Water Research Data and Tools

NREL researchers develop and host a range of tools, data, and information to enable state-of-the-art design and analysis.

Photo of four researchers looking at wall of 3-D data.


The interactive map and geospatial data show closed-loop pumped storage hydropower supply curves, which characterize the quantity, quality, and cost of closed-loop pumped storage hydropower resources.

The hydropower emulation platform uses the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems platform to provide control prototyping, evaluating, and validating of existing and novel hydropower technologies in a real-time environment using a hardware-in-the-loop approach.

The RAPID Toolkit provides information about federal, state, and local permitting and regulations for renewable energy and transmission projects.

The ReEDS model has an industry-unique capability to include water resources as a constraint to future electricity development, and also has high geographic resolution.

The REPRA model can be used to evaluate power plant vulnerabilities from various factors, including water.

Marine Energy

HARP_Opt optimizes a rotor's performance for steady and uniform flows. A variety of rotor control configurations, including fixed or variable rotor speed and fixed or variable blade pitch configurations, can be designed using HARP_Opt. In addition, blades with circular or non-circular roots can be designed using HARP_Opt.

The Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models are user-friendly screening tools that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power plants, fuel production facilities, and other projects at the local (usually state) level. Based on user-entered project-specific data or default inputs (derived from industry norms), JEDI estimates the number of jobs and economic impacts to a local area that can reasonably be supported by a power plant, fuel production facility, or other project.

The Marine Energy Atlas is an interactive mapping tool developed to explore potential for marine and hydrokinetic resources. The atlas depicts and maps U.S. wave energy, tidal, ocean, ocean thermal, and riverine current resources in the United States. Users can explore several variables in each of these mapped resource types using data layers. Dive into the Marine Energy Atlas on NREL's YouTube channel.

The MHK Instrumentation and Sensor Database is a searchable collection of information for instrumentation and sensors relevant for assessing MHK systems in the field and laboratory.

MHKiT is open-source software, developed in Python and MATLAB, for rapid data processing, visualization, quality control, resource assessment, and device performance.

The Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Code Hub is a collection of MRE code repositories designed to host open-source software tools developed by the national labs and the broader MRE community. It includes DOE-developed codes for data acquisition, data processing and visualization, simulation and modeling, and resource analysis.

The PRIMRE Code Catalog is a searchable online software discovery platform and knowledge base that allows users to perform faceted searches to identify software tools, codes, and other software products that they can use in everyday marine renewable energy calculations.

The Small WEC Analysis tool, an online, publicly available graphical user interface, provides users with baseline information about the performance of different types of wave energy converters (WECs) in various ocean settings. Watch an informational webinar about the tool.

The Technology Performance Level Assessment tool evaluates the techno-economic performance potential of early-stage wave energy converter concepts.

Originally developed for the wind industry, TurbSim provides a numerical simulation of the fluid inflow to an energy device, including turbulence. Its purpose is to provide device designers with the ability to drive their design code simulations with simulated inflow turbulence environments that incorporate many of the important fluid dynamic features known to adversely affect the device response and loading on the equipment.

WEC-Sim is an open-source simulation tool for wave energy converters. WEC-Sim has the ability to model devices that comprise rigid bodies, power take-off systems, and mooring systems. The simulations involve solving the governing equations of motion in six degrees of freedom. See the WEC-Sim fact sheet.

The WEC Design Response Toolbox provides extreme response and fatigue analysis tools specifically for design analysis of ocean structures such as wave energy converters.

The WPTO Wave Hindcast Dataset provides wave data spanning 1979–2020, which feeds into the Marine Energy Atlas and the Marine and Hydrokinetic Toolkit and can be accessed directly online or downloaded via Amazon Web Services.

Integrated Water Systems

The REopt techno-economic decision-support platform recommends the optimal mix of renewable energy, conventional generation, and energy storage technologies to meet cost savings, resilience, and energy performance goals.

Water DAMS, funded by the National Alliance for Water Innovation, provides access to foundational water treatment technology data that enable researchers and decision makers to identify and quantify opportunities for technology innovations to reduce the cost and energy intensity of desalination.

Water-TAP3, funded by National Alliance for Water Innovation, is an analytically robust platform to evaluate water technology cost, energy, environmental, and resiliency tradeoffs across different water sources, sectors, and scales. Water-TAP3 facilitates consistent techno-economic assessments of desalination treatment trains. Water-TAP3 uses open-source models and data indexed in the Water DAMS platform.