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Idaho National Laboratory

About Idaho National Laboratory

Since 1951, Idaho National Laboratory has hosted more than 50 nuclear reactors, making it home to the largest concentration of reactors in the world. Today, the lab works to sustain core technical capabilities and develop innovative solutions that advance nuclear and other clean, smart and secure energy systems.

INL's Advanced Transportation group is improving energy storage for more efficient batteries, developing modeling capabilities for new materials, and refining engineering processes and equipment for more effective analyses. Researchers also provide independent, third-party testing of advanced vehicle performance and batteries.

INL's capabilities fall largely within the Vehicle Systems voucher opportunities.

Capabilities

Battery R&D

With more than 700 channels, INL's Battery Test Center has small-to-large scale testing ability and research strives to link early-stage analysis to eventual end application.

INL's modeling capabilities are tied to physical processes and properties, such as optimizing electrolytes, identifying state of health, aiding in the determination of self-discharge, and predicting battery life and performance. By investigating new materials and thoroughly understanding how existing materials interact and degrade, the stability and safety of storage devices is improved. Fast and high-precision measurements enable cell health diagnostics and aids in predicting future performance. Rigorously developed test methods lead to systems validation for specific applications and environments.

Vehicle Systems

INL's Advanced Vehicles group specializes in real-world evaluation of advanced vehicle technologies and fueling infrastructure. Through state-of-the-art facilities and techniques, researchers are able to understand the performance and efficiency of advanced vehicles and enabling technologies, such as:

  • vehicle energy storage systems
  • advanced powertrains
  • wireless and conductive electric vehicle charging systems
  • distributed hydrogen production, storage, and filling stations

INL partners with manufacturers, government agencies, universities, and other groups to monitor advanced vehicles and fueling infrastructure in everyday use to understand how consumers of advanced vehicles adopt new technology and how the vehicles respond in real-word conditions. Through Big Data management and analysis expertise, INL can quantify a technology's real-world energy impact.

Facilities

Battery Test Center (BTC) — DOE EERE's primary center for the vetting of battery technologies. BTC provides 17,500 square feet of laboratory space equipped with tools to evaluate several hundred batteries at the same time, ranging from small cells to full-sized battery packs. Testing equipment includes more than 650 test channels for advanced energy storage testing at the cell-level, module-level and pack-level. The test center includes a Ling Dynamic Systems Vibration System to test mechanical durability. The system can accommodate all of the short duration random vibration tests for all vertical, longitudinal, and lateral spectrum testing, as outlined in nationally established battery test procedures.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVI) Laboratory — Provides capabilities to test advanced charging infrastructure technology for plug-in vehicles. The primary function is to understand and benchmark state of the art technology with a focus on system efficiency, electromagnetic field strength, power quality, cyber security vulnerabilities, and test procedure development to support industry standards. The EVI lab also supports codes and standards development for wireless and conductive charging.

Real-Time Power and Energy Systems Innovation Laboratory — Models just about any dynamic power-related problem a scientist might want to solve. Using RTDS, researchers at INL can simulate different scenarios that power utilities might face, various energy needs consumers will have, and how renewable energies will interact with the grid. The laboratory is designed to enhance our understanding of the different grid systems, their features, and their interactions.

Additional Information