ARPA-E provides $130 million for 66 potentially transformational grants

Date
12/09/2012

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The Department of Energy's ARPA-E agency has announced $130 million for 66 grants that have the potential for "transformational" change in energy. The list starts with $4.49 million for Energy-Dense Aviation Fuels from Biomass where the Allylix Inc project team will develop energy-dense terpenes as high performance liquid aviation fuels. The increased energy density of these terpene-based fuels could outperform existing petroleum fuels by increasing flight range up to 20%. It ends with Vorbeck Materials Corp award of $1,5 million for Low-Cost, Fast-Charging Batteries for Hybrid Vehicles and will develop a low-cost, fast-charging storage battery for hybrid vehicles where the battery cells are based on lithium-sulfur chemistries, which have a greater energy density compared to today's lithium-ion batteries. If successful, the system has the potential to capture more breaking energy, increasing the efficiency of hybrid vehicles by up to 20% while reducing cost and emissions. Among the energy research approaches considered are Electron Energy Corporation awarded $2.9 million for Improved Manufacturing for High-Performance Magnets to develop a technology to manufacture permanent magnets that are both stronger and lower cost than those available today, based on a friction consolidation extrusion process. If successful, this technology would supply the growing market of wind turbine generators and electric vehicle motors with alternative higher-performance materials compared to the imported rare earth magnets currently used in these machines. LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) gets $3 million for Low-Cost Smart Window Coatings for Heat and Light or coatings that control how both light and heat enter buildings through windows. By individually blocking infrared (heat) and visible (light) components, it will significantly enhance both the energy efficiency of buildings and the comfort of occupants. coatings can be applied to windows using inexpensive techniques similar to spray-painting a car. In a second award of just under $2 million the Laboratory will undertake Automated Modeling and Simulation of Existing Buildings for Energy Efficiency. This portable system of sensing and computer hardware to rapidly generate indoor thermal and physical building maps will allow for cost-effective evaluation of heat loss and building inefficiencies, enabling rapid data collection and export to existing computer models to guide strategies that reduce building energy usage. University of Illinois gets $1.5million for Cyber Modeling and Analysis for a Smart Grid will develop grid modeling, monitoring, and analysis tools that increase the resiliency and reliability of the grid during cyber attacks. Electrical infrastructure modeling will be combined with cyber analysis to examine the impact of failures and malicious threats to grid infrastructure. These tools and analysis could lead to higher reliability, improved efficiency, and facilitate renewable technology deployment. Some 20 grants are for fuel cells, flow batteries, and thermal storage research as in $1.6m for a High-Energy Electro-Chemical Capacitor that the UCSB (University of California at Santa Barbara) will develop, an energy storage device for hybrid electric vehicles that combines the properties of capacitors and batteries into one technology. This energy storage device could charge within minutes, extend driving range, and have a longer life expectancy compared to today's electric vehicle batteries. Sharp Laboratories of America is awarded $2.9 million for the sodium ion battery it believes will revolutionise the cost of grid storage, while the PolyPlus Battery Company and Johnson Controls have $4.5 million to develop an innovative water-based lithium-sulfur battery which offers the lightest high energy batteries that are completely self-contained. The Palo Alto Research Centre gets $935,196 to develop an innovative manufacturing process for lithium-ion batteries that reduces manufacturing costs and improves performance. PARC's printing process would manufacture narrow stripes within battery layers that could improve the amount of energy storage allowing an extended electric vehicle driving range. ARPA-E . ARPA-E Projects

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