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Feature Stories

The following feature stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

December 2010

NREL Helps Corporate Fleets Go Green

Researchers work with companies to evaluate the latest technology commercially available in the medium and heavy-duty truck markets.

NREL Solar Scientists Epitomize Teamwork

Collaboration and diversity in the form of multi-disciplinary teams with complementary skills replace the solo scientist of old.

Hydrogen Bus Lets Lab Visitors Glimpse Future

NREL uses wind energy to make the hydrogen fueling the lab's "green" shuttle.

November 2010

Wind Turbines Whip Up Excitement, School Pride

Schoolyard wind turbines in 11 states propel interest in science and energy careers.

Algae Research in Full Bloom at NREL

Fragile microorganisms hold a reservoir of potential oil, but are tough to crack.

October 2010

Island Breezes, Sun Perfect for Renewables

NREL is helping Caribbean and Pacific islands plot energy plans in the face of soaring costs, pollution concerns.

Sun Shines Bright for NREL's Energy Execs

Leadership program grads are taking great strides to implement ideas fostered at NREL. Solar energy is offering them many opportunities.

New Schools in New Orleans, Sunnier, Greener

Five years after Hurricane Katrina wrecked the city's classrooms, New Orleans is taking advantage of the opportunity to build green schools that could save millions on energy bills. NREL is lending a helping hand.

September 2010

Solar System Tops Off Efficient NREL Building

A rooftop solar electric system on NREL's new office building embodies the ideals of energy efficiency and renewable energy advocated by the Lab.

NREL Bridging the Gap for Entrepreneurs and VCs

Cleantech ventures are sharpening their business plans, polishing their presentations for NREL's 23rd Industry Growth Forum.

Improved Labs Energize Biomass Research

Innovative research laboratories get a facelift and infusion of new equipment to help researchers make environment friendly, economic biofuels.

Cheaper, Better Solar Cell Is Full of Holes

Award-winning etching technique puts a trillion holes in a silicon wafer making it blacker and better able to absorb nearly all the colors of sunlight.

August 2010

IKEA Geothermal System Could Inform Others

Home furnishings retailer to tap into Earth's steady temperature; NREL to collect data, monitor system with an eye toward helping save energy and money.

Renewable Energy at Work in War Zones

Participant in NREL's executive leadership class aims to bring solar and wind energy to Afghan farms; researchers advise military on powering bases.

July 2010

NREL Solar Technology Will Warm Air at 'Home'

Transpired solar collector technology developed at NREL boosts the efficiency of the new Research Support Facility on the Lab's campus.

NREL Scholarship Gives Columbine Grads a Boost

Ten years ago, in the wake of tragedy, NREL set up a fund to help students at Columbine High School. The investment still pays dividends.

Wind and Solar Energy Power Polar Research

NREL researchers deploy renewable energy systems at National Science Foundation bases in forbidding, fragile Antarctica.

Building Better Batteries for Cars and Spacecraft

NASA and NREL combine experience and experiments to make safer more reliable batteries for outer space and Interstates.

New Low-Energy Building a Landscape Leader, Too

The grounds of the Research Support Facility will help shape the nation's first rating system for green landscape design and construction.

June 2010

Brownfields' Bright Spot: Solar and Wind Energy

NREL helps the Environmental Protection Agency find ways to generate renewable energy on blighted land.

Energy Saving A/C Conquers All Climates

NREL melds technologies to invent a better air conditioner that could mean more comfortable summers and lower energy bills.

Putting the Forklift before the Horseless Carriage

Hydrogen fuel cells tested in forklifts provide data on performance and safety key to widespread use of the power plants in cars and trucks.

May 2010

Sustainable Solutions Abundant in New Offices

Beetle kill wood is just the latest example of the resources used to make the Research Support Facility a model for sustainability.

Giant Wind Turbine Test Takes a Heavyweight

NREL's 2.5-megawatt dynamometer picks on a wind turbine its own size in largest U.S. drive-train test ever.

NREL, 3M Launch Technology Partnership

One of the nation's largest technology companies looks to NREL as it advances products in photovoltaics, concentrating solar power and biofuels.

NREL Helps DOE Promote Cutting Edge Technology

Researching breakthroughs in energy now is easier thanks to a new Web site that quickly accesses patents for technologies developed by DOE laboratories.

April 2010

National Labs Partner for Better Building Efficiency

A new initiative puts commercial building owners and operators together with technical experts to help save money and energy.

First Earth Day Organizer Bullish on Renewables

Early Laboratory Director Denis Hayes recalls roller coaster days of the past, says current generation gives him hope.

Green Computing Helps in Zero Energy Equation

Information Technology in the new Research Support Facility subtracts watts, adding to the building's energy efficiency while showing others how.

NREL Finds a Way to Give LEDs the Green Light

Lab reverses solar cell process to create a long-sought-after deep green that could lead to cheaper, more efficient lighting.

March 2010

NREL's New Robots Scrutinize Solar Cells

Process Development and Integration Laboratory is faster, more precise, gives industry quicker answers.

Tool That Tracks Solar Installations is Open to All

NREL's new Open PV Web site lets users download information about installations, explore trends in photovoltaic markets.

High-Speed Pipeline Revs Up Biomass Analysis

High throughput system can analyze enzymes, poplars, switch grass, thousands at a time to help determine which plants are best suited for biofuels.

Light Inspires Energy Efficient Building Design

The use of daylighting drives the size of the NREL's new super energy efficient Research Support Facility as well as the features of its windows.

February 2010

Making Wind Turbines Builds Career Interest

Good-paying jobs in renewable energy are important to the nation's future and don't all require a college degree, high school students learn.

Balancing Renewables and Natural Resources

NREL biologists test revegetation and wildlife protection strategies at new solar power array at the National Wind Technology Center.

NREL Battery Testing Capabilities Get a Boost

Recovery Act funding will be used to enhance battery testing equipment and facilities, helping NREL continue to support industry.

January 2010

Smart Windows: Energy Efficiency with a View

Buildings consume 40 percent of our nation's energy. NREL is testing and researching electrochromic windows that could knock that back significantly.

NREL to Help Scale Up Biofuels Operations

Thanks to a partnership with DOE and NREL, companies are getting the cash and expertise needed to jumpstart biofuels production scale-up.

Energy Data Available Anywhere, Any Time

NREL launches a new Internet site to allow organizations around the world to both post their own energy data and download data, for free.


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