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About National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory [NREL] is the only national laboratory solely dedicated to advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Small Business Vouchers Pilot, NREL will connect clean energy innovators across the country with top-notch scientists, engineers, and analysts, as well as world-class facilities for research focusing on Enhanced Geothermal Systems [EGS], low temperature geothermal applications, and geothermal systems analysis.

Capabilities

NREL's Geothermal Technologies Program leverages its capabilities to enhance the visibility of geothermal technologies including, low-temperature resources, strategic planning, analysis, and modeling, and technical monitoring.

NREL's geothermal capabilities include the following:

Low temperature geothermal technologies: develop and deploy innovative technologies that will help achieve widespread adoption of under-utilized, low-temperature resources.

The NREL geothermal team focuses on the following areas:

  • Field data collection and evaluation for development and demonstration of low-temperature power systems.
  • Thermal system research for the development of higher efficiency and lower cost from low-temperature geothermal systems.
  • Research, development, and demonstration of hybrid geothermal, geothermal desalination and water purification technologies
  • Technical and economic feasibility assessments for advanced energy conversion technologies.

Geothermal systems analysis: increase the understanding of current and future interactions and roles of energy policies, markets, resources, technology systems and components, environmental impacts, and infrastructure related to geothermal resources.

The NREL geothermal team has applied our systems analysis capabilities in a number of ways that are of interest to small businesses, including:

  • Technical and economic feasibility assessments for geothermal electricity and geothermal direct use applications.
  • Development of GIS enabled maps of geothermal prospects.
  • Utilizing state of the art models such as GETEM and SAM to estimate the expected capital cost, life cycle cost, and economic feasibility of geothermal plants.
  • Application of high performance scientific computing to solve complex modeling and simulation problems.

Hydrothermal systems:

  • Discovering, predicting, and characterizing the subsurface
  • Drilling and wellbore engineering.

Facilities

NREL provides industry, government, and university researchers with access to state-of-the-art and unique equipment for analyzing a broad spectrum of geothermal technologies and innovations.

NREL geothermal facilities include:

  • Energy Systems Integration Facility: This is the nation's premier facility capable of conducting integrated megawatt-scale research and development of the components and strategies needed to move clean energy technologies onto the electrical grid.
  • NREL High-Performance Computing Center: This center has the capability to gather large-scale scientific data storage and analytics.
  • NREL Insight Center: This center provides on-site and remote viewing of experimental data, high-resolution 3-D visual imagery and large-scale simulation data.