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Program News

Access news stories from NREL's research programs.

July 14, 2017

NREL to Study Geothermal Deep Direct-Use in East Texas Power Plants

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced major funding awards for six geothermal Deep Direct-Use research projects, including a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study that will explore the feasibility of geothermal heat integration at natural gas power plants in East Texas.

July 14, 2017

Announcing the Solar Energy Innovation Network

The Solar Energy Innovation Network is a new three-year program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, designed to remove soft cost (non-hardware) barriers to wide-scale integration of distributed solar photovoltaics within the U.S. electricity system.

July 11, 2017

Gulf Coast Renewable Energy Survey to Explore Potential of Offshore Wind

A new NREL survey is designed to determine if the Gulf Coast region can transform 50 years of offshore manufacturing and deployment expertise into a thriving offshore industry

July 10, 2017

Report Proves Wake Steering May Improve Wind Plant Power Output

Wake steering allows wind power plant operators to turn the front row of turbines out of the wind, which researchers theorize would decrease wake losses and increase overall plant production.

July 6, 2017

Thermal Measurements of Packed Copper Wire Enables Better Electric Motor Designs

A recently completed study by NREL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, of the anisotropic thermal conductivity of packed copper wire for electric-drive vehicle (EDV) motor applications, provides a baseline for the assessment of new materials and winding structures.

July 5, 2017

New Class of Thermal Interface Materials Delivers Ultralow Thermal Resistance for Compact Electronics

NREL and Texas A&M University have characterized the thermal performance of new, high-performance thermal interface materials (TIMs) capable of thermal resistance one-third lower than any other state-of-the-art TIM.

July 3, 2017

Webinar July 20: Using Machine Learning and Data Analysis to Improve Customer Acquisition and Marketing in Residential Solar

A free webinar on Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 1–2 p.m. ET, will share exciting new research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, and Vanderbilt University on how data analytics, machine learning, and social science can improve marketing and customer acquisition processes for residential solar.

June 28, 2017

NREL Staff Recognized by DOE for Outstanding Achievements at 2017 Annual Merit Review

The U.S. Department of Energy recently honored four NREL staff members for their outstanding achievements at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting.

June 14, 2017

NREL Deploys Wave and Tidal Measurement Buoys

Researchers at the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently deployed two sets of buoys off the shores of Oregon and Maine, each equipped with a variety of high-accuracy sensors that can detect wave and tidal movement.

June 1, 2017

NREL Co-Leading New Consortium to Overcome Catalysis Challenges for Biomass Applications

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is co-leading the Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium (ChemCatBio), a new research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming catalysis challenges for biomass conversion processes.

June 1, 2017

NREL Brings Midmarket Solar PV Technical Assistance to 36 Universities and Colleges

NREL has offered no-cost technical assistance to American universities seeking to go solar. The program, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot initiative, is designed to increase the deployment of mid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at universities, engage stakeholders to develop deployment solutions, and empower decision makers.

June 1, 2017

NREL's III-V Team Demonstrates Record Efficiency Dual-Junction Solar Cell

NREL scientists recently demonstrated a dual-junction solar cell with a record one-sun, certified efficiency of 32.6% (±1.4%), surpassing the previous record by a full percentage.

May 23, 2017

Popular NREL-Developed Transportation Mobile App Launches on Android Platform

A new Android version of the Alternative Fueling Station Locator App was recently released. The NREL-developed mobile application for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program joins the original iPhone version, and allows users to select an alternative fuel—including electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol (E85), propane, and hydrogen—to find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius.

May 17, 2017

Wind Energy's Next Generation Competes in the Collegiate Wind Competition

Last month, 10 college teams from around the country convened at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2017 Technical Challenge. The participating teams included:

May 11, 2017

NREL Partners with California Valley Transportation Authority on Electric Bus Grid Integration Project

NREL is partnering with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in California on a new Advanced Transit Bus Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) Project to develop and demonstrate VGI strategies and analytics to inform state-wide opportunities for transit agencies. The California Energy Commission is funding the $2 million project, which will span four years and includes a variety of partners.

May 11, 2017

NREL Biorefinery Air Pollutant Emissions Analysis Explores Mitigation Options

A new study by NREL's Biofuel Air Emissions Analysis team describes the team's modeling of non-greenhouse gas air pollutant emissions for two feasibility-level biorefinery designs: (1) a biochemical technology pathway focused on biological conversion of cellulosic sugars and (2) a thermochemical pathway focused on fast pyrolysis of whole biomass.

May 11, 2017

NREL and iUnit Open the Door to Grid-Integrated, Multifamily Construction

On May 4, 2017, nearly 30 industry partners visited NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility to see a modular studio prototype apartment created by Denver developer, iUnit.

May 5, 2017

Webinar May 11: Manufacturing Competitiveness and Supply Chain Analyses for Hydrogen Refueling Stations

The U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Office will present a live webinar titled "Manufacturing Competitiveness and Supply Chain Analyses for Hydrogen Refueling Stations" on Thursday, May 11, from 10 to 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

April 25, 2017

NREL, NASA, and UCL Team Up to Make Lithium-Ion Batteries Safer on Earth and in Space

NREL has teamed up with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and University College London for a study on lithium-ion battery failure using the lab's newly patented Battery Internal Short Circuit Device. A clear, in-depth understanding of what causes destructive, internal short circuits will set the stage for improved manufacturing processes to make these popular batteries safer in all applications.

April 24, 2017

NREL Tests Energy Storage System to Fill Renewable Gaps

NREL and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Americas are testing an energy storage system to help renewable energy resources provide more consistent power.

April 20, 2017

Co-Optima Highlights Primary Causes of Misfueling and Mitigation Strategies

A newly released report developed under the NREL-led Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative spotlights the primary causes of vehicle misfueling, resulting issues, and potential strategies for mitigation. Researchers want to avert any risk of drivers filling up with the wrong fuel when new Co-Optima high-performance formulas hit the market. The study drives home the need for more effective misfueling mitigation strategies to ensure the successful commercial rollout of any new fuels.

April 20, 2017

Connecting Electric Vehicles to the Grid for Greater Infrastructure Resilience

NREL has managed a variety of studies and partnerships under the Integrated Network Testbed for Energy Grid Research and Technology Experimentation (INTEGRATE) project, which aims to enable the nation's electric grid to handle increasing amounts of renewable energy. As part of this broad-reaching initiative, NREL's transportation team played a leadership role in INTEGRATE's transportation-related efforts, collaborating with industry partners and other national labs across the country.

April 18, 2017

NREL Researchers Present at Waterpower Week in Washington

National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) researchers will share their water power expertise at Waterpower Week in Washington, a three-day, co-located conference held in Washington, D.C., from May 1-3.

April 11, 2017

NREL Seeks Proposals to Advance Distributed Wind Turbine Technology

On April 11, the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a fifth round of Requests for Proposals under DOE’s Distributed Wind Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP), an annual competitive solicitation through NREL geared to small and mid-sized wind turbines.

April 10, 2017

Researchers at NREL Find Fewer Failures of PV Panels and Different Degradation Modes in Systems Installed after 2000

Overall failure rates for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels have fallen dramatically when compared to installations prior to 2000, according to a comprehensive review by researchers from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

April 7, 2017

NREL's 40 Years of Innovation Honored by ACORE

NREL presented with ACORE's Technology Advancement & Industry Impact Award.

April 4, 2017

NREL-Led Effort Results in Groundbreaking New ASTM High-Octane Fuel Standard

The release in March of a new ASTM International high-octane fuel standard with guidance from NREL’s research engineer Robert McCormick is expected to impact the development of gasoline products compatible with vehicles that feature high-performance fuel-efficient engines.

April 3, 2017

Investing in Future Innovation: NREL Researchers, Engineers Introduce Students to STEM Careers

Learn how NREL researchers and engineers teach students about science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

March 28, 2017

More Than 200 Attend NREL/SNL/BNL Photovoltaic Reliability Workshops

NREL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Brookhaven National Laboratory partnered to host two coordinated workshops on PV Reliability, which ran from Feb. 28 to March 2.

March 27, 2017

Industry Leaders Attend Composites Manufacturing Facility Launch

On Jan. 31, the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Lab welcomed its newest building: the Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology (CoMET) facility.

February 14, 2017

NREL Partnerships Designed to Make Wind Farms More Productive

NREL and two industry partners, NextEra Energy, Inc., and YStrategies, Inc., signed a cooperative research and development agreement in December 2016 to bring wake steering, or slight adjustments to turbine direction that reduce wind drag, to industry wind plants for the first time.

February 14, 2017

NREL, SLAC Determine Ideal Conditions for Making Perovskite Photovoltaic Absorbers

Researchers at NREL and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have mapped the processing phase space where ideal conditions exist to create perovskite photovoltaic absorbers.

February 6, 2017

Co-Optima Targets Maximum Transportation Sector Efficiency, Energy Independence and Industry Growth

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new report that spotlights key accomplishments the first year of the U.S. Department of Energy Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative.

February 6, 2017

NREL Engineer Robert McCormick Named SAE Fellow

Robert L. McCormick, an engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been named a fellow of SAE International, an association for engineers and other technical experts in automotive, commercial-vehicle, and aerospace industries.

January 9, 2017

NREL Awarded $1.6 Million to Accelerate Development of Plug-In Electric and Propane Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

The Energy Department (DOE) recently announced the award of funding to accelerate the development and deployment of alternative vehicle and fuel technologies, including $1.6 million for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to support three projects led by industry partners Blossman Services, Blue Bird Body Company, and Odyne Systems, LLC. NREL will support these partners in advancing electric-drive and propane fuel technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

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