Test Chambers

Test Chambers

What FLEXLAB® Can Do for You

FLEXLAB® 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, in order to:

Steve Greenberg, Henry Coles, and Gerald Robinson set up the Genentech experiment

  • Optimize integrated systems to maximize energy savings
  • Ensure occupant comfort and user-friendliness
  • Verify cost-benefit numbers
  • Build confidence in new technologies

We also offer a scalable platform to research a wide range of building-to-grid distributed energy resource technologies and controls for many types of grid applications. Users can test models and assumptions with real systems, test alternative methods and collect highly accurate, validated performance data for use in building design, utility customer incentive programs, new technology development, evaluation and operations software development. 

Capabilities

  • Four large testbeds: These include one that rotates, allowing a variety of testing scenarios, including under different solar orientations.
  • Comparison testing: Each testbed has two identical cells allowing side-by-side tests for comparisons of energy efficiency technologies.
  • FLEXGRID: Photovoltaics, batteries, inverters, grid simulation and emulation to evaluate technologies and controls that span both the supply and demand sides of the grid.
  • Interchangeable elements: Testers can swap out windows, walls, skylights, floors, lighting, HVAC systems and other elements.
  • Test-drive technologies: Users can evaluate different technologies for HVAC systems, lighting, windows, building envelope, control systems and plug loads, under local conditions or simulating thermal loads of other climates.
  • Lighting and plug-load occupied testbed: Measures energy and technology performance, evaluating more subjective factors, such as visual comfort and user-friendliness.
  • Granular power measurement and controls: Every outlet has its own electrical circuit and power metering.
  • High accuracy sensors and instrumentation: Thousands of sensors are installed throughout the facility, including ones embedded in the building structure.