Water Research Facilities

NREL advances water power technologies by leveraging its vast experience in cross-functional, integrated renewable energy research and development along with established validation and optimization capabilities and facilities.

Get a closer look at the lab's tools and technology via NREL's 360-degree water power facilities tour, which includes the administration and engineering building, dynamometers, controllable grid interface, structural technology laboratory, and water power instrumentation laboratory.

Learn more about these facilities and others below.


Administration and Engineering Building

NREL's Administration and Engineering Building hosts the wave tank, membrane characterization system, and structural validation stand to evaluate marine energy and floating renewable energy devices.


Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems

Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) is a research platform that can match the complexity of the modern energy system and conduct integrated research to support the development of groundbreaking new energy technologies.


Controllable Grid Interface

The controllable grid interface allows manufacturers and system operators to assess system responses to a range of grid conditions and conduct certification evaluations in a controlled environment. The simulator is fully integrated with two dynamometers and able to extend that integration to renewable energy devices in the field.


Dynamometers and Motion Platform

NREL's dynamometers can evaluate power take-off systems for wave and water power components and subsystems—including generators, gearboxes, mechanical or electro-dynamic brakes, power electronics, control systems, and software. A motion platform will evaluate offshore devices.


Energy Systems Integration Facility

NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility provides a contained and controlled platform on which our partners can identify and resolve the technical, operational, and financial risks of integrating emerging energy technologies into today's environment.


Structural Validation Laboratories

Three structural validation laboratories support the characterization and analysis of marine energy devices and components needed to simulate and optimize operational performance of designs from concept to production.


Wave Tank

NREL's Flatirons Campus offers an ocean-simulation tool that can help validate small- to large-scale offshore technology, including marine energy devices and offshore wind turbines and solar panels.