The Department of Energy on Thursday announced that 19 transformative new projects, including Oak Ridge, will receive a total of $43 million in funding from the Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses.
These projects are supported through two new ARPA-E programs -- Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) – and will focus on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid and provide important energy security benefits to America’s armed forces. Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tn., will receive $1 million under the AMPED program.
“This latest round of ARPA-E projects seek to address the remaining challenges in energy storage technologies, which could revolutionize the way Americans store and use energy in electric vehicles, the grid and beyond, while also potentially improving the access to energy for the U.S. military at forward operating bases in remote areas,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “These cutting-edge projects could transform our energy infrastructure, dramatically reduce our reliance on imported oil and increase American energy security.”
Twelve research projects are receiving $30 million in funding under the AMPED program, which aims to develop advanced sensing and control technologies that could dramatically improve and provide new innovations in safety, performance, and lifetime for grid-scale and vehicle batteries. Unlike other Department of Energy efforts to push the frontiers of battery chemistry, AMPED is focused on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. These innovations will help reduce costs and improve the performance of next generation storage technologies, which could be applied in both plug-in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
ARPA-E is also announcing a total of $13 million for seven projects to enterprising small businesses to pursue cutting-edge energy storage developments for stationary power and electric vehicles. These projects will develop new innovative battery chemistries and battery designs, continuing ARPA-E’s funding for storage technologies. These awards are part of the larger Department-wide Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing an innovative battery design to more effectively regulate destructive hot-spots that develop during use. This improvement in transporting heat away from active materials in the battery is expected to increase the battery’s life and reduce the system cost associated with thermal management.
Information on all of the new AMPED and SBIR projects announced today is available here.
ARPA-E’s Principal Deputy Director Eric Toone announced the selected projects at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s event, the “New Age of Discovery: Government’s Role in Transformative Innovation,” in Washington, DC, where he spoke alongside former ARPA-E Director Arun Majumdar.
ARPA-E was launched in 2009 to seek out transformational, breakthrough technologies that are too risky for private-sector investment but have the potential to translate science into quantum leaps in energy technology, form the foundation for entirely new industries, and have large commercial impacts. Prior to today’s announcement, ARPA-E has attracted over 5,000 applications from research teams, which have resulted in approximately 180 groundbreaking projects worth nearly $500 million. More information on the program is available at www.arpa-e.energy.gov.