizon from sunrise to sunset throughout the year. Located at 6,000 ft (1,829 m) 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. Its 2,600-square-foot facility was completed in 2000 and houses the Metrology Laboratory, Optical Metrology Laboratory, Data Acquisition Laboratory, and Electronics Laboratory.

The SRRL is the home of the world's largest collection of radiometers in continuous operation. Its 75 instruments contribute to the Baseline Measurement System by recording surface meteorological conditions. All data collected since 1981 are available to the public. To learn more about other data collected at the SRRL, see the related data and resources.

To learn more about the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory, see: