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NREL database import

Posted: 17 Aug 2012 10:36
by aciroth
The NREL database (formerly at, now at the USDA website ( is a US based database that is provided in EcoSpold format. Import into openLCA works fine, you only need to assign units for those units that are not recognised by openLCA (such

However, afterwards, you will realise that the processes do not combine to product systems, even if you click the autoconnect feature.

Reason for this is that the flow locations are not consistent in the database.

For example, the process "Electricity, at grid, US, 2000"
electricityatgrid_process.jpg (204.26 KiB) Viewed 8497 times
has an input product "Electricity, biomass, at power plant". This product has a geographic location of "RNA". A product Electricity, biomass, at power plant is also provided by a process in the NREL database
biomass_electricity.jpg (207.66 KiB) Viewed 8497 times
However, this product has a geographic location of "US".

If you create a product system, openLCA connects those flows where the location and the name are identical and the units convertible. And the location seems different for openLCA here (and I would say it also is since RNA is not only the US but I am living in Europe of course). So, a product system with Electricity, at grid, US, 2000 as the core process will contain only this process since linking to other processes fails.
electricity_grid_ps.jpg (101.17 KiB) Viewed 8497 times
It can of course be calculated but the results are identical to the process inputs and outputs.
electricity_at_grid_result.jpg (156.25 KiB) Viewed 8497 times
As this is not what users may expect, we will contact USDA and NREL about this matter.

Re: NREL database import

Posted: 03 Mar 2015 22:16
by amlan35
It seems that this issue has not yet been resolved by the NREL. Is there a quick fix?

Re: NREL database import

Posted: 05 Mar 2015 09:59
by aciroth
We are working on integrating a clean version of NREL, I think this will be available within a week. Thanks for your continued interest!

Re: NREL database import

Posted: 18 Aug 2015 14:58
by Nellyb
Forgive this complete n00b question, but I can't find a way to download the NREL database in a format that openLCA can import: all I can find is a folder full of individual .xml records. I'm figuring this out by myself with no training or support, so obviously I'm doing something very wrong, can anyone point me in the right direction?

Re: NREL database import

Posted: 18 Aug 2015 16:01
by aciroth
As mentioned in the first post here, the XML files are EcoSpold format. We'll probably have a version in Nexus soon btw. which should fit better to openLCA.

Re: NREL database import

Posted: 23 Feb 2016 19:14
by plevin
The last post on this issue is from 2015. Has this been resolved yet? Also, is this data in EcoSpold 1 or 2 format?