Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences

The Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences (MTES) directorate at NREL drives technological innovation in the areas of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power.

We provide engineering and scientific expertise to a variety of federal agencies, including the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Science, and ARPA-E as well university and industry partners. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Dr. Johney Green Jr.

Composite manufacturing technicians work on a wind turbine blade mold at the Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology facility (CoMET).

Identifying and developing advanced materials and processes that drive the impact of new energy technologies

NREL researchers conduct research on a prototype at the HVAC Systems Laboratory

Increasing energy efficiencies in residential and commercial buildings that save money and add stability to the grid

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center building in the snow at sunrise

Innovative buildings design, research, and deployment in extreme and rural environments

Researchers work on high temperature corrosion evaluations for molten salts using 3 electrode arrangements

Advancing innovative technologies that capture sunlight and store heat to provide electricity on demand 24/7

A researcher examines a heat sensor to make sure it's in working order.

Developing cost-competitive technologies to advance the use of geothermal energy

An intern works on an experiment at the Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility

Accelerating widespread adoption of high-performance, low-emission, energy-efficient vehicles

Researchers stand next to large piece of machinery

Researching innovative marine and hydrokinetic and hydropower technologies

Photo of a man and a woman wearing hard hats and standing next to wind turbine testing equipment.

Developing, validating, and manufacturing groundbreaking wind energy innovations

A wind farm at sunset

Featured Project: ExaWind

To reduce the cost of wind energy, we must be able to predict the complex flow physics in wind farms. Through the ExaWind project, NREL is partnering with Sandia National Laboratories and scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin to develop new simulation capabilities to improve our understanding of the performance of whole wind plants. ExaWind is part of the Exascale Computing Project, a joint effort between the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.