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ARPA-E Projects

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/18/2014 to 06/30/2015
Project Status: 
CANCELLED
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
BASF is developing metal hydride alloys using new, low-cost metals for use in high-energy nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Although NiMH batteries have been used in over 5 million vehicles with a proven record of long service life and abuse tolerance, their storage capacity is limited, which restricts driving range. BASF looks to develop a new NiMH design that will improve storage capacity and reduce fabrication costs through the use of inexpensive components. BASF will select new metals with a high energy storage capacity, then modify and optimize battery cell design. Once the ideal design has been established, BASF will evaluate methods for mass production and build a prototype 1 Kilowatt-hour battery.
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/01/2013 to 12/31/2018
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 

Bio2Electric is developing a small-scale reactor that converts natural gas into a feedstock for industrial chemicals or liquid fuels. Conventional, large-scale gas-to-liquid reactors are expensive and not easily scaled down. Bio2Electric's reactor relies on a chemical conversion and fuel cell technology resulting in fuel cells that create a valuable feedstock, as well as electricity. In addition, the reactor relies on innovations in material science by combining materials that have not been used together before, thereby altering the desired output of the fuel cell. The reactors can be efficiently built as modular units, therefore reducing the manufacturing costs of the reactor. Bio2Electric's small-scale reactor could be deployed in remote locations to provide electricity in addition to liquid fuel, increasing the utility of geographically isolated gas reserves.

Program: 
Project Term: 
01/01/2014 to 09/30/2018
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 

Energy Research Company (ERCo) is developing an automated Aluminum Integrated Minimill (AIM) that can produce finished components from mixed metal scrap. Unlike most current approaches, ERCo's AIM can distinguish and accurately sort multiple grades of aluminum scrap for recycling. ERCo's AIM reduces energy consumption in several ways. First, the technology would provide real-time feedback controls to improve the accuracy of the sorting process. The sorted scrap is then melted and cast. Further, ERCo's design replaces the inefficient dryers used in conventional processes with advanced, high-efficiency equipment. ERCo's AIM enables significantly more efficient and less expensive scrap sorting and aluminum recovery for casting.

Program: 
Project Term: 
12/01/2009 to 05/31/2012
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 

Exelus is developing a method to convert olefins from oil refinery exhaust gas into alkylate, a clean-burning, high-octane component of gasoline. Traditionally, olefins must be separated from exhaust before they can be converted into another source of useful fuel. Exelus' process uses catalysts that convert the olefin to alkylate without first separating it from the exhaust. The ability to turn up to 50% of exhaust directly into gasoline blends could result in an additional 46 million gallons of gasoline in the U.S. each year.

Princeton Fusion Systems
Program: 
Project Term: 
03/25/2019 to 09/30/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
Princeton Fusion Systems seeks to develop technologies to enable future commercial fusion power. The team's PFRC concept is a small, clean, and portable design based on a field-reversed-configuration plasma. The concept uses an innovative method called odd-parity rotating-magnetic-field (RMF) heating to drive electrical current and heat plasma to fusion temperatures. Odd-parity heating holds the potential to heat ions and electrons to fusion-relevant temperatures in a stable, sustained plasma, while maintaining good energy confinement. The team will pursue improved electron and ion temperatures through odd-parity RMF heating, as well as identify the modeling needed to elucidate the key heating and loss mechanisms for their fusion concept. The team's proposed power plant design seeks a very small footprint for a compact, potentially transportable energy source that is fully deployable and emissions-free. When completed, PFRC-2 will demonstrate the core physics for the PFRC-type commercial reactor that will lead to the rapid development of a proof-of-concept machine.
Program: 
Project Term: 
10/01/2014 to 09/30/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 

Princeton Optronics will develop a low-cost, high-temperature capable laser ignition system which can be mounted directly on the engine heads of stationary natural gas engines, just like regular spark plugs are today. This will be done using a newly developed high-temperature Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) pump combined with a solid-state laser gain material that can operate at temperatures typically experienced on a stationary natural gas engine. The key innovations of this project will allow the laser pump and complete laser ignition system to deliver the required pulse energy output at the engine block temperature and create a solution that is entirely exchangeable with a conventional spark plug. This avoids the need for an expensive and complicated fiber optics system to deliver the laser energy to the engine's combustion chamber from an off-board, cooled location. If successful, the high temperature laser ignition system will provide a reliable solution to extend the lean limit of combustion and increase the efficiency of stationary natural gas engines, resulting in significant fuel savings and emissions reductions.

Program: 
Project Term: 
02/26/2016 to 09/30/2017
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
Princeton Optronics will develop a new device architecture for optical interconnect links, which communicate using optical fibers that carry light. The maximum speed and power consumption requirement of data communication lasers have not changed significantly over the last decade, and state-of-the-art commercial technology delivers only 30 Gigabits per second (Gb/s). Increasing this speed has been difficult because the current devices are limited by resistance and capacitance constraints. Princeton Optronics will develop a novel device architecture to improve the data transfer and reduce the power consumption per bit by a factor of 10. They will use their expertise in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) to design and build unique quantum wells - and increase the speed and lower the power consumption. The team aims to demonstrate speeds greater than 50 Gb/s, and perhaps 250 Gb/s devices in the future.
Program: 
Project Term: 
10/01/2015 to 03/30/2017
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 

Princeton University is developing a non-invasive, low-cost, ultrasonic diagnostic system to determine battery state-of-health and state-of-charge, and to monitor internal battery defects. This system links the propagation of sound waves through a battery to the material properties of components within the battery. As a battery is cycled, the density and mechanical properties of its electrodes change; as the battery ages, it experiences progressive formation and degradation of critical surface layers, mechanical degradation of electrodes, and consumption of electrolyte. All of these phenomena affect how the sound waves pass through the battery. There are very few sensing techniques available that can be used during battery production and operation which can quickly identify changes or faults within the battery as they occur. As an ARPA-E IDEAS project, this early stage research project will provide proof of concept for the sensing technique and build a database of acoustic signatures for different battery chemistries, form factors, and use conditions. If successful, this ultrasonic diagnostic system will improve battery quality, safety, and performance of electric vehicle and grid energy storage systems via two avenues: (1) more thorough and efficient cell screening during production, and (2) physically relevant information for more informed battery management strategies.

Program: 
Project Term: 
12/11/2013 to 03/31/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
Alkaline batteries are used in a variety of electronic devices today because of their ability to hold considerable energy, for a long time, at a low cost. In order to create alkaline batteries suitable for EVs, Princeton University will use its expertise in alkaline battery systems examine a variety of suitable positive and negative electrode chemistries. Princeton will then select and experiment with those chemistries that show promise, using computational models to better understand their potential cycle life and storage capacities. Once a promising chemistry has been settled on, Princeton will build and test a prototype battery for an EV.
Program: 
Project Term: 
05/01/2019 to 04/30/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
Rutgers University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the University of Arizona will develop a new hardening method for C3 to address thickness. C3 synthesis currently relies on externally-introduced carbon dioxide for solidification. This program will use microbes mixed into the C3 prior to curing to produce carbon dioxide internally for solidification. This microbial-cured C3 is expected to last longer than OPC at the same thickness, which will reduce the need for concrete repair and replacement. This in turn reduces energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and costs associated with concrete-based projects.
Program: 
Project Term: 
12/23/2011 to 01/20/2013
Project Status: 
CANCELLED
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
The Rutgers University SiCLAB is developing a new power switch for utility-scale PV inverters that would improve the performance and significantly reduce the size, weight, and energy loss of PV systems. A power switch controls the electrical energy flowing through an inverter, which takes the electrical current from a PV solar panel and converts it into the type and amount of electricity that is compatible with the electric grid. SiCLAB is using silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors in its new power switches, which are more efficient than the silicon semiconductors used to conduct electricity in most conventional power switches today. Switches with SiC semiconductors can operate at much higher temperatures, as well as higher voltage and power levels than silicon switches. SiC-based power switches are also smaller than those made with silicon alone, so they result in much smaller and lighter electrical devices. In addition to their use in utility-scale PV inverters, SiCLAB's new power switches can also be used in wind turbines, railways, and other smart grid applications.
Program: 
Project Term: 
04/05/2019 to 04/04/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
New Jersey
Technical Categories: 
Siemens will develop an operator support system and grid planning functionality that enable a power system to operate with 100% inverter-based renewable generation from wind and solar. ReNew100 features automatic Controller Parameter Optimization and model calibration technologies that help ensure power system reliability as the generation mix changes. Successful test results will be a milestone toward the goal of a stable and reliable power system obtaining a majority of total electrical energy sourced from variable wind and solar.