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Read about the impacts of NREL's innovations in computational science.


NREL's scientific and high-performance computing innovations have been recognized by industry and the scientific community.

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2018 Data Center Dynamics Eco-Sustainability Award

NREL's high-performance computing data center won the prestigious 2018 Data Center Dynamics Data Center Eco-Sustainability Award, bolstering the lab's status as a world leader in data center efficiency and sustainability. Referred to as the Oscars of the data center industry, the annual DCD Global Awards recognize the industry's top data center projects and people. NREL was honored for its showcase facility for data center sustainability that demonstrates best practices in energy efficiency, waste heat capture, and use of component-level warm-water liquid cooling.

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2018 Federal Energy and Water Management Award

NREL’s high-performance computing data center is often called the most energy efficient in the world—but the lab is interested in water efficiency, too. So in 2016, NREL partnered with Sandia National Labs and Johnson Controls to install a thermosyphon hybrid cooling system that has successfully cut onsite water use in half without impacting energy efficiency. The team received a 2018 U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy and Water Management Award for the project.

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2014 R&D 100 Award and R&D Magazine Editor's Choice Award

NREL won the 2014 R&D 100 Award and R&D Magazine Editor's Choice Award in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise for the HP Apollo 8000 System, a supercomputer that is cooled with warm water. Implemented in the Peregrine supercomputer, this efficient design eliminates the need for expensive and energy-wasting chillers in the data center, while also allowing the waste energy from the computer to heat its host building, the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), during the winter. The energy-saving approach is a key reason that the ESIF was awarded LEED Platinum designation and named 2014 Laboratory of the Year by R&D 100 Magazine.

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Research Highlights

Read about high-impact projects powered by NREL's computational science capabilities.

Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study

Using NREL's high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools, researchers showed that the power grid of the Eastern United States—one of the largest power systems in the world—can accommodate upwards of 30% wind and solar/photovoltaic power.

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Photo of person standing in front of large-scale 3D visualization of wind farm


To reduce the cost of wind energy, we must be able to predict the complex flow physics in wind farms. But a fully blade-resolved model of a single wind turbine would require the full computing capability of today's fastest computers—detailed models of entire wind plants are beyond our current capabilities. Through the ExaWind project, NREL is working with partners to develop new simulation capabilities to improve our understanding of the performance of whole wind plants.

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In The News

Read highlighted press coverage of NREL's computational science achievements.

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D, HPCwire

Radio Free HPC Looks at NREL’s new Eagle Supercomputer, InsideHPC

New Open-Access Materials Database Could Save Research Time, Spur Material Science Advances, The American Ceramic Society

NREL Opens Large Database of Inorganic Thin-Film MaterialsSolar Magazine 

HPE and NREL Take Steps to Create a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Data Center with an H2 Fuel Cell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise blog

NREL and Partners Highlight Collaboration and Explore Future During Partner Week, NREL news feature story highlighting the lab's partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

17 Labs in 17 Minutes, U.S. Department of Energy Direct Current podcast featuring NREL Computational Science Center Director Steve Hammond

Innovative Strategy Advances Renewable Energy Research, Creates World's Most Energy-Efficient Data Center, Scientific Computing

NREL Supercomputer Tackles Grid Challenges,

New Ultra-Efficient HPC Data Center Debuts,


NREL's computational science experts are partnering with industry at the ESIF to tackle critical energy challenges using high-performance computing and visualization.

Photo of a person standing in front of a large 3D visualization screen.


NREL researchers are working with Abengoa to develop a new and more cost-effective manufacturing process for critical components of concentrating solar power systems.

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Photo of a computer rack with the word Asetek on its facade.


The ultra-energy-efficient Asetek RackCDU liquid cooling system was installed and tested at the ESIF's HPC data center. It's a first-of-its-kind, multi-award-winning innovation that saves the ESIF approximately $1 million per year in operating costs.

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Photo of the Peregrine supercomputer


NREL collaborated with HP to create Peregrine, an R&D 100 award-winning, ultra-efficient high-performance computer that uses warm water for cooling. The cooling process results in hot water coming from the supercomputer, which is captured and used for space heating.

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Photo of researchers working with liquid cooling

LiquidCool Solutions

NREL is working with LiquidCool Solutions to demonstrate and characterize the performance of a liquid-submerged technology for cooling computers and servers.

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Johnson Controls

NREL partnered with Sandia National Laboratories and Johnson Controls to install the company's BlueStream Hybrid Cooling System at the ESIF, saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of water for the facility since August 2016.

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