Innovations in driving the clean energy technologies of the near-term are the focus of the set of national labs run by the Energy Department. Scientists at the labs use some of the most cutting-edge facilities in the world, with availability to other government agencies, private companies and universities.
These facilities are being used to develop new technologies, serve as test beds for the deployment of those technologies and foster economically beneficial public-private partnerships, ensuring that innovations make it from the lab to the marketplace.
The National Wind Technology Center features collaboration between government scientists and the wind industry to increase system reliability and reduce wind energy costs. The center’s test sites experience diverse, robust wind patterns that are advantageous for the development of advanced wind energy technologies. It includes a new National Dynanometer Test Facility.
The National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories is the only test facility of its type in the United States, for the development, research and testing of solar thermal components and systems. Researchers at the facility have access to a large heliostat field, rotating platform, assembly building, solar furnace, a facility for the testing of components in high temperatures and a wide array of other test bays, office space and tools that are useful in solar and non-solar applications.
Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Advanced Biofuels Processing Demonstration Unit tests and develops emerging biofuels technologies. The 15,000-square-foot facility provides researchers with the tools and technologies necessary to produce demonstration quantities of biofuels from biomass such as grasses, wood and agricultural residues.