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Program News

Access news stories from NREL's research programs.

June 18, 2018

REopt Lite's Application Programming Interface Boosts Solar+Storage Analysis Flexibility

NREL released an API for REopt(TM) Lite, enabling streamlined integration with other tools inside and outside NREL and allowing building owners and researchers to evaluate the economics of grid-connected solar PV and battery storage at multiple commercial sites. The API opens opportunities for research collaboration and broader market impact, driving solar and storage deployment.

June 18, 2018

Research Spotlights Energy Efficiency of Ride-Hailing Services

NREL hosted a recent meeting with representatives from industry and academia to discuss research exploring the energy impact of ride-hailing services. The growing use of such services has the potential to disrupt traditional car ownership paradigms, buoyed by the surge in younger consumers who only know a world with technology at their fingertips. Research indicates that ride-hailing options should be networked, electrified, shared, and mobile-friendly to best realize improvements in road congestion, energy use, and air quality.

June 18, 2018

International Interest in NREL's Fuels and Engines Research

The European Union's goal is for 10% of all of Europe's transportation fuels to come from renewable sources by 2020. In April, CNBC World's international news program "Sustainable Energy" came to NREL to spotlight how the lab's breakthrough biofuels research is advancing progress toward that ambitious objective.

June 15, 2018

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus Evaluation Project Reveals Success for Transit Partner

Results from a National Renewable Energy Laboratory evaluation of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) at Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit) in California show that FCEBs have made significant progress toward commercialization, surpassing Department of Energy's ultimate technical targets for fuel cell operating hours and reliability.

June 15, 2018

Nature Energy Taps Wind Research Pioneer's Expertise

Recently, Nature Energy requested that Bob Thresher review a research article by Erikka Rinne and colleagues on the increased wind resource potential resulting from recent advances in wind turbine technology.

June 12, 2018

Enhanced Resilience Features Help REopt Lite Users Size Solar+Storage Systems to Support Critical Building Loads

NREL's REopt Lite web tool now offers enhanced resilience analysis capabilities that allow building owners and energy managers to size PV and storage systems to meet a specified outage duration and compare the sizing and costs of a resilient system with a system sized to maximize savings.

June 12, 2018

Trends in Ground Transportation to and from Airport Reflect Nationwide Mobility Shift

Passenger transportation and aviation systems are on the frontline of innovation in moving more people faster, cheaper, and better—fueled in part by greater convenience and increased choices. An NREL study focuses on the growing use and impacts of ride-hailing services to and from airports, with implications for the future of ride-hailing, parking, and car rental services in cities.

May 31, 2018

Collaboration Initiates New Early-Stage Research

The U.S. Department of Energy’s interest in increasing national energy security and lowering the cost of transporting goods spurred a $3 million effort to support cost-shared research to improve high-efficiency natural gas engines. NREL is collaborating with Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories to further this early-stage research.

May 31, 2018

Planning a City, Virtually

NREL has developed an immersive visualization environment to help plan for Denver's new smart community, Peña Station NEXT.

May 30, 2018

When the Gears Stop Turning

NREL teams with PG&E to stabilize grid frequency with synthetic inertia.

May 29, 2018

New CSP Funding Is Getting Hotter

NREL has received $7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the next generation of liquid-phase concentrating solar power technology.

May 22, 2018

Middle School Students Take the STEM Wheel

On May 19, NREL hosted its 19th annual Middle School Electric Car Competition, where students raced solar and lithium-ion powered cars that they designed and built.

May 22, 2018

Enhanced Vehicle Simulation Tool Enables Wider Array of Analyses

New and enhanced versions of NREL's Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator (FASTSim) are now available for free download in Python and Microsoft Excel formats at www.nrel.gov/fastsim. FASTSim provides a quick and simple way to compare powertrains and estimate the impact of technology improvements on light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle efficiency, performance, cost, and battery life.

May 18, 2018

Access to Data Accelerates Innovation and Adoption of Geothermal Technologies

The future of the geothermal sector is being driven by data-informed decisions and research. NREL's geothermal team is developing several tools and platforms to streamline the collection and sharing of geothermal data sets, enabling new breakthroughs in geothermal research and development.

May 17, 2018

Research Turbine Leaves Legacy in Its Wake

The conclusion of a successful multiyear industry partnership will soon alter the landscape for Denver-area residents. This week, GE will remove the largest of the megawatt-scale research turbines at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), located near Boulder, Colorado.

May 16, 2018

NREL's EVI-Pro Lite Tool Paves the Way for Future Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning

A new NREL-developed tool called EVI-Pro Lite is helping communities across the country evaluate existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure and determine future needs for charging infrastructure to support increased regional adoption of EVs. Using data from personal vehicle travel patterns, electric vehicle attributes, and charging station characteristics, the tool projects demand for charging infrastructure by state or city/urban area.

May 14, 2018

Webinar May 17: Fuel Cell Electric Bus Progress toward Meeting Technical Targets

In this DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office webinar, NREL's Leslie Eudy will present the most recent performance results from fuel cell electric buses operated by six transit agencies and discuss progress made toward meeting technical targets.

May 8, 2018

Remember the Algae that Went to Space? Here's What Happened Next

NREL scientists and Chatfield High School students are seeing the results of their collaborative experiment that sent a novel bioreactor housing two different strains of algae into space last summer.

May 2, 2018

Analysis Quantifies California's Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Needs

How many electric vehicle chargers does the State of California need to accommodate 1.3 million EVs? That was the subject of a collaborative study conducted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) in partnership with NREL with respect to the state's 2025 zero-emission vehicle goal.

April 30, 2018

Q&A with Andy Walker: The Ins and Outs of Renewable Energy Optimization

NREL researcher Andy Walker sits down to discuss a new role as research fellow, and his work in developing renewable energy optimization techniques.

April 25, 2018

Low- and Moderate-Income Residences Can Help Modernize the U.S. Electric Grid

Pairing solar photovoltaics with rooftops of low and moderate-income housing represents an opportunity to help modernize the U.S. electric grid and improve energy affordability in low-income communities

April 24, 2018

NREL Researchers Create New Materials With Unusual Properties

Few scientists reference Kurt Vonnegut in their academic journals, but researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found the parallels between his work and theirs compelling. Both invoke polymorphism--the ability of a material to adopt multiple crystal structures.

April 18, 2018

CAEBAT Model Featured on American Chemical Society Journal Tenth Anniversary Issue Cover

NREL's collaboration with Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering has yielded new insights for lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery electrodes at the microstructural level, that can lead to improvements in electric vehicle (EV) battery performance and lifespan. A stochastic algorithm developed by Purdue University, as part of NREL's Advanced Computer-Aided Battery Engineering Consortium, is prominently displayed on the cover of the 10th anniversary issue of American Chemical Society's Applied Materials and Interfaces. The NREL/Purdue team's corresponding article, "Secondary-Phase Stochastics in Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes" detailing the research and resulting discoveries, is showcased inside.

April 18, 2018

KULR Technology Exclusively Licenses Award-Winning Battery Internal Short Circuit Device

Under agreement with NREL, KULR will be the exclusive manufacturing, distribution, and marketing partner for the patented, award-winning Battery Internal Short Circuit (ISC) Device to industrial, research, and design clients. Developed by NREL and NASA, the Battery ISC Device revolutionizes the way lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are evaluated so designs can be improved before batteries hit store shelves.

April 18, 2018

Abundant Renewable Energy Resources Exist in Lao PDR

A clearer picture of which renewable energy resources can benefit the Lao People's Democratic Republic has emerged from a new report published by NREL.

April 18, 2018

Co-Optima Transportation Ingenuity Capitalizes on Strengths of U.S. Energy Resources and Existing Infrastructure

The FY17 Year in Review describes recent advances including identification of key properties for new fuels, assessment of compatibility with vehicle components and infrastructure, and expansion of research to encompass solutions for the entire on-road fleet. This research effort, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is providing industry with the scientific underpinnings needed to accelerate introduction of high-performance fuels and engines that reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, and lower drivers' costs.

April 13, 2018

NREL Staff Honored for Innovative Thinking, Accomplishments

The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) celebrated the innovative minds behind cutting-edge research at its annual Innovation and Technology Transfer Awards ceremony last month.

April 11, 2018

Heavy-Duty Emissions Research Honored with SAE Colwell Award

On April 10, authors the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Cummins Inc. received the Arch T. Colwell Merit Award during the 2018 annual Society of Automotive engineers (SAE) World Congress Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Detroit. The Colwell award recognizes the authors of papers of outstanding technical or professional merit that are presented at SAE meetings.

April 9, 2018

New Analysis Finds Synergistic Relationship Between High PV Penetration and Energy Storage Deployment

Adding higher penetrations of solar photovoltaics (PV) to the electric power grid could increase the potential for energy storage to meet peak demand, according to new analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

April 9, 2018

NREL Leadership Contributes to Revision of Key Energy Integration Standard, IEEE 1547

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has published the full revision of IEEE 1547, which establishes uniform requirements for interconnection of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar photovoltaics, with the electric power system. With support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office, NREL researchers provided leadership and technical support in developing this full revision of the standard.

March 30, 2018

Q&A with Sheila Hayter: Laying the Foundation for an Interconnected Energy Future

Sheila Hayter is a group manager in the Integrated Applications Center (IAC), leading a team of experts who support international, federal, state, and local entities with the goal of significantly reducing nonrenewable energy consumption though optimized use of energy efficiency strategies and renewable energy technologies. Along with her NREL work, she is the ASHRAE president elect. We caught up with Hayter to discuss where her roles with ASHRAE and NREL intersect.

March 27, 2018

Transportation Research Fueled by Academia

NREL's long history of successful partnerships with universities includes collaborating on transportation research projects, as well as joint appointments and sustaining a thriving host of internship programs. Over the past few years transportation researchers have collaborated with more than 20 universities within the United States and internationally.

March 27, 2018

Koenraad Beckers: A Love of Science Benefits Geothermal Research

In June, NREL researcher Koenraad Beckers will bike from Boise, Idaho, to Yellowstone National Park. The ride is typical for this avid biker. The reason though is unusual. Passionate about geothermal energy research, he wants to observe the hot water in both places.

March 22, 2018

Newly Branded Energy Systems Integration Group Joins International Institute for Energy Systems Integration

The Utility-Variable Generation Integration Group (UVIG) is broadening its reach among the ESI community, joining with the International Institute for Energy Systems Integration (iiESI), and changing its name to the Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG).

March 21, 2018

Johney Green Joins Inaugural Board of Trustees for the UK's Faraday Institution

NREL's Johney Green, Jr. has been chosen to join Faraday's inaugural board of trustees to help set the agenda and support programs for emerging electrochemical energy storage technologies.

March 8, 2018

NREL Briefs Congressional Committee on Impact of Scientific Innovations on Transportation Future

On March 7, NREL's Laboratory Program Manager for Vehicle Technologies John Farrell briefed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on how the Energy Department and the national labs are driving innovation to spur advances in the efficiency and performance of fuels, vehicles, and the broader transportation system.

March 5, 2018

O, Canada: NREL Partnership Produces New Take on Alternative Fueling Station Locator Tool

Word of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) deep transportation web development expertise recently sparked interest in the United States' neighbor to the north, kicking off a collaborative international effort to launch a powerful new alternative fueling station tool on the other side of the border.

February 28, 2018

NREL Launches New Website for High-Performance Computing System Users

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Computational Science Center has launched a revamped website for users of the lab’s high-performance computing (HPC) systems at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF).

February 28, 2018

High Performance Computing and Cutting-Edge Analysis Can Open New Scientific Realms

NREL recently created the Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis (SCEA) directorate, pairing our expertise in high performance computing with our deep knowledge of energy analysis.

February 28, 2018

Q&A with Adam Warren

Adam Warren, director of the Integrated Applications Center (IAC), discusses IAC's new role in ESI research, and the center's focus for 2018.

February 28, 2018

Unique Procurement Process Expands Microgrid Research Capabilities at the ESIF

Following a rigorous, 21-week dual-stage procurement program, NREL has purchased a Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) microgrid controller for installation at the ESIF, enabling new research capabilities to more effectively evaluate microgrid systems and their components.

February 27, 2018

NREL-KPA-Toyota Collaboration Facilitates Permitting of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Repair Facilities

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Hydrogen Sensor Laboratory was used recently in a partnership with KPA Services, LLC, at the request of Toyota Motors to validate hydrogen sensors for incorporation into their system to adapt vehicle repair facilities for fuel cell electric vehicles.

February 26, 2018

Ten Years of Analyzing the Duck Chart: How an NREL Discovery in 2008 Is Helping Enable More Solar on the Grid Today

In February 2008, a team of NREL analysts led by Paul Denholm published a paper that examined how to plan for future large-scale integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation on the electric grid. They observed a unique change in the shape of the electric load met by conventional power plants when increasing levels of PV are added to the system, and thus identified the earliest version of what was later named the "duck curve" by the California Independent System Operator.

February 22, 2018

How Low Can Conventional Generators Go? NREL Explains Why Minimum Generation Is Key to Maximum Renewable Integration

New study in the journal Energy Policy illustrates the importance of quantifying power system operational constraints to enable more renewables on the grid.

February 21, 2018

Free Webinar February 28: Overcoming the Impacts of Fast Charging

Vehicle Electrification Group Manager Matt Keyser will be moderating a free webinar titled, "Overcoming the Impacts of Fast Charging on Hybrid/Electric Vehicles (EVs), Batteries, and Charging Systems," featuring leading industry experts from companies, including Jaguar Land Rover Automotive. Hosted by The Battery Show as part of the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, the webinar takes place on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (5:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time).

February 21, 2018

IN2 Program Validates Data Center Cooling Solution

LiquidCool Solutions, a participant in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator program, had their server-cooling technology validated at the ESIF, where it was deployed along-side NREL's supercomputer, Peregrine.

February 20, 2018

Breakthroughs Move Researchers One Step Closer to $35 Billion Fuel Savings

NREL and its partners recently revealed breakthroughs in identification of fuel blendstocks for the U.S. Department of Energy's Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative. This national research effort is providing industry with the scientific underpinnings needed to accelerate introduction of high-performance fuels and engines that reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, and lower drivers' costs.

February 16, 2018

Revamped Website Features Easier Access to Travel Survey Data, Offers New Datasets

Access to detailed transportation data from travel surveys and studies conducted across the nation just got easier. The revamped Transportation Secure Data Center features a variety of updates that enhance the user experience and increase the scope of data available.

February 16, 2018

NREL's Earl Christensen Honored with Two Awards from National Biodiesel Board

Fuel stability research advances innovation and bolsters industry confidence in biodiesel.

February 8, 2018

New Wave Energy Converter Design Inspired by Wind Energy

NREL researchers took inspiration from the pitch control of wind turbine blades for a new wave energy converter design.

February 7, 2018

Study Shows Philippine Power System Can Achieve 30% and 50% Renewable Energy by 2030

NREL has confirmed the technical viability of achieving renewable energy penetrations of 30% and 50% in the Republic of the Philippines' Luzon-Visayas power system by 2030.

January 31, 2018

NREL Wind Leaders Participate in Wind Industry Partnership Summit

More than 90 people--including over 50 industry attendees, in addition to laboratory and DOE representatives--attended the Wind Industry Partnership Summit, held January 24-25 in Washington, D.C.

January 26, 2018

New Open-Source Version of FLORIS Released

NREL researchers recently released an updated open-source version of FLOw Redirection and Induction in Steady State (FLORIS), a set of controls and optimization tools for wind farm control.

January 26, 2018

NREL, Eaton Partner on Innovative Energy Solutions

On January 15, Eaton, a power management company dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services, entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

January 24, 2018

Collaboration and Compromise: The Big Picture of Energy Systems Integration

Dr. Mark O'Malley offers his perspective on ESI; where it's going and what it takes to get there.

January 23, 2018

NREL Postdoc Awarded for Work on Breakthrough Solar Technology

NREL postdoc Jeff Christians received a prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Energy for his work on perovskite solar cells, a promising class of materials.

January 18, 2018

Workshop Targets Graduate Students to Advance Careers in PV

The 2018 Hands-On PV Experience workshop is an opportunity for a select group of U.S. graduate students to spend an immersive week at NREL in a hands-on, small-group research setting.

January 15, 2018

NREL Begins On-Site Validation of Drivetrain Gearbox and Bearings

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently installed a new gearbox and main bearing in the U.S. Department of Energy-owned General Electric 1.5-megawatt SLE turbine.

January 12, 2018

NREL to Host Ninth Annual PV Reliability Workshop

NREL will host the ninth annual PV Reliability Workshop from Feb. 27 to March 1 in Lakewood, Colorado. Sessions at the workshop will cover key topics in reliability, such as stability of high-efficiency modules, module soiling, inverter reliability, monitoring and failure detection, international standards, and accelerated testing of modules.

January 11, 2018

NREL Announces New Technology Development and Innovation Project Selections

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected two projects to receive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Technology Development and Innovation (TD&I) subcontracts. These awards provide recipients access to NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) facilities and expertise in support of projects involving the research and development of early-stage wind-wildlife impact minimization technologies.

January 11, 2018

Ahmad Pesaran Honored with DOE Assistant Secretary's 2017 EERE Outstanding Impact Award

NREL's Energy Storage Chief Engineer Ahmad Pesaran has been honored with a DOE Assistant Secretary's 2017 EERE Outstanding Impact Award, along with members of the DOE EERE VTO Battery and Electrification team. Pesaran and the team received the EERE Impact Award for the successful development of the ground-breaking electric vehicle Extreme Fast Charging R&D Gap Assessment and Research Roadmap.

January 9, 2018

Fleet DNA Brings Fleet Data to Life, Informs R&D

The Fleet DNA clearinghouse of commercial vehicle operations data features over 11.5 million miles of real-world data from more than 1,700 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles operating across a variety of vocations. This massive data repository provides vehicle duty-cycle summaries and visualizations to help users understand the broad operational range of today's commercial vehicles across vocations and weight classes, enabling insight critical to the development of energy-efficient vehicle technologies that meet performance requirements and reduce operating costs.

January 4, 2018

Three-peat NREL Intern Pushes Boundaries of Early-Stage Fuels Research on Way to Master's Degree

Drew Cameron completed two Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships and one Research Participant Program internship at NREL, culminating in her successful master's thesis in December, 2017.

January 3, 2018

Student-Designed Flume Arrives at NWTC

An NREL collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines stimulated an innovative water flume design.

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