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  • The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub team is taking a “living lab” approach, working in a 30,000-square-foot building in the Navy Yard, where they are testing how different technologies interact in the building with sophisticated sensors and modeling equipment.

  • How do you help ensure that American companies and entrepreneurs can access the materials they need to build and develop clean energy technologies?

  • Working to predict with confidence the safe, reliable, and economically competitive performance of nuclear reactors through science-based modeling and simulation technologies.

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Modeled after the strong scientific management characteristics of the Manhattan Project and AT&T Bell Laboratories, the Energy Department’s Energy Innovation Hubs are integrated research centers that combine basic and applied research with engineering to accelerate scientific discovery that addresses critical energy issues.

The Hubs were first established in 2010 with the creation of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, which focuses on improving nuclear reactors through computer-based modeling. In total, there are currently five Hubs that work on everything from advance research to produce fuels directly from sunlight (the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis) and achieving breakthroughs in energy-efficient building design (the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings) to improving battery technology for transportation and the grid (the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research) and developing solutions for rare earth elements and other materials critical to a growing number of clean energy technologies (the Critical Materials Institute).


Energy Innovation Hubs: Achieving Our Energy Goals with Science
Secretary Chu stops at Oak Ridge National Lab in February 2012 for a quick, nuclear-themed visit that included a tour of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) and a stop at the new Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF).  | Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Lab

Energy Innovation Hubs are integrated research centers that combine basic and applied research with engineering to accelerate scientific discovery in critical energy issue areas.

Building a Better Battery for Vehicles and the Grid
Argonne scientists Ira Bloom (front) and Javier Bareño prepare a sample of battery materials for Raman spectroscopy, which is used to gather information regarding the nature of the materials present in the sample. | Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.

The new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub is a coordinated effort designed to push the limits on battery advances.

Increasing Access to Materials Critical to the Clean Energy Economy
Europium, a rare earth element that has the same relative hardness of lead, is used to create fluorescent lightbulbs. With no proven substitutes, europium is considered critical to the clean energy economy. | Photo courtesy of the Ames Laboratory.

The new Critical Materials Hub will help accelerate U.S. leadership in energy innovations by eliminating supply uncertainties for modern and emerging clean energy technologies.

Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Reactors Hub
Scientists and engineers are working to help the nuclear industry make reactors more efficient through computer modeling and simulation.

Scientists and engineers are working hard to create computer simulations that will help the nuclear industry make reactors more efficient.

Fuels From Sunlight Hub
Researchers from across disciplines are working together to create energy and fuels directly from sunlight, and create a process that's economically viable.

Energy conversion "machines" that generate fuels directly from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide? This hub is accelerating our innovation in designing solar energy-to-fuel conversion systems with the required efficiency, scalability, and sustainability to be economically viable.

Energy Efficient Buildings Hub
This model of a renovated historic building -- Building 661 -- in Philadelphia will house the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub. The facility’s renovation will serve as a best practices model for commercial building design, historic adaptive re-use, and energy efficiency innovation through continuous retrofit.

Science and industry work together to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions of both new and existing buildings while also stimulating private investment and quality job creation.