NSTTF’s primary goal is to provide experimental engineering data for the design, construction, and operation of unique components and systems in proposed solar thermal electrical plants, which have three generic system architectures: line-focus (trough and continuous linear Fresnel reflector systems), point-focus central receiver (power towers), and point-focus distributed receiver (dishengine systems). In addition, the NSTTF can provide high heat flux and temperatures for materials testing or aerodynamic heating simulation; large fields of optics for astronomical observations or satellite calibrations; a solar furnace; and a rotating platform for parabolic trough evaluation. The NSTTF is sponsored by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); significant recent infrastructure improvements were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) is a San Francisco Bay Area scientific partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and including the Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. JBEI is sponsored by the DOE Office of Science (SC) with a mission to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels—liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is focused on the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass, the most abundant organic material on the planet, into these biofuels. JBEI is organized into four divisions: Feedstocks, Deconstruction, Fuels Synthesis, and Technologies.
The Combustion Research Facility (CRF) is an internationally recognized DOE SC-sponsored collaborative research facility. CRF scientists, engineers, and technologists conduct basic and applied research aimed at improving our nation’s ability to use and control combustion processes. Research ranges from studying chemical reactions in a flame to developing laser diagnostics for combustion-science research. Most of the CRF’s work is done in collaboration with scientists and engineers from industry and universities. Visiting researchers collaborate with the CRF staff and bring with them experience and knowledge that enhances and brings new approaches to collaborative research.
Sandia’s Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory (BATLab) is at the forefront of testing the limits of what batteries can safely handle and provides critical data for developing the next generation of batteries—doing everything imaginable to batteries (e.g., crushing, piercing with nails, heating to boiling) in the lab to make sure that once a battery is in commercial use, it will be safe and reliable. The BATLab tests cells from the size of a laptop computer battery up to packs weighing several hundred pounds. The BATLab team has been recognized for its ability to perform scientific analysis and a full range of measurements. The BATLab is sponsored by DOE EERE.
Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory (PSEL)
The Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory (PSEL) is a multi-user, multi-sponsor facility that conducts research in PV cells, modules, and arrays and performs detailed, comprehensive analysis in PV systems design, optimization, and characterization in real-world scenarios. PSEL conducts research on behalf of DOE, DoD, and other customers, often in collaboration with industry/academic partners. PSEL supports developing domestic and international standards that reduce market barriers to greater adoption of solar technologies while also improving operator/installer safety as well as system reliability and functionality. PSEL’s testing, analysis, and validations provide unbiased evaluations of current and proposed standards. PSEL also has a demonstrated history of appropriately handling proprietary data.
PSEL Fact Sheet
Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL)
The Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL) conducts research with industry and academic partners to integrate emerging energy technologies into new and existing electricity infrastructures. DETL’s DOE EERE-sponsored research spans generation, storage, and load management at the component and systems levels and examines advanced materials, controls, and communications to achieve a reliable, low-carbon electric infrastructure. DETL’s reconfigurable infrastructure simulates many real-world scenarios (e.g., island and campus grids, remote operations, and scaled portions of utility feeders and the transmission infrastructure). DETL researchers analyze the effects of high penetration of renewable technologies and distributed energy on the grid and resolve issues of grid interconnectivity, controls, security, safety, performance, reliability, and interoperability.
The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) is determining the scientific principles that govern the design, performance, and integration of nanoscale materials. CINT’s emphasis is on exploring the path from scientific discovery to the integration of nanostructures into the micro and macro worlds. This involves exploring, experimentally and theoretically, nanoscale behavior; developing many synthesis and processing approaches; and understanding new performance regimes, testing new designs, and integrating nanoscale materials and structures. Integration is key to exploiting nanomaterials, and the scientific challenges that it poses are at the heart of CINT’s DOE SC-sponsored mission. Our activities bring together university faculty, students, other national laboratory scientists, and industrial researchers to propose, design, and explore integrating new nanoscale materials into novel architectures and microsystems.
Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility (SWiFT)
The Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) is a unique facility that gives the U.S. an opportunity to address wind farm underperformance, much of which can be attributed to turbine-to-turbine interaction.
“Some estimates show that 10 to 40 percent of wind energy production and revenue is lost due to complex wind plant interaction,” said Jon White, Sandia’s technical lead for the project.
White said the SWiFT facility allows for rapid, cost-efficient testing and development of transformative wind energy technology, with specific emphasis on improving wind plant performance. The facility’s advanced testing and monitoring will help researchers evaluate how larger wind farms can become more productive.
The site includes two V27 research turbines deployed by the Department of Energy and Sandia, and a third V27 turbine belonging to Vestas, a leading wind turbine manufacturer.
Microsystems & Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA)
The Microsystems & Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) Complex represents the essential facilities and equipment to design, develop, manufacture, integrate, and qualify microsystems for national security needs that cannot or should not be made in industry— either because the low volumes required for these applications are not profitable for the private sector, or because of stringent security requirements for high-consequence systems.
Cylindrical Boiling Facility (CYBL)
The Cylindrical Boiling Facility (CYBL) features a scaled reactor pressure vessel system originally designed for severe accident cooling studies. It also provides an outstanding controlled environment for Sandia’s recent spent nuclear fuel combustion experiments.
The Computer Science Research Institute (CSRI) brings university faculty and students to Sandia National Laboratories for focused collaborative research on DOE computer and computational science problems. The CSRI is organized under the DOE Stockpile Computing Program. CSRI provides a mechanism by which university researchers learn about problems in computer and computational science at DOE Laboratories. Participants conduct leading-edge research, interact with scientists and engineers at the laboratories and help transfer the results of their research to programs at the labs.
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Research, Engineering, and Applications Center for Hydrogen (REACH)
Located the Livermore Valley Open Campus. REACH is focused on addressing hydrogen materials and engineering challenges through international consortia consisting of the leading research organizations and partners from around the world. The REACH program is organized in the following areas:
- Physics of hydrogen in materials – Our research develops an understanding of reactions on surfaces, hydrogen transport in materials, embrittlement mechanisms, deformation and fracture, and mechanism modeling of hydrogen in materials.
- Engineering analysis – Our programs include codes and standards, life-cycle design methodology development, and predictive simulation for component and system behavior understanding.
- Systems engineering – Our efforts provide a bridge between the research and the product. We work with industrial partners such as automotive original equipment manufacturers and technology companies to overcome barriers facing the deployment of advanced hydrogen technologies.
Center for Infrastructure Research and Integration (CIRI)
The proposed Center for Infrastructure Research and Integration (CIRI) provides a facility for addressing engineering activities while providing a strong link to the science base.
Making predictions of rock mass response and fluid flow through rock masses requires quantitative models of the governing deformation and fracture processes. Building these models, and performing analytic and numerical design calculations from the models requires information about specific rock properties. The Geomechanics Laboratory enables you to measure rock properties under a wide range of simulated service conditions up to very high pressures and complex load paths. Staff at the laboratory have also developed independent experiments that evaluate model generalizations, for example: how to generalize two-dimensional information to a three-dimensional model. They also have experiments that determine the accuracy of design procedures in the laboratory.
ARM Climate Research Facility
The ARM Climate Research Facility, a DOE scientific user facility, provides the climate research community with strategically located in situ and remote sensing observatories designed to improve the understanding and representation, in climate and earth system models, of clouds and aerosols as well as their interactions and coupling with the Earth’s surface.
National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center
The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) is a modeling, simulation, and analysis program within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comprising personnel in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as from Sandia National Laboratories
(SNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL). Congress mandated that NISAC serve as a “source of national expertise to address critical infrastructure protection” research and analysis. NISAC prepares and shares analyses of critical infrastructure, including their interdependencies, vulnerabilities, consequences, and other complexities, under the direction of the Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), Infrastructure Analysis and Strategy Division (IASD). To ensure consistency with IP priorities, NISAC initiatives and tasking requests are coordinated through the NISAC program office.
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