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SLIDESHOW: Tour the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Latest Research Center

June 20, 2013 - 1:16pm

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The Energy Systems Integration Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL Senior Scientists Ross Larsen and Travis Kemper examine a molecular model using a 3D model at the Insight Collaboration Laboratory during a tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL Senior Scientists Ross Larsen and Travis Kemper examine a molecular model using a 3D model at the Insight Collaboration Laboratory during a tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL Senior Scientist Kenny Gruchalla examines the velocity field from a wind turbine simulation using a 3D model at the Insight Collaboration Laboratory during a tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL Senior Scientist Kenny Gruchalla examines the velocity field from a wind turbine simulation using a 3D model at the Insight Collaboration Laboratory during a tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work. | Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work. | Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

Detail of wiring in the high performance computing (HPC) data center at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility. Initially, the HPC data center will house a petascale computing capability (one million billion calculations per second) and provide room for future systems that enable large-scale modeling and simulation of novel materials, biological and chemical processes and fully integrated systems that would be too expensive, or even impossible, to study by direct experimentation. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

Detail of wiring in the high performance computing (HPC) data center at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility. Initially, the HPC data center will house a petascale computing capability (one million billion calculations per second) and provide room for future systems that enable large-scale modeling and simulation of novel materials, biological and chemical processes and fully integrated systems that would be too expensive, or even impossible, to study by direct experimentation. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

In the hydrogen materials lab at the new Energy Systems Integration Facility | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

In the hydrogen materials lab at the new Energy Systems Integration Facility | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL researcher Guido Bender works in the Fuel Cell Test and Development Lab at the  Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

NREL researcher Guido Bender works in the Fuel Cell Test and Development Lab at the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
NREL Senior Scientists Ross Larsen and Travis Kemper examine a molecular model using a 3D model at the Insight Collaboration Laboratory during a tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
NREL Senior Scientist Kenny Gruchalla examines the velocity field from a wind turbine simulation using a 3D model at the Insight Collaboration Laboratory during a tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work. | Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
Detail of wiring in the high performance computing (HPC) data center at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility. Initially, the HPC data center will house a petascale computing capability (one million billion calculations per second) and provide room for future systems that enable large-scale modeling and simulation of novel materials, biological and chemical processes and fully integrated systems that would be too expensive, or even impossible, to study by direct experimentation. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
In the hydrogen materials lab at the new Energy Systems Integration Facility | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.
NREL researcher Guido Bender works in the Fuel Cell Test and Development Lab at the  Energy Systems Integration Facility. | Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

A new research center in Golden, Colorado, will help boost the integration of clean energy technologies into the electricity grid.

Located at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, the Energy Systems Integration Facility is the nation’s first facility to help both public and private sector researchers scale-up promising clean energy technologies -- from solar modules and wind turbines to electric vehicles and efficient, interactive home appliances -- and test how they interact with each other and the grid.

This innovative research hub is the latest addition to the Energy Department’s national network of user facilities that provide nearly 30,000 scientists and engineers each year with open access to some of the world’s best instruments and tools -- including x-ray sources, accelerators and supercomputers.

Browse through the images in the slideshow to see unique elements of the facility -- from the High Performance Computing Data Center that houses a petascale supercomputer to experimental laboratories and utility-scale grid simulators.

Learn more about the Energy Systems Integration Facility by viewing the related press release: Energy Department, NREL Announce New Research Center to Boost Clean Energy Technologies on a Smarter Grid

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