WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $125 million in funding for 41 cutting-edge energy technologies awarded by its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). These new projects are funded under ARPA-E’s OPEN 2015 program.
ARPA-E funds innovative technologies that display promise for both technical and commercial impact, but are too early for private-sector investment. The OPEN 2015 projects come from 21 states and encompass 10 technical categories, including energy efficiency and electricity generation and delivery.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the projects selected “highlight how American ingenuity can spur innovation and generate a wide range of technology options to address our nation’s most pressing energy issues.”
Some examples of the new projects are:
Data Analytics for Virtual Energy Audits and Value Capture Assessments of Buildings
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland - $1,433,281
Case Western Reserve University will develop open-source software to collect data for virtual building energy audits, energy efficiency assessments, and improvement advisories. Analysis of multiple data streams will identify correlations among different variables, diagnose building and equipment efficiency, and prescribe the highest return on investment solutions. The software could enable cost-effective audits for smaller commercial buildings and help spur energy improvements.
Ultrahigh Efficiency Photovoltaics at Ultralow Costs
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado - $5,160,000
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will develop an HVPE (hydride vapor phase epitaxy) deposition process for producing high-quality photovoltaic cells with the potential to achieve up to a 30 percent efficiency target. This manufacturing technology has the potential to be an order of magnitude lower cost than current state-of-the-art technologies, thus enabling larger scale deployment of efficient solar cells.
High Efficiency Alkaline Water Electrolyzers for Grid Scale Energy Storage
Dioxide Materials Inc., Boca Raton, Florida - $2,000,000
Dioxide Materials Inc. will develop an alkaline water electrolyzer for an improved power-to-gas system, which is used to store energy in the hydrogen chemical bond. High conductivity membranes that can function under alkaline conditions could lead to a 10 times lower electrolyzer stack cost because they allow higher current densities and enable systems that do not require platinum catalysts.
Resilient Information Architecture Platform for the Smart Grid
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee - $3,500,000
Vanderbilt University will develop an open-source standard platform that could simplify the development and deployment of smart grid software applications by facilitating integration, interoperability, common system services, as well as model-based design tools. The platform could allow smart grid embedded software to move from hard-coded functionality to plug-and- play architecture. This provides the technological underpinning for resilient distributed software apps for improved and effective energy management.
To view the complete list of selected OPEN 2015 projects, visit http://go.usa.gov/cTHVW.
Publication date: 12/7/2015