Access news stories from NREL's research programs.
December 21, 2016
The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) under the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders on a draft Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Program strategy.
December 19, 2016
The NWTC's dynamometer test facility recently welcomed one of the largest generators ever validated on its 5-megawatt dynamometer. Columbia Power Technologies is partnering with the NWTC to characterize a direct-drive wave energy generator.
December 19, 2016
The NWTC at NREL teams in systems engineering and wind power plant controls have been selected to lead a novel field demonstration to improve wind energy production and help commercialize clean energy technologies.
December 19, 2016
The NWTC is building a reputation as a research and validation resource for technology and software that will help detect and deter bird and bat interactions. Earlier this year, researchers and engineers from Oregon State University and the University of Washington's Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center used the NWTC to test an array of sensors designed to continuously monitor for interactions (including impacts) of birds and bats with offshore wind turbines--with similar applications for land-based turbines.
December 16, 2016
When the NWTC at NREL commissioned a new 5-megawatt dynamometer facility and controllable grid interface capability in fall 2013, it created a unique opportunity for the Energy Department, industry, and other partners.
December 16, 2016
The national energy landscape has changed significantly since the first national strategy for offshore wind was released in 2011. With the first operational offshore wind farm along the Atlantic Coast set to start generating electricity before the end of 2016, the United States is beginning a new era of wind energy production. This fact is highlighted in the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which was coauthored by the Energy Department, the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and NREL.
December 16, 2016
Collaboration with industry and academic partners is often the key to success for research conducted by the NWTC at the NREL. Two recent projects exemplify the benefits of working closely with organizations that bring different strengths to the table.
December 16, 2016
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Texas A&M University have developed advanced computational models to enhance scientific understanding of a battery electrode’s material recipe and how it controls battery performance.
December 15, 2016
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory announced today that applications from partnerships in Massachusetts and Texas—to design, construct and operate an advanced wind turbine blade test facility—will move on to a final competitive round. The finalist will be awarded a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NREL in mid-2007.
December 14, 2016
The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) under the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced up to $12 million in available funding to support innovation in marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies that harness power from waves and currents (ocean, river, and tidal).
December 2, 2016
NREL has published a new report showing that the average fuel economy of fuel cell electric buses from three fleets is approximately 6 miles per diesel gallon equivalent or DGE, 1.4 times higher than conventional diesel buses (about 4.2 miles per DGE) from one fleet and up to 1.9 times higher than compressed natural gas buses (about 3.3 miles per DGE) in another fleet.
November 29, 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation recently adopted a second round of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that are expected to cut carbon-based emissions by an estimated 1.1 billion metric tons, save approximately $170 billion in fuel costs, and reduce oil consumption by as much as 2 billion barrels. NREL data and analytic expertise provided information crucial to the development of these new standards.
November 16, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced AquaHarmonics as the winner of the Wave Energy Prize—which comes with a $1.5 million grand prize.
November 15, 2016
Zia Abdullah joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) October 31 as laboratory program manager for NREL’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) program. Abdullah is an engineer with extensive experience and accomplishments in thermochemically and biochemically converting biomass to fuels and chemicals.
November 1, 2016
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was recently issued a patent for its R&D 100 Award-winning Isothermal Battery Calorimeters (IBCs). The multi-size IBCs were developed by energy storage engineers at NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center and licensed by NETZSCH North America for commercialization. NREL’s IBCs, developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, are distinguished for their ability to perform precise thermal measurements needed to make safer, longer-lasting, and more cost-effective lithium-ion batteries for vehicles.
October 21, 2016
NREL’s Ben Kroposki writes about how smart solar inverters and a new technique called virtual oscillator control can help stabilize the power grid in a new article.
October 19, 2016
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in collaboration with partners, recently built a unique pilot-scale facility that can co-produce biomass-derived fuel intermediates with existing petroleum refinery infrastructure. The plant combines biomass pyrolysis with fluid catalytic cracking to demonstrate the potential to co-process biomass-derived streams with petroleum at an industrially relevant pilot scale.
October 11, 2016
NREL and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE) in Germany have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for close collaboration on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies research. The official launch took place on Monday, Oct. 10, at the "f-cell / World of Energy Solutions" conference in Stuttgart.
October 7, 2016
This week NREL joins others across the United States to celebrate National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on Oct. 8—10.08—a date chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008). One year ago NREL dedicated its new advanced hydrogen fueling station on the first National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. Here we take a look back at the activities and accomplishments at the hydrogen fueling station in its first full year of use.
September 30, 2016
National Public Radio (NPR) recently featured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) Chris Gearhart, director of NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center, in an interview on the affordability of low-emission vehicles.
September 30, 2016
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with industry partner CLEAResult, has selected five finalists for the JUMP Smart Phone Call for Innovation.
September 12, 2016
Attendees can get behind the wheel or ride along in one of NREL's hydrogen-fueled fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Representatives from NREL will be on hand to answer questions about the vehicles and provide information about alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.
September 8, 2016
A new theoretical framework on defect formation in semiconductors-materials used in a multitude of NREL-developed technologies such as solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and power electronics-indicates that shining light on them during growth can lead to improved crystalline quality and, ultimately, better device performance.
September 1, 2016
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and industry partners Air Liquide, Boyd Hydrogen, California Air Resources Board, and Toyota were selected as 2016 recipients of a Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Far West Region Award for their outstanding partnership in designing, building, and deploying the Hydrogen Station Equipment Performance (HyStEP) Device.
August 25, 2016
NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) were selected as 2016 recipients of a Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Mid-Continent Regional Award, for their notable technology development of the patented Battery Internal Short-Circuit (ISC) Device.
August 2, 2016
As part of the new Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded funding to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to lead a vehicle research and development (R&D) project in collaboration with John Deere Electronic Solutions (JDES).
July 28, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Department of Interior's National Park Service recently unveiled a modular demonstration hydrogen fueling station as part of a partnership to demonstrate hydrogen technologies in the Washington, D.C. area for up to four years. NREL helped with installation of the technology and will collect data on the station's performance.
July 27, 2016
NREL's Jason Lustbader received an SAE award for his presentation on long-haul truck heating load reduction.
July 26, 2016
First known work using actual hardware to examine scenarios with multiple solar photovoltaic inverters connected to multiple different points on the grid.
July 25, 2016
NREL’s campus electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are now enhanced with integrative software that links drivers’ expectations with extensive renewables in the laboratory’s campus grid.
July 20, 2016
The National Bioenergy Center at NREL, with its extensive bioenergy research expertise and capabilities, is working to reduce costs and overcome technical barriers—an effort that will bring more bio-derived fuels and chemicals into the marketplace. A recent and significant step toward that goal is the retrofitting of a reactor system in NREL's Thermochemical Process Development Unit (TCPDU): the recirculating regenerating riser reactor or "R-Cubed."
July 20, 2016
In this DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office webinar, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will describe the role of hydrogen at the grid scale and the efforts of a large, national lab team assembled to evaluate the potential of hydrogen to play a critical role in our energy future.
July 15, 2016
NREL Engineers Jason Fields, Heidi Tinnesand, and Ian Baring-Gould recently published a report titled Distributed Wind Resource Assessment: State of the Industry.
July 14, 2016
NREL is evaluating the drive-cycle characteristics of a fleet of propane-powered shuttle buses operating at Zion National Park. As the propane-powered fleet ages and associated maintenance costs rise, NPS is working with NREL to use this drive-cycle information to optimize the conversion of 14 of its propane buses to run on electricity.
July 7, 2016
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will showcase several fuel cell electric vehicles at a ride and drive event at the Sustainable Smart Home Living Learning Center Grand Opening in Superior, Colorado, on July 9.
June 30, 2016
A recent workshop at the University of Maryland explored key principles and issues that states need to wrestle with in order to craft effective policies enabling the safe and efficient operation of advanced automated vehicles on their roadways.
June 27, 2016
A new report, End-of-Life Management: Solar Photovoltaic Panels, highlights that recycling or repurposing solar PV panels at the end of their roughly 30-year lifetime can unlock a large stock of raw materials and other valuable components.
June 21, 2016
A new control strategy helps the grid run normally with lower percentages of spinning, synchronized power sources.
June 16, 2016
NREL's Kevin Bennion received a special recognition award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office for expertise and leadership in the thermal management of motor designs in electric drive technologies research.
June 10, 2016
A recent study by NREL research engineer Yuche Chen and researcher Alan Meier at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) examined the national impact of roof racks on fuel consumption. In this first-of-its-kind study, Chen and Meier determined that in 2015, the popular vehicle add-on accounted for national light-duty fuel consumption that amounts to roughly 100 million gallons of gasoline a year.
June 8, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy recently honored eight NREL staff members for their outstanding achievements at the Annual Merit Review.
June 6, 2016
Long-haul Class 8 trucks use approximately 7% of their fuel for rest period idling, consuming more than 667 million gallons of fuel each year nationwide. NREL has identified a package of climate-control technologies that annually can save 774 gallons of fuel used per truck for rest period air conditioning.
June 6, 2016
NREL scientists have helped to establish research capabilities to address several important scientific and practical questions concerning perovskite solar cells. Perovskites are an important class of next-generation photovoltaic materials exhibiting impressive light absorption, high device efficiencies, and low-cost, industry-scalable processing.
June 3, 2016
NREL recently hosted the V2X Enabled Electric Vehicles expert workshop, one of several meetings organized under the International Energy Agency's Hybrid & Electric Vehicle "Task 28" portfolio, which encompasses research and collaboration for deployment of home grids and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies -- exploring all issues related to the use of electric storage from plug-in electric vehicles beyond vehicle power.
June 1, 2016
The California Energy Commission has selected NREL to be part of a team that will complete a major applied research project to accelerate the deployment of Advanced Energy Communities (AEC).
May 31, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded Cummins Inc. a $4.5 million grant to develop a Class 6 commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50 percent over conventional Class 6 vehicles. NREL's fleet test and evaluation team will assist Cummins in analyzing the performance of its vehicle technology and by providing in-depth understanding of application-specific drive cycles.
May 31, 2016
The Nozik Fellowship is available to early-career researchers who earned their Ph.D. in the last two years.
May 25, 2016
This award reflects the growth and success of the PV industry as well as NREL's important role providing efficiency measurements for the community.
May 24, 2016
NREL’s state-of-the-art bioenergy research has once again reached award-winning levels. Each year NREL recognizes the professionals behind the lab’s greatest innovations and breakthrough technologies from the past year during its Innovation and Technology Transfer Awards ceremony. Among this year's recipients were many talented staff from the National Bioenergy Center and NREL’s Biosciences Center who were recognized for exceptional work in promoting the transfer of NREL-developed technologies into the private sector and partnering successes.
May 19, 2016
A new study suggests reducing fossil fuel use in the electricity sector and encouraging workplace charging are two important factors in achieving the greatest electric vehicle emissions reduction.
May 18, 2016
NREL hosted leaders from the business, government, and research communities at the EERE National Lab Impact Summit to showcase the cutting-edge innovation, bottom-line benefits, and marketplace successes that result from collaboration between national labs and industry. Transportation projects were spotlighted as prime examples of these win-win partnerships, with major automakers, component manufacturers, and fuel producers touting the expertise gained through joining forces with the labs.
May 17, 2016
As a CSP expert, Craig has helped combine geothermal and other technologies with CSP, improving performance of geothermal plants.
May 17, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced their collaboration to accelerate research, demonstration, and deployment of innovative transportation and alternative fuel technologies.
May 11, 2016
The Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Network launched its first program of technical assistance to electric utilities and announced three new efforts to provide direct support to utility partners. The activities range from providing interconnection training to conducting detailed techno-economic modeling to leveraging community solar finance tools.
May 3, 2016
On April 25-26, NREL and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) hosted the 11th United States (U.S.)-China Electric Vehicle and Battery Technology Information Exchange to share insights on battery technology advancements and identify opportunities to collaborate on electric vehicle battery research. The meeting represents the 11th workshop designed to convene battery experts under the U.S.-China bilateral Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI), which focuses on activities such as joint standards development, demonstration projects, technical road mapping for new research, information exchange, and public education.
April 28, 2016
New York-based Smarter Grid Solutions has employed its Active Network Management system at the Energy Systems Integration Facility to manage and maintain a modeled distribution grid within normal operating limits through the autonomous management, coordination, and control of distributed energy resources in real time.
April 21, 2016
Three organizations were selected to receive expertise from the Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Network to address critical questions and challenges to making their states more solar friendly.
April 13, 2016
Extreme wave-induced loads are often the key cost driver for wave energy converter (WEC) designs. Therefore, in an effort to better understand the effects that extreme wave conditions can have on wave energy applications, researchers at NREL have applied a technique called the most likely extreme response method to evaluate the maximum displacement and loads of a point absorber WEC experiencing anticipated 100-year waves.
April 6, 2016
New report highlights research and achievements for the ESIF in its second year of operation.
April 5, 2016
Twelve collegiate teams are gearing up for the biannual U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2016, to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 23–25, 2016, in conjunction with the AWEA WINDPOWER 2016 Conference & Exhibition. Since the inaugural competition in 2014, the number of competing teams has increased—and so has the diversity—hailing from colleges and universities across the United States, including Alaska and Puerto Rico.
April 5, 2016
Jeroen van Dam is proving that a single person can have a global impact. A principal engineer at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, van Dam recently received the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 1906 award. This honor is bestowed on technical experts whose exceptional involvement in IEC activities has brought about significant advancements in international electrotechnical standardization. Since the award’s inception in 2004, three current NWTC experts have received it: Derek Berry, Arlinda Huskey, and Paul Veers.
April 4, 2016
A new report by NREL's Mark Singer highlights what consumers really think about plug-in electric vehicles and what is needed to overcome widespread barriers to adoption.
April 1, 2016
Robert Thresher may be considered the wizard of wind at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, having worked in the field since 1973. At the laboratory since 1984, Thresher’s credited with the buildup of what is now the National Wind Technology Center and the startup of the Energy Department's Water Energy Program. His longtime efforts at turning wind and water into renewable energy has now yielded a record of invention titled “Wave Energy Conversion Devices with Actuated Geometry.”
April 1, 2016
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are working to make the “brains” of a wind farm smarter and more efficient.
April 1, 2016
Before the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its Simulator fOr Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) simulation tool in August 2013, there had not been an open-source, freely available tool of this capability that researchers all over the world could embrace. Now, the winds of change are blowing.
April 1, 2016
National Wind Technology Center researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have entered the final phase of testing a next-generation drivetrain—the components of a wind turbine that convert the rotational energy of the rotor into electricity—that will be less expensive, more reliable, and more efficient. This project, funded by the Energy Department, combines innovations across the entire drivetrain system, including the gearbox, generator, and power converter.
April 1, 2016
When the Energy DEpartment commissioned a 1.5-megawatt (MW) wind turbine in 2009, it became a key player in improving the performance and lowering the costs of wind energy systems. In 2015, researchers at the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, connected the 300-foot-tall turbine to the controllable grid interface test facility, which simulates the real-time conditions of a utility-scale power grid. This began an ongoing, Energy Department-funded research effort to test how wind turbines can remain connected to the grid during short periods of grid failure.
March 28, 2016
Two recently published papers show the results of photoemission spectroscopy and time-resolved optical spectroscopy, which quantify the energetics and carrier dynamics that occur at interfaces between the perovskite absorber and transport layers.
March 28, 2016
If you are considering ways to adopt HPXML, a good first stop is the HPXML implementation guide to get you started.
March 18, 2016
The biological production of fuels and chemicals from methane represents a means of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, utilizing an abundant-yet-underutilized, high-energy gas, making the process the subject of a promising new NREL study, published in Nature's Scientific Reports.
March 17, 2016
A bald eagle named Spirit and a golden eagle named Nova recently helped a team of researchers at the National Wind Technology Center collect terabytes of data for a project aimed at helping researchers make wind energy safer for birds.
March 16, 2016
On March 8, NREL hosted the first review meeting of the Advanced Computer-Aided Battery Engineering Consortium, initiating phase three of the collaborative Computer Aided Engineering for Electric Drive Batteries activity funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office.
March 10, 2016
NREL geothermal experts attend the 41st Annual Stanford Geothermal Workshop--one of the world's longest-running technical meetings on the topic of geothermal energy.
March 9, 2016
This webinar will provide information about DetecTape, a color-changing, self-fusing silicone tape developed by Element One and Midsun Specialty Products and designed to detect hydrogen leaks in fuel cell, transmission, storage, and generation facilities. NREL has performed lab testing of DetecTape over the past 13 months and reports are available upon request.
March 2, 2016
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has entered into an interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide technical support and assistance in the development of renewable energy from geothermal resources on public lands.
March 1, 2016
Nearly 200 researchers from more than 100 companies and representing 16 countries attended the 7th annual PV Module Reliability Workshop, Feb. 23–25, 2016, in Golden, Colo.
February 22, 2016
NREL energy systems integration researchers are collaborating with one of the nation’s largest electric utilities to deploy a unique solar and battery storage solution at a microgrid demonstration site.
February 18, 2016
NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center published 33 journal and magazine articles in the past year highlighting recent research in integrating renewable energy into power systems.
February 11, 2016
In an interview published in Solar Today, Dr. Jao van de Lagemaat, director of the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center at the National Renewable Laboratory (NREL), highlighted various aspects of perovskites, which have received considerable attention by solar cell researchers at NREL and other institutions.
January 28, 2016
Demonstration project shows utility-scale photovoltaic plants that incorporate “grid-friendly” controls can contribute to grid stability and reliability.
January 27, 2016
A new resource sponsored by the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative helps distribution engineers understand the challenges of high-penetration PV integration—giving them the information they need to ramp up their solar energy integration and deliver more clean, renewable power to consumers.
January 26, 2016
On Thursday, January 12, 2016, NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center Director Chris Gearhart provided a testimony on new technologies in the automobile industry before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
January 25, 2016
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently received a 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle on loan from Hyundai and a B-Class F-CELL on loan from Mercedes-Benz. NREL is partnering with Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai to evaluate the interaction of the vehicles' high-pressure hydrogen storage systems with NREL's hydrogen fueling system equipment and to test the user experience by refueling fuel cell electric vehicles at the lab's new state-of-the-art hydrogen fueling station.
January 25, 2016
The potential to slow pollution through deployment of automated vehicles is gaining more and more traction in the news. In a recent Scientific American article, reporter Camille von Kaenel asked NREL’s Jeff Gonder for a transportation researcher’s thoughts on both the sustainability benefits and uncertainties that will accompany an increase in driverless cars.
January 21, 2016
With emerging technologies, travel behavior may shift from personal vehicles to automated transit systems. An NREL study shows that a campus-sized-ranging from four to 10 square miles-automated mobility district has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 4% to 14% depending on various operating and ridership factors.
January 19, 2016
Katherine Dykes and Rick Damiani completed the six-week training as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's pilot Lab-Corps program. Lab-Corps seeks to "help move innovative technologies from national labs into the marketplace."
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