SESHA 2009 Symposium - Abstract

Overview of Hazards in a Renewable Energy Research Facility

Manno, Doug; Nelson, Brent
(National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO)

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D). NREL's mission and strategy are focused on advancing the U.S. Department of Energy's and our nation's energy goals. The laboratory's scientists and researchers support critical market objectives to accelerate research from scientific innovations to market-viable alternative energy solutions. At the core of this strategic direction are NREL's research and technology development areas. These areas span from understanding renewable resources for energy, to the conversion of these resources to renewable electricity and fuels, and ultimately to the use of renewable electricity and fuels in homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles. The laboratory thereby directly contributes to our nation's goal for finding new renewable ways to power our homes, businesses, and cars. The diversity of hazards associated with this research is vast. It ranges from the movement of extremely large and unwieldy wind turbine blades to the toxic, highly toxic and pyrophoric gases used in photovoltaic device production. These hazards are presented in an ever changing and dynamic environment. Standards, regulations and industry best management practices often either do not apply to the work or do not exist. This presentation will provide an overview to the main renewable energy technologies and the principal hazards of each. This will include a discussion of the relationship between the Environment, Health and Safety Office staff and research personnel and the approach used to mitigate risk challenges in a collaborative and creative manner.