Skip to main content

Research

Researching energy systems and technologies—and the science behind them—for a future powered by clean energy.

Research Directorates

NREL's research programs are organized into six directorates. Learn more about how these organizations are advancing energy research.

The directorate advances technologies to produce bio-based fuels, products, and energy. Research covers the full spectrum of discovery science, from exploratory research to pilot-scale processing; capabilities include biochemical conversion, thermochemical conversion, algal biofuels, and techno-economic and life-cycle analyses. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Adam Bratis.

Learn more

The directorate provides data, tools, and analysis to inform policymakers, investors, governments, utilities, and industry as they make energy, policy, and infrastructure decisions while weighing economic, security, and environmental priorities. We combine our world-class knowledge of advanced energy technologies with a deep understanding of policy, finance, and the market. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Robin Newmark.

Learn more about Energy Analysis and Computational Science.

Energy systems integration is an approach to solving complex energy challenges that explores ways for energy system to work more efficiently on their own, with each other, and with the electric grid. NREL's energy systems integration directorate employs a holistic approach to developing, evaluating, and demonstrating innovative technologies and strategies to ensure that our energy sources, demand-response programs, and delivery systems can work seamlessly together. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Juan Torres.

Learn more about the Energy Systems Integration Facility, Grid Modernization, and Technology Deployment.

NREL's Innovation, Partnering, and Outreach directorate accelerates the transfer of laboratory technologies to the marketplace. The directorate includes the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, helping to connect emerging advanced energy businesses with the financial community, NREL technical expertise and facilities, and the broader energy ecosystem. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Bill Farris.

The directorate's capabilities span fundamental and applied R&D for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Key program areas include solar energy conversion for electricity and fuels, materials discovery and development for renewable energy technologies, hydrogen production and storage, and fuel cells. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director William Tumas.

Learn more

The directorate's engineering sciences are transforming the nation's energy systems, enabling a diverse, secure, and sustainable advanced energy future through technological innovations in energy efficiency, renewable power, and sustainable transportation. Our early-stage and applied research and development span advanced manufacturing, buildings efficiency, concentrating solar power, geothermal energy, transportation, water power, and wind energy. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Johney Green Jr.

Learn more

Photo of the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Systems Integration Facility at NREL.

Energy Systems Integration Facility

The only facility in the nation focused on utility-scale clean energy grid integration. Learn More

National Bioenergy Center

National Bioenergy Center

National Center for Photovoltaics

National Center for Photovoltaics

National Wind Technology Center

National Wind Technology Center

Innovation Impact

Innovation Impact

Explore NREL's clean energy innovations.

2016 R&D 100 Awards

EcoSnap-AC Heat Pump System

EcoSnap-AC Heat Pump System

An alternative to window-mounted air conditioning units, the device is quieter, more energy efficient, heats and cools, doesn't jeopardize home security, easy to install, and can be left in place year-round.

Learn more

Battery Internal Short-Circuit Device

Battery Internal Short-Circuit Device

This device simulates a true internal short circuit within a battery cell, providing researchers with reliable data to determine how the size, resistance, and location of an internal short circuit will affect safety measures implemented in new battery designs.

Learn more

High-Temperature, Wide Bandgap Underhood Inverter

High-Temperature, Wide Bandgap Underhood Inverter

Wolfspeed's inverter is a traction drive for electric vehicles that could significantly boost their adoption by consumers. The company's partnership with NREL and Toyota ensures that the technology is adoptable for implementation into vehicle applications.

Read more about NREL's 2016 R&D 100 Awards.