DAF October Hard Hat Tour Recap – NREL Energy Systems Integration Facility

Tuesday, October 9th, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
National Renewable Energy Lab - Energy Systems Integration Facility
National Renewable Energy Lab – Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF)

Rendering Courtesy of SmithGroup

Location: The Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory
                     15257 Denver West Pkwy
                    Golden, CO 80401 (Intersection of I-70 and Denver West Parkway) Owner:  The Alliance for Sustainable Energy (“NREL”) Architects: SmithGroupJJR Contractor: JE Dunn Construction Company

Delivery Method: Design-Build

NREL ESIF Building Exterior

The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, will soon be the nation’s first facility that can conduct integrated megawatt-scale research and development of the components and strategies needed in order to safely move clean energy technologies onto the electrical grid “in-flight” at the speed and scale required to meet national goals.

NREL ESIF Lobby Entrance

ESIF Lobby Interior

This state-of-the-art facility will enable NREL and industry to work together to develop and evaluate their individual technologies on a controlled integrated energy system platform.   ESIF’s capabilities will dramatically accelerate the research required to transform the energy system to one that is cleaner, more secure, and more reliable.

NREL ESIF High-bay Vehicle Lab

To support these areas of research, the 182,500-sq. ft. ESIF will house approximately 200 scientists and engineers and a wide range of fully equipped, state-of-the-art laboratories and outdoor test areas.

NREL ESIF Office Interior

In addition to the lab and office spaces, the ESIF will include a high-performance computing data center (HPCDC) that will serve the breadth of NREL, expanding the laboratory’s capabilities in modeling and simulation of renewable energy technologies and their integration into the existing energy infrastructure.  The one-petaflop scale supercomputer will enable large-scale modeling and simulation.  The HPCDC will also be one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world, operating at a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.06 or better.

The ESIF will be built in accordance with the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s standards and is expected, at minimum, to achieve LEED Gold Certification.  The project is currently on track to achieve LEED Platinum.  The ESIF includes the following Energy Conservation Strategies:

  • Reuse of data center and High Bay laboratory waste energy to maximize building/campus heating
  • Transfer of electrical energy via Research Electrical Distribution Buss (REDB) from experiments between laboratories for simultaneous use/reuse
  • Underfloor air distribution for interior cooling and ventilation; outside air economizer
  • Active radiant beams provide for perimeter cooling and heating
  • Evaporative-based central cooling meets ASHRAE 55 thermal comfort range
  • Natural  ventilation mode with operable windows and ventilation shafts
  • Daylighting with high efficiency lighting (lights off 10 AM to 2 PM)
  • Energy Star rated equipment

Renewable Energy Lab Spaces

ESIF Lab Areas

High-bay Lab Areas

Supercomputing Data Center Raised Floor Area