The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds is a single-stop venue that offers open access to advanced capabilities for prototyping, testing, and demonstrating technology.  The Testbeds are focused on scalable ultra-low-cost manufacturing of solar cells and electronic devices, next-generation battery devices and controls, and power system integration software and hardware challenges.

The Scale-Up & Characterization and Systems Integration Testbeds are located in a state-of-the-art facility near UW’s Seattle Campus. The labs are custom built for the highest level of functionality possible.

Scale-Up & Characterization Testbed

The Scale-Up & Characterization Testbed consists of four different labs, each serving a specific purpose.  The fabrication laboratory is the primary location for developing at-scale processes and building prototype device through ink-based thin film technologies and additive manufacturing. Manufacturing techniques – such as screen printing, slot-die coating, and 3D printing – are complemented by supporting instruments to ensure large volumes of materials are made with properties that are accurate, precise, and consistent.  Ink-substrate interactions are monitored by a rheometer, drop shape analyzer, dynamic light scatterer, and profilometer.

Two specialized rooms offer unique expanded capabilities.  The Controlled Environment Room offers researchers the opportunity to process, fabricate and test under specific temperature and relative humidity conditions.

For those moving from the prototype stage to pilot commercial-scale manufacturing runs, the Washington Research Foundation Roll-to-Roll Processing facility provides researchers with access to the most advanced roll-to-roll printer in the world.  The FOM Solar-X3 provides users with efficient, high-throughput multilayer coating, print patterning, and thermal treatment of materials for photovoltaics, sensors, optical films, and thin film devices.

All of the fabrication activities are supplemented with industry-leading characterization equipment.  A large suite of rapid-scan materials analysis equipment affords users immediate, comprehensive feedback on successful formulations and fabrication processes. Completed solar and battery devices can be thoroughly tested on world-class equipment against NREL traceable reference devices.

Systems Integration Testbed

The Systems Integration Testbed combines computing, energy harvesting and storage, and real-time simulation capabilities for testing dynamic power systems function and grid management algorithms.  The real-time digital simulator provides users integrated power hardware-in-the-loop capabilities, including a 40 kWh battery energy storage system and the ability to add custom systems to simulation routines.

NanoES Building (UW Main Campus)

Research Training Testbed

The Clean Energy Institute operates a Research Training testbed for students on the University of Washington campus. Part of the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds system, this facility provides UW students access to research-quality tools and training in clean energy concepts that cut across academic disciplines. CEI member faculty host laboratory courses in the space and Testbeds users can access the additional instrumentation when not in use for teaching purposes.