WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has announced $30 million in funding for 14 new projects aimed at creating highly efficient and scalable dry-cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants. The projects are funded through ARPA-E’s new Advanced Research In Dry cooling (ARID) program.

“These new projects emphasize ARPA-E’s commitment to developing a wide range of technology options to ensure a more affordable and sustainable energy future,” said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams.

ARPA-E’s ARID program will fund new power plant cooling technologies that enable high thermal-to-electric energy conversion efficiency with zero net water dissipation to the atmosphere. The program will support 14 project teams in developing ultra-high-performance air-cooled heat exchangers, supplemental cooling systems and/or cool-storage systems that can cost-effectively and efficiently reject waste heat. The ARPA-E project teams will work to design kilowatt-scale testing prototypes to help ensure the technologies can scale up to megawatt-cooling capacity without significant performance loss.

If successful, these new cooling technologies could significantly reduce water usage at thermoelectric power plants without sacrificing a plant’s performance or increasing its cooling costs. For example, the University of Colorado at Boulder will develop radiative cooled-cold storage modules and a system called RadiCold to enable efficient, low-cost supplementary cooling for power plants.

For information on all of ARID’s 14 projects, click here.

ARPA-E helps to accelerate the advancement of new energy technologies by investing in high-potential, high-impact energy projects that are too early for the private sector. For more information, visit www.arpa-e.energy.gov.

Publication date: 6/1/2015

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