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Program News

Access news stories from NREL's research programs.

December 17, 2015

NREL Records Progress Toward Understanding of Nanotubes

Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have made progress towards answering a fundamental question about single-walled carbon nanotubes: do absorbed photons create only neutral excitations (excitons) or are some free charges created also?

December 16, 2015

Helping Electric-Drive Vehicle Power Electronics Keep Their Cool

Conventional thermal interface materials can pose a significant bottleneck to heat removal from power electronics packages. High-performance thermal interface materials are a critical enabler to compact, high-performance, low-cost power electronics components for transportation and other applications.

December 11, 2015

NREL Reveals Benefits of O2 Contact with Defects in 2D Semiconductors

Researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have explained the unusual behavior that stems from oxygen molecules interacting with defects in two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors.

December 4, 2015

From the EERE Blog: Colorado Joins the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Race

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) recently posted a blog about how the state of Colorado is quickly gaining momentum in the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies race.

November 17, 2015

New Geothermal Lab Manager Joins NREL

Henry (Bud) Johnston joined NREL on October 12 as the new Laboratory Program Manager for the Geothermal Technologies Program.

November 16, 2015

NREL Research Honored With R&D 100 Awards

A technology developed at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been honored by R&D Magazine as a winner of a coveted R&D 100 award as well as an Editor's Choice award.

October 26, 2015

NREL's Battery Life Predictive Model Helps Companies Take Charge

Companies that rely on batteries for enhanced energy efficiency-including electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, solar and wind energy generation companies, and utilities-need to know how to use batteries most effectively. As investment in large-scale battery energy storage grows, it is also vital to know how long batteries will last in the field.

October 1, 2015

NREL Leading DOE's Lab-Corps Pilot, Bringing Entrepreneurial Concepts to Lab Researchers

NREL is leading program efforts in support of the $2.3 million Lab-Corps pilot program, helping 14 entrepreneurial teams from eight U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national labs identify private sector opportunities for commercializing promising sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency technologies.

October 1, 2015

NREL Evaluates Performance of Hydraulic Hybrid Refuse Vehicles

NREL is evaluating the in-service performance of hydraulic hybrid vehicles and comparable conven­tional diesel vehicles operated by Miami-Dade County's Public Works and Waste Management Department in Florida.

September 29, 2015

NREL Assesses Costs of Adding New Generation to Existing Power Systems

New study uses a quantitative approach to characterize the integration-related costs of making changes to an existing grid.

August 24, 2015

NREL-Statoil Collaborate to Make the First Multi-Turbine Floating Offshore Array a Reality

A recent study performed by the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is helping Norway-based Statoil prepare for the installation of what may be the world’s first multi-turbine floating offshore array.

August 17, 2015

NREL Leads Effort to Get Traffic Moving in the Right Direction

NREL will serve as the lead organization in developing a tool travelers and transportation officials can use in helping guide people through a city in the most energy-efficient way possible.

August 13, 2015

ESIF 2015 Mid-Year Report Highlights Facility's Latest Successes

The ESIF 2015 Mid-Year Report provides an overview of recent work at the Energy Systems Integration Facility from October 2014 to March 2015.

August 12, 2015

NREL Leads Working Group to Standardize Testing for “Smart” Solar Inverters

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, NREL energy systems integration researchers led the working group for the recently passed IEEE amendment 1547.1a, which standardizes testing protocols and procedures for three advanced solar inverter functionalities.

August 11, 2015

New Wind Resource Maps Reach Higher Heights

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and AWS Truepower LLC recently released maps that illustrate the potential for wind energy development using more advanced wind turbine technologies.

August 11, 2015

NREL and Clemson University Put Wind Turbine Drivetrains to the Test

Through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA), two of our nation’s most advanced wind energy research and test facilities—the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Clemson University—have joined forces to help the wind energy industry improve wind turbine drivetrains and integrate turbines with the electric grid.

August 10, 2015

NREL to Play Pivotal Role in White House Initiative to Bolster America’s Manufacturing Future

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is now part of a multimillion-dollar White House initiative known as the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which was created to foster emerging technologies that will produce high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness. Specifically, NREL will be leading the Wind Turbine Technology Area of NNMI’s latest addition, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

August 10, 2015

New Study Reveals Potential 30% Penetration of Wind and Solar for the Eastern Interconnection

Using high-performance computing capabilities and new methodologies to model operations of the Eastern Interconnection—arguably the largest power system in the world—at unprecedented fidelity, NREL found that the power system can reliably support up to 30% penetration of wind and solar power.

August 10, 2015

NWTC Researchers Recognized for Technology Transfer Excellence

Two research teams at the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently received NREL Technology Transfer Awards: one for the development of the Simulator fOr Wind Farm Applications and a second for their work with Siemens on blade aerodynamics. A third team received a patent award for their approach to wind turbine blade testing using base excitation. These awards recognize individuals who have shown exceptional personal initiative in helping transfer NREL technology and developments to the private sector through impactful partnering, licensing, and product release activity.

August 5, 2015

Webinar August 11: Analysis Using Fuel Cell MHE for Shaving Peak Building Energy

This Fuel Cell Technologies Office webinar, presented by Michael Penev of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will explore the synergy between a facility's use of hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and its reduction of electric grid time of use energy charges.

August 5, 2015

New Energy License Encourages Investment in Green Technologies

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a new technology transfer licensing tool, called the Energy License, which allows licensees to deduct a portion of fuel and electricity offsets against a portion of their royalty fees.

July 27, 2015

NREL's Power Systems Research Highlighted at 2015 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting

NREL's power systems research will be featured prominently at the IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting July 27-31, 2015, in Denver.

July 27, 2015

Popular Mechanics: Scientists Break This Virtual Power Grid to Save the Real One

Popular Mechanics describes how NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility helps integrate solar power into outdated systems—without causing blackouts or explosions in the process.

July 21, 2015

Data From Power Production Units Can Benefit Industry

For more than 5 years, DOE has been leveraging its ownership of two 250-kilowatt geothermal power production units to gather field data that will benefit the industry.

July 13, 2015

Connecting the Moving Dots

Systems-level thinking illuminates the connections among energy, the environment, and the economy as NREL analysts help find a path to a "water smart" future.

July 13, 2015

Making a Computer Model of the Most Complex System Ever Built

The eastern part of the North American power grid will likely host an increasing percentage of renewable energy in years to come, and NREL wants to see how that will work.

July 13, 2015

NREL Helps Countries Build Stronger Economies with Low-Emission Development

NREL is helping advance the economies of developing countries in a healthy and sustainable manner by providing assistance through partnerships with various countries and institutions across the globe.

July 13, 2015

Our Transforming Energy Economy: Pathways to a Decarbonized Future

A growing body of work on the nexus of natural gas and renewable energy offers insight on a transforming energy economy.

July 13, 2015

Continuum Magazine - NREL Analysis: Reimagining What's Possible for Clean Energy

The Summer 2015 issue of Continuum Magazine.

July 13, 2015

Assessing R&D Opportunities for Clean Energy Technologies

NREL sees opportunity for the United States to use and manufacture clean energy technologies, which can improve the environment and our economy.

July 13, 2015

NREL-Led Efforts Help Bring Financing to Solar Projects

NREL is helping remove barriers that prevent pension and mutual funds from investing in solar power.

July 9, 2015

NREL Awarded $4.9 Million for Small Business Voucher Pilot

During the July 8 Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative’s Southeast Regional Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, the Energy Department announced the national laboratories that will be taking the lead in implementing a new $20 million Small Business Vouchers Pilot. Through a competitive selection, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory was awarded $4.9 million for their work on the pilot.

July 8, 2015

NREL's Winning Hand of Clean Transportation Tools

NREL's suite of transportation tools helps fleet managers and individual drivers alike to "green up" their travel decisions

June 15, 2015

NREL and Partners Review Integration Studies, Show Wind and Solar Can Support Proposed EPA Goal of 30% Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reduction

Report summarizes relevant studies that show wind and solar power plants can improve power system operations, reliability, and stability while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30% or more—helping inform the public discussion surrounding the cost and reliability impacts of complying with the EPA’s proposed target.

June 12, 2015

NREL Staff Recognized by DOE for Outstanding Achievements

At the 2015 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program honored four National Renewable Energy Laboratory staff for their outstanding achievements.

June 10, 2015

Geothermal Energy Association Honors Two NRELians with Top Recognition

Dan Getman and Jordan Macknick were recognized by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) during its National Geothermal Summit on June 3, 2015, in Reno, Nevada.

June 8, 2015

Kuwait Visitors Interested in NREL Solar and Geothermal Efforts

During a visit on June 4, representatives of the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) learned about NREL projects involving water desalination and enhanced oil recovery.

June 5, 2015

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Mentors Honored as Outstanding

Three NREL hydrogen and fuel cell researchers were among seven outstanding mentors from NREL's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program who were announced at the spring SULI program poster session on May 14, 2015. The Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes researchers and scientists who have been exceptional mentors for interns in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's SULI program.

June 3, 2015

NREL Cyanobacteria Ramps Up Photosynthesis—and New Challenges

In a recent project, an NREL research team, led by Jianping Yu, improved ethylene productivity so that up to 10% of photosynthetically fixed carbons become ethylene—with one unexpected, yet welcome, surprise. While cellular metabolism was expected to change, possibly inhibiting growth due to significant and continuous loss of carbon, growth seems to be unaffected.

May 18, 2015

African Delegation Exchanges Knowledge with Top Geothermal Experts

Tapping into 14,000 megawatts of geothermal potential in eastern Africa is the focus one new collaboration at NREL.

May 13, 2015

EPRI and NREL Develop Standard Messaging to Facilitate DER Communication and Control

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and NREL have developed and tested a standard messaging platform for distributed energy resources (DER)--solar panels, wind turbines, microgrids, and battery storage--that use smart inverters to connect to the grid.

May 7, 2015

Webinar May 12: Overview of Station Analysis Tools Developed in Support of H2USA

This webinar will provide a basic introduction to two new analysis tools, the Hydrogen Refueling Station Analysis Model (HRSAM) and the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST). These tools were developed by Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, respectively, to address key technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment.

May 5, 2015

Boise State University Wins Collegiate Wind Competition 2015

Seven teams of students from across the country gathered at the National Wind Technology Center for a fierce blade-to-blade wind turbine rematch. At the Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2015 Engineering Contest, teams of undergraduates tested original designs of model wind turbines in an on-site wind tunnel and presented their technical designs to wind technology experts.

May 4, 2015

Report Targets Data on Avian Issues at Solar Energy Facilities

Understanding how birds are affected by utility-scale solar facilities is the focus of a new NREL report that was completed in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory.

April 21, 2015

Energy Department Announces New Tools for Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Deployment

The Energy Department has announced two new tools developed through H2USA to help address technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment. The tools, the the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST) and the Hydrogen Refueling Stations Analysis Model (HRSAM), were developed by NREL and Argonne National Laboratory respectively to address the key technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment. Additionally, NREL and Sandia National Laboratories published two task reports through the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project, which supports H2USA by addressing critical R&D barriers to station deployment.

April 17, 2015

NREL and Partners Review Key Issues, Lessons Learned from U.S. Wind Integration Studies and Operating Practices

As a complement to DOE's recently released Wind Vision Report, a new paper summarizes the lessons learned from actual power systems operational practice, along with some of the most relevant and comprehensive wind integration studies conducted during the past several years.

April 16, 2015

NREL's ESIF Offers Equipment Testing on Grand Scale

NREL Power Systems Engineering Center Director Dr. Ben Kroposki spoke to Smart Grid Today about the unique capabilities of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

April 14, 2015

NREL Teams with Southern California Gas to Launch First Power-to-Gas Project in U.S.

Demonstration projects will create and test a power-to-gas concept that uses electricity from renewable sources to make carbon-free hydrogen gas.

March 19, 2015

Discovering Drop-In Biofuels to Leverage Petroleum Refineries

In the search for abundant and sustainable options to petroleum-derived fuels, biofuels stand out as a promising alternative. An NREL study is determining which biomass-derived oxygenates are most commercially feasible in drop-in fuels that are compatible with existing engines and fuel distribution.

March 6, 2015

Colorado High School Science Bowl Rescheduled

On March 7, Colorado high school students will rack their brains to quickly find answers to rapid-fire questions at the 25th Colorado High School Science Bowl. Competition rounds begin at 9 a.m. and will last until 12:30 p.m., at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), 15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden, CO.

February 25, 2015

Guidelines Help Manage Risks and Encourage the Development of Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies

Marine and hydrokinetic technologies convert the kinetic energy from ocean waves, tides, currents, and ocean thermal resources into electricity. The development and evolution of these technologies towards commercial and economic operation has proven to be a slow and expensive process. To help reduce the risks of industry failures and advance the development of current and new technologies at a lower cost and faster pace, the U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory created a framework that provides a risk management methodology to identify and reduce risks during all stages of technology development and particularly prior to demonstration activities.

February 25, 2015

NREL Researchers Advance Wind Energy Systems Engineering

In recent years, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been making progress in multiple avenues of wind systems engineering. This includes the study of how to integrate wind energy engineering and cost models across wind plants, finding the important interactions between various subsystems to achieve a better understanding of how to improve system-level performance and cost reductions, and hosting international, collaborative workshops.

February 25, 2015

NREL's WIND Toolkit Provides the Data Needed to Conduct Power System Simulations

Researchers who conduct regional wind integration studies in the United States need to perform simulations of how the power system will operate under high-penetration scenarios. To do this they need detailed wind power output data from many locations. The wind data sets that are used in these studies must realistically reflect the ramping characteristics, spatial and temporal correlations, and capacity factors of the simulated wind plants, and must be time-synchronized with available load profiles.

February 25, 2015

FAST Revs Up with a v8

Offshore and land-based wind turbine systems are subject to complex and harsh operating conditions. When designing systems for such conditions, wind technology developers need powerful tools. One such tool is the computer-aided engineering tool called FAST, developed and supported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The laboratory has recently released an improved and expanded version of FAST that features a new modularization framework that boosts the tool’s power, robustness, and flexibility.

February 25, 2015

Wind Career Map Shows Wind Industry Career Opportunities, Paths

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), created a Wind Career Map—the first of its kind in the wind industry—to inform people interested in wind energy career opportunities.

February 24, 2015

NREL Handbook Helps Industry Collect and Interpret Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications

Comprehensive handbook is a valuable resource for the solar industry on the collection and interpretation of solar resource data for each stage of a solar energy project, from initial site selection to systems operations.

February 20, 2015

CANCELLED: Colorado High School Science Bowl

Due to inclement weather, the 25th annual Colorado High School Science Bowl has been cancelled. Information on the rescheduled event will be available in the near future.

February 18, 2015

Energy Department Announces 2016 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is pleased to announce that the Energy Department has announced the twelve collegiate teams that have been selected to participate in the second U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition.

February 13, 2015

2014 Energy Systems Integration Facility Annual Report Available for Download

New report highlights research and achievements for the ESIF in its first year of operation.

February 11, 2015

Webinar Rescheduled: Material Handling Fuel Cells for Building Electric Peak Shaving Applications

This Fuel Cell Technologies Office webinar, presented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will explore the synergy between a facility's use of hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and its reduction of electric grid time of use energy charges.

February 5, 2015

Watch Energy Secretary Moniz Test Drive the Toyota Mirai FCEV

The Energy Department posted a video of Secretary Ernest Moniz driving the Toyota Mirai, the first fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) for sale in the United States.

February 4, 2015

Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Report – Fraunhofer ISE and NREL Analyze Status of Market and Technology

The German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have compiled a study that describes the status of the current market as well as the state-of-the-art for concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology.

January 23, 2015

New Video Shows How NREL Is Redefining What's Possible for Renewable Energy Through Grid Integration

NREL is spearheading engineering innovations that will help optimize the entire energy system, and the lab's analysis capabilities complement that engineering work by identifying ways to integrate renewable energy effectively and economically. This 3-minute video shows how NREL research and analysis are redefining what’s possible for renewable energy on the grid.

January 21, 2015

NREL Helps Utilities Develop Next Generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Trucks

NREL has teamed with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Efficient Drivetrains Incorporated to evaluate the performance of a unique Class 5 plug-in hybrid electric bucket truck. The innovative utility vehicle is equipped with batteries and an electric generator that can export up to 120 kW of power—enough to power a neighborhood while repairs are being made by electric crews. NREL test results will help PG&E fine-tune the design of such vehicles before expanding their use.

January 21, 2015

Visit NREL ESI Program at DistribuTECH 2015

Stop by booth #4622 at DistribuTECH 2015 in San Diego to learn more NREL's state-of-the-art capabilities in energy systems integration.

January 16, 2015

NREL, Collaborators Complete Gearbox of Innovative Drivetrain

NREL researchers and industrial collaborators have completed the fabrication of a new gearbox and power converter software as a part of their ongoing project to create an innovative drivetrain.

January 13, 2015

ERGIS Meeting Analyzes Data from Renewable Energy Integration Study

In December 2014, NREL's Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study (ERGIS) team worked with more than 20 industry representatives to analyze initial results from the largest renewable energy integration study ever conducted.


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