GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has announced new funding awards through its Advanced Technology Program. Among the new awards, eight will go toward fuel cell, energy efficiency, and solar power projects. These eight projects comprise a total investment of nearly $51 million, including nearly $24 million in NIST funds.

Four of the projects will focus on fuel cell technologies, including a high-volume manufacturing process for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells, a miniature direct-methanol fuel cell, a low-cost process for manufacturing gas diffusion layers, and a variety of approaches to reduce the cost of power from fuel cells.

In addition, Astronautics Corporation of America will design, build, and test an energy-efficient refrigerator that uses a magnetic refrigerant; General Electric Company and Energy Conversion Devices Inc. will advance their roll-to-roll technology for manufacturing solid-state lighting devices; and the Ohio Aerospace Institute will lead a joint venture to develop enhanced thin-film capacitors for use in electric vehicles and in power converters for fuel cells.

Also, AstroPower Inc. will lead a joint venture to produce low-cost, high-purity silicon for use in the solar power industry.

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Publication date: 09/22/2003