​Experimental Systems

The DOE IES program focuses on research and development of tools and technologies that will lead to demonstration of multiple integrated energy systems that have a clear path toward commercialization.

Within Experimental Systems, the IES program has established a diverse, non-nuclear facility to support model validation and initial technology demonstration. This facility includes representation of multiple subsystems, both through virtual system integration (via real-time connections to test facilities at other DOE laboratories, academic institutions, or industry) or physical integration with scaled demonstration hardware. This facility allows for demonstration and validation of specific technologies (e.g., components, subsystems), sensors, control architecture, integration hardware, data analytics and data management, and related cyber security approaches. In this manner commercial risk can be reduced prior to nuclear system demonstration.

The INL Systems Integration Laboratory includes electrically-heated reactor emulation; thermal energy generation and distribution, including thermal energy storage; hydrogen generation via high-temperature electrolysis; grid emulation; and electric vehicle charging and battery testing. While each of these subsystems is capable of operating independently to support various programs, when connected into an integrated energy system, they comprise the Dynamic Energy Technology and Integration Laboratory (DETAIL). Additional components located outside the SIL include chemical flow batteries and small-scale wind and solar generation. The INL's Power & E​​nergy Real-Time Laboratory is enabled for real-time connection with geographically dispersed laboratory facilities at INL, other laboratories, universities, and industry via the real-time digital simulators.

As currently configured, the Microreactor Agile Non-nuclear Experimental Test Bed (MAGNET) can provide up to 250 kWe of energy through controllable, electrical, heater elements within a microreactor test article. The Thermal Energy Distribution System (TEDS) adds an additional 200 kWe of energy using controllable, electrical, heater elements to represent energy input of up to 450 kWe from a nuclear fission system. This energy can be stored in the thermocline energy storage system and conditioned for delivery to high temperature electrolysis, or to other coupled systems that will be added to DETAIL in the future.​

Experimental Systems