Research Facilities

Our state-of-the-art research facilities include advanced research and test facilities for buildings, energy technologies, air quality, developing world technologies, and others.

Research Facilities

Our facilities enable research on everything from appliances to optics to windows to the grid, and more. 

  • Our FLEXLAB® (Facility for Low-Energy eXperiments in Buildings) is the first testbed in the world that can evaluate the energy efficiency of major building systems, as an integrated system, under real-world conditions. Stakeholders can evaluate energy-efficient building technologies individually or as integrated systems in advance of building projects or retrofits (flexlab.lbl.gov/).
  • Our Windows Group has a complete set of instruments designed to characterize the detailed radiometric and optical properties of solar energy materials, and in particular, glazing and shading materials for windows. The Advanced Windows Test Facility tests performance and properties of advanced windows and window systems such as electrochromic windows and automatically controlled shutters and blinds. The lab simulates real-world office spaces. Embedded instrumentation throughout the lab records solar gains and losses for specified time periods, weather conditions, energy use and human comfort indicators (windows.lbl.gov/). Our MoWiTT facility measures efficient window-and-frame systems with the goal of reducing building energy consumption by making use of beneficial solar gain available through a window, either for winter heating or for daylighting, while minimizing adverse flows.
  • Our air conditioning research takes place in two test chambers: the Balanced Ambient Calorimeter Test Chamber evaluates the performance of room air conditioners (split, window, or wall-type), packaged terminal air conditioners, and packaged terminal heat pumps in the cooling capacity range of 6,000 to 42,000 Btu/h (½ to 3 ½ rated tons) (energyanalysis.lbl.gov/balanced-ambient-calorimeter-test-chamber). The Psychrometric Test Chamber's primary purpose is to evaluate the performance of central air conditioners and heat pumps with cooling capacity in range of 6,000 to 90,000 Btu/h (0.5 to 7 ½ rated tons), and with heating capacity in range of 6,000 to 60,000 (0.5 to 5 ton rated) (https://energyanalysis.lbl.gov/psychrometric-test-chamber).
  • Our Battery Fabrication Laboratory is used to conduct battery cell analysis and to test the performance of new materials in experimental batteries. 
  • In appliance research, the Cookstoves Lab is used for detailed evaluation of the fuel efficiency and pollutant emissions of cookstoves, including methods traditionally used in developing regions of the world and cookstoves designed for increased efficiency.
  • The Refrigeration Test Chamber evaluates the performance of household refrigerator-freezers, refrigerators, freezers, wine chillers, and ice makers. It is a temperature and humidity controlled environmental room that provides controlled environmental conditions. 
  • The Demand to Grid (D2G) Laboratory is a working environment to demonstrate and test open automated demand response (OpenADR)-compliant devices. It features several large home appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, and electric heat pump water heater), as well as OpenADR-enabled lighting, electric vehicle charger and other devices (drrc.lbl.gov/project/d2g-lab-openadr-interoperability-testing).
  • Our environmental measurements laboratories include a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry/Data Analysis System and Laboratory and an Organic Chemical Analysis Laboratory.
  • The Infrared Thermography Laboratory (IRLab) tests the thermal performance of windows and other insulated systems.
  • The Lighting Systems Test Facilities assist researchers in testing the performance of advanced energy-efficient lighting control systems. Equipment includes a gonio-photometer to measure illuminance from each portion of a lamp or fixture and a spectro radiometer to measure the light output of a light source at each wavelength.
  • The Solar Control Thin Films laboratory develops novel thin-film coatings, deposition technologies, and device systems for next-generation energy efficient windows. Two vacuum deposition chambers employ a range of physical vapor deposition and plasma sources to produce prototype multilayer, tunable solar control systems for windows.
  • Our single- and multiple-room environmental chambers are used to study sources, behavior, transport, and chemistry of indoor pollutants in a controlled environment.