U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)
TRLs are used to guide disciplined decision-making throughout the technology development pipeline. This rigorous approach enables project officers to track the progression of each project and activity, from applied research to commercialization.
The Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) conducts cost-shared R&D on projects at TRLs 2 through 8, where high technical risk may deter private investment. AMO also conducts outreach at TRL 9 to accelerate market uptake of energy-efficient technologies and management practices, where market risks displace technical risk.
TRL 1 – Basic Research: Initial scientific research begins. Principles are qualitatively postulated and observed. Focus is not on applications.
TRL 2 – Applied Research: Initial practical applications are identified. Potential of material or process to satisfy a technology need is confirmed.
TRL 3 – Critical Function or Proof of Concept Established: Applied research continues and early-stage development begins. Studies and initial laboratory measurements validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology.
TRL 4 – Lab Testing/Validation of Alpha Prototype Component/Process: Design, development and lab testing of components/processes. Results provide evidence that performance targets may be attainable based on projected or modeled systems.
TRL 5 – Laboratory Testing of Integrated/Semi-Integrated: System component and/or process validation in relevant environment.
TRL 6 – Prototype System Verified: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level).
TRL 7 – Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (integrated pilot system level).
TRL 8 – System Incorporated in Commercial Design: Actual system/process completed and qualified through testing and demonstration (pre-commercial demonstration).
TRL 9 – System Proven and Ready for Full Commercial Deployment: Actual system successfully proven in operating environment and ready for full commercial deployment.
TRL 1 – Basic Research
TRL 2 – Applied Research
TRL 3 – Critical Function or Proof of Concept Established
TRL 4 – Laboratory Testing/Validation of Component(s)/Process(es)
TRL 5 – Laboratory Testing of Integrated/Semi-Integrated System
TRL 6 – Prototype System Verified
TRL 7 – Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated
TRL 8 – System Incorporated in Commercial Design
TRL 9 – System Proven and Ready for Full Commercial Deployment