NREL researcher Jason Roadman, right, works with falconer Sam Dollar and Houdini, a peregrine falcon. The falcon is part of a research project to test radar technology being developed by Laufer Wind and NREL that may decrease the number of bird interactions with wind turbines. (Photo by Ismael Mendoza, NREL)

Learning how to prevent bird-turbine collisions

A trained falcon named Houdini darts and soars next to a wind power plant in the shadow of the Colorado Rockies, gathering radar data that could someday save the lives of his avian brethren. Peregrine gyrfalcon Houdini is the VIP guest of the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and he performs his strategic


NREL and partners review key issues and lessons learned from U.S. wind integration studies

As a complement to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently released Wind Vision report, a new paper summarizes the lessons learned from actual power systems operational practice, along with some of the most relevant and comprehensive wind integration studies conducted during the past several years. In the years since the DOE’s “20% Wind Energy by

Dr. Erfan Ibrahim

NREL fills key leadership role for energy systems security and resilience

Dr. Erfan Ibrahim has joined the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as director of Cyber Physical Systems Security and Resilience for NREL’s Energy Systems Integration directorate. This critical area of research and development addresses the challenges of integrating clean energy sources into the national energy infrastructure. “Erfan’s experience, creativity and vision complements our existing

Illustration of a complete wind energy system. NREL researchers are looking at ways to improve system-level performance and cost reductions across all wind plants.

NREL researchers advance wind energy systems engineering

In recent years, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been making progress in multiple avenues of wind systems engineering. This includes the study of how to integrate wind energy engineering and cost models across wind plants, finding the important interactions between various subsystems to achieve a better understanding of how to improve

The program, funded by the Energy Department, aims to improve the performance of clean energy business incubators, connect critical industry and energy sector partners, and advance clean energy technologies emerging from universities and federal laboratories.

Incubator network to help clean-energy entrepreneurs

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. The program, funded by the Energy Department, aims to improve the performance of clean energy business incubators, connect critical industry and energy sector partners, and advance clean energy technologies emerging from universities and

NREL's Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) suite answers questions with a combination of advanced models of batteries, the systems they operate in, and their interaction with users and the environment.

Software helps optimize battery lifespan

Editor’s note: Those designing power-storage facilities may find value in this software from NREL. While upfront costs of lithium-ion batteries must be significantly cut for electric vehicles (EVs) to reach a wider audience, lifespan optimization and synergistic business approaches offer additional ways to make EVs more affordable. NREL’s new Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) suite

Nrel report

NREL releases its 2013 Renewable energy data book

United States overall energy consumption grew to 97.3 quadrillion Btu in 2013, a 2.4% increase from 2012. Energy consumption from coal and renewables grew slightly, while consumption from petroleum and natural gas fell slightly. A few key findings in the book include: United States electric power sector energy consumption grew to 38.4 quadrillion Btu in 2013,

The energy in an overhead line is a balance between environmental conditions and the Joule Effect.

Adjusting for weather conditions helps boost power transmission

Leveraging weather conditions could help utilities deliver electricity faster, cheaper and safer. Donna Rennemo, WindSim , Research has shown that knowing the weather conditions and the impact on electrical power lines can increase transmission capacity limits by 10 to 40%. This includes key weather components such as air temperature and solar radiation, but also

Nrel table overall cost results

How tip velocity affects wind turbine design

This study conducted by NREL engineers, investigates the effect of tip-speed constraints on system levelized cost-of-energy (LCOE). The results indicated that a change in maximum tip-speed from 80 to 100 m/s could produce a 32% decrease in gearbox weight (a 33% reduction in cost), which would result in an overall reduction of 1 to 9%

Gearbox sizing for different speed ratio requirements driven by different maximum allowable tip speed constraints.

Sandia and NREL collaborate on the impact of tip speed constraints on wind turbine design and plant cost of energy

NREL and Sandia recently published two reports on their collaborative effort to study the effects of increased maximum allowable blade tip velocities on overall system cost and performance. The maximum rotor rotation speed for utility-scale wind turbines is generally constricted by noise considerations. Even so, innovations in acoustics or siting in remote locations or both