National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility

Dedicated to “finding renewable and energy-efficient solutions, highlighting technologies and systems designed to increase the viability of sustainably powered vehicles,” NREL’s Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility (VTIF) was built to support research on building energy systems, utility grids, renewable energy sources, and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). A 2,800-square-foot pre-manufactured structure, it features four bays (three passenger, one heavy vehicle); one 50kW DC fast PEV charger; three outdoor AC Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment units; a wireless vehicle charging station; separate shop facilities for electronics fabrication, machining, and welding; AC and DC bus lines, and 24 locking high-power outlets to accommodate future EV charging components or renewable energy systems. The VTIF site also provides a south-facing, secure test pad for multiple concurrent light and heavy vehicle thermal soak tests and stationary HVAC load tests. At 10,000 square feet, the test pad can accommodate thermal testing of up to six Class 8 trucks. Designed to LEED Gold standards, though the client did not pursue certification, the VTIF incorporates sustainable features including daylighting, increased insulation in the pre-fabricated walls and roof panels, and a solar wall, a passive exterior wall that pre-heats the outside air used for ventilation in winter thereby reducing the heating load on the building.

Location

Golden, Colorado

Client

NREL