Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

ARPA-E Projects

Search ARPA-E Projects by Keyword

Displaying 1 - 22 of 22
Program: 
Project Term: 
10/01/2012 to 12/31/2014
Project Status: 
CANCELLED
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Gayle Technologies is developing a laser-guided, ultrasonic electric vehicle battery inspection system that would help gather precise diagnostic data on battery performance. The batteries used in hybrid vehicles are highly complex, requiring advanced management systems to maximize their performance. Gayle's laser-guided, ultrasonic system would allow for diagnosis of various aspects of the battery system, including inspection for defects during manufacturing and assembly, battery state-of-health, and flaws that develop from mechanical or chemical issues with the battery system during use. Because of its non-invasive nature, relatively low cost, and potential for yielding broad information content, this innovative technology could increase productivity in battery manufacturing and better monitor battery conditions during use or service.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
05/01/2016 to 09/30/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

The team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will design proton-selective membranes for use in storage technologies, such as flow batteries, fuel cells, or electrolyzers for liquid-fuel storage. Current proton-selective membranes (e.g. Nafion) require hydration, but the proposed materials would be the first low-temperature membranes that conduct protons without the need for hydration. The enabling technology relies on making single-layer membranes from graphene or similar materials and supporting them for mechanical stability. The team estimates that these membranes can be manufactured at costs around one order of magnitude lower than Nafion membranes. Due to the lower system complexity, the team's innovations would enable fuel cell production at lower system-level costs.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/08/2017 to 08/30/2019
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will develop glassy Li-ion conductors that are electrochemically and mechanically stable against lithium metal and can be integrated into full battery cells. Metallic lithium anodes could significantly improve the energy density of batteries versus today's state-of-the-art lithium ion cells. ORNL has chosen glass as a solid barrier because the lack of grain boundaries in glass mitigates the growth of branchlike metal fibers called dendrites, which short-circuit battery cells. The team aims to identify a glassy electrolyte with high conductivity, explore novel and cost-effective ways to fabricate this thin glass electrolyte, and design electrolyte membranes that are sufficiently robust to prevent cracking and degradation during battery fabrication and cycling. Advanced glass processing using rapid quench methods will enable a range of compositions and microstructures as well as their cost-effective fabrication as thin, dense membranes. In addition to glass composition, a range of membrane designs will be investigated by modeling and experiment. For efficient battery fabrication, the glassy membrane will likely require mechanical support and protection, which could be achieved by employing polymers or ceramic layers as a support.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/06/2017 to 06/19/2017
Project Status: 
CANCELLED
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and its partners are creating a highly transparent, multilayer window film that can be applied onto single-pane windows to improve thermal insulation, soundproofing, and condensation resistance. The ORNL film combines four layers. Low-cost, nanoporous silica will be used to improve thermal insulation. A layer of a sound-absorbing polymer, which is commonly applied to windows for soundproofing, will be added between the silica sheets to reduce outside noise infiltration. A final outside superhydrophobic coating layer will minimize the condensation. A low-emissivity film will be added to minimize heat transfer out from the conditioned interior.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
06/19/2018 to 06/18/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
Program: 
Project Term: 
10/01/2014 to 10/07/2017
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is redesigning a fuel cell electrode that operates at 250ºC. Today's solid acid fuel cells (SAFCs) contain relatively inefficient cathodes, which require expensive platinum catalysts for the chemical reactions to take place. ORNL's fuel cell will contain highly porous carbon nanostructures that increase the amount of surface area of the cell's electrolyte, and substantially reduce the amount of catalyst required by the cell. By using nanostructured electrodes, ORNL can increase the performance of SAFC cathodes at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies. The ORNL team will also modify existing fuel processors to operate efficiently at reduced temperatures; those processors will work in conjunction with the fuel cell to lower costs at the system level. ORNL's innovations will enable efficient distributed electricity generation from domestic fuel sources using less expensive catalysts.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
06/01/2014 to 12/31/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing an abuse-tolerant EV battery. Abuse tolerance is a key factor for EV batteries. Robust batteries allow for a broader range of battery chemistries, including low-cost chemistries that could improve driving range and enable cost parity with gas-powered vehicles. ORNL's design would improve battery abuse tolerance at the cell level, thereby reducing the need for heavy protective battery housing. This will enable an EV system that would be lighter and more efficient, both reducing weight and cost and allowing the vehicle to drive further on each charge. ORNL will be researching a new architecture within each cell that will reduce the likelihood of a thermal damage in the event of an abuse situation. The new architecture incorporates a novel foil concept into the battery current collectors. In event of impact, crushing or penetration of the battery, the novel current collector will limit the connectivity and/or conductivity of the battery electrode assembly and hence limit the current at the site of an internal or external short. Limiting the current will avoid the local heating that can trigger thermal excitation and battery damage.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
11/01/2013 to 10/31/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing an electrolyte for use in EV batteries that changes from liquid to solid during collisions, eliminating the need for many of the safety components found in today's batteries. Today's batteries contain a flammable electrolyte and an expensive polymer separator to prevent electrical shorts--in an accident, the separator must prevent the battery positive and negative ends of the battery from touching each other and causing fires or other safety problems. ORNL's new electrolyte would undergo a phase change--from liquid to solid--in the event of an external force such as a collision. This phase change would produce a solid impenetrable barrier that prevents electrical shorts, eliminating the need for a separator. This would improve the safety and reduce the weight of the vehicle battery system, ultimately resulting in increased driving range.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
07/29/2019 to 01/28/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
10/01/2012 to 02/15/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing an innovative battery design to more effectively regulate destructive isolated hot-spots that develop within a battery during use and eventually lead to degradation of the cells. Today's batteries are not fully equipped to monitor and regulate internal temperatures, which can negatively impact battery performance, life-time, and safety. ORNL's design would integrate efficient temperature control at each layer inside lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery cells. In addition to monitoring temperatures, the design would provide active cooling and temperature control deep within the cell, which would represent a dramatic improvement over today's systems, which tend to cool only the surface of the cells. The elimination of cell surface cooling and achievement of internal temperature regulation would have significant impact on battery performance, life-time, and safety.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
07/01/2010 to 08/15/2013
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

The team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Georgia Institute of Technology is developing a new technology that will act like a sponge, integrating a new, alcohol-based ionic liquid into hollow fibers to capture CO2 from the exhaust produced by coal-fired power plants. Ionic liquids--salts that exist in liquid form--are promising materials for carbon capture and storage, but their tendency to thicken when combined with CO2 limits their efficiency and poses a challenge for their development as a cost-effective alternative to current-generation solutions. Adding alcohol to the mix limits this tendency to thicken in the presence of CO2 but can also make the liquid more likely to evaporate, which would add significantly to the cost of CO2 capture. To solve this problem, ORNL is developing new classes of ionic liquids with high capacity for absorbing CO2. ORNL's sponge would reduce the cost associated with the energy that would need to be diverted from power plants to capture CO2 and release it for storage.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/24/2012 to 06/30/2017
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing an electromagnet-based, amplifier-like device that will allow for complete control over the flow of power within the electric grid. To date, complete control of power flow within the grid has been prohibitively expensive. ORNL's controller could provide a reliable, cost-effective solution to this problem. The team is combining two types of pre-existing technologies to assist in flow control, culminating in a prototype iron-based magnetic amplifier. Ordinarily, such a device would require expensive superconductive wire, but the magnetic iron core of ORNL's device could serve as a low-cost alternative that is equally adept at regulating power flow.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Program: 
Project Term: 
04/05/2016 to 04/04/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

The team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will develop new cast alumina-forming austenitic alloys (AFAs), along with associated casting and welding processes for component fabrication. ORNL and its partners will prototype industrial components with at least twice the oxidation resistance compared to current cast chromia-forming steel and test it in an industrial environment. These innovations could allow various industrial and chemical processing systems and gas turbines to operate at higher temperatures to improve efficiencies and reduce downtimes, thus providing cost and energy reductions for a wide range of energy-intensive applications.

Tai-Yang Research Company (TYRC)
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/15/2013 to 03/06/2017
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
Tai-Yang Research Company (TYRC) is developing a superconducting cable, which is a key enabling component for a grid-scale magnetic energy storage device. Superconducting magnetic energy storage systems have not established a commercial foothold because of their relatively low energy density and the high cost of the superconducting material. TYRC is coating their cable in yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) to increase its energy density. This unique, proprietary cable could be manufactured at low cost because it requires less superconducting material to produce the same level of energy storage as today's best cables.
University of Tennessee (UT)
Program: 
Project Term: 
11/10/2016 to 03/19/2018
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

The University of Tennessee (UT) will develop a reversible Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) catalyst that can be used both as a peroxide-producing electrolyzer and in reversible air batteries. The ORR catalyst development seeks to significantly improve peroxide electrolysis efficiency and achieve high charge and discharge rates in air-breathing batteries. In conjunction with the new catalyst, an anion exchange membrane (AEM) will be used to further increase the electrolyzer efficiency and reduce peroxide production costs. In the reversible air battery, the AEM increases battery power performance. Finally, a two-phase flow field design will increase both the current density and current efficiency for peroxide production and can also be used in the reversible air battery to build up a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide for energy storage. This technology could also enable onsite hydrogen peroxide production at small scale.

University of Tennessee (UT)
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/04/2016 to 02/03/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

The University of Tennessee (UT) team proposes to develop a tool that will revolutionize plant metabolic engineering by using a large scale DNA synthesis strategy. The UT team will develop synthetic chloroplast (the part of the plant cell where photosynthesis occurs) genomes, called "synplastomes." Rather than introducing or editing genes individually inside the plant cell, the UT team will synthesize a complete chloroplast genome in the laboratory that can be readily modified and then introduced into the plant. UT's synplastomes will have significant advantages over conventional biotechnology methods. UT's synplastomes are expected to result in an extremely high expression of desired genes and will lack transgene positional effects, meaning improved consistency of trait expression. To ensure broader adoption and utilization of this technology, an editable synplastome will be generated that will feature standard genome editing sites and will allow for modification by researchers using standard, cost-effective techniques. The UT team's work in synthetic biology could significantly advance the field of plant metabolic engineering and help produce a path toward more economical, sustainable bio-based products.

Program: 
Project Term: 
06/06/2019 to 06/05/2021
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville team will develop an energy storage system based on an innovative electrolyzer/fuel cell combination. Typically, fuel cells produce water from hydrogen and oxygen. The Tennessee team will instead use the fuel cell to produce hydrogen peroxide, a liquid that can be stored. When extra power is needed on the grid, the fuel cell will produce peroxide and electricity. Available electricity then can be used to convert the peroxide back to hydrogen and oxygen during the charging cycle, which can be stored for future use. The benefit of using peroxide rather than water is higher efficiency in both charging and discharging the system.
Program: 
Project Term: 
02/01/2013 to 07/31/2016
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
The University of Tennessee (UT) is developing technology to rapidly screen the genetic traits of individual plant cells for their potential to improve biofuel crops. By screening individual cells, researchers can identify which lines are likely to be good cellulosic feedstocks without waiting for the plants to grow to maturity. UT's technology will allow high throughput screening of engineered plant cells to identify those with traits that significantly reduce the time and resources required to maximize biofuel production from switchgrass.
University of Tennessee (UT)
Program: 
Project Term: 
06/24/2016 to 12/23/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

University of Tennessee (UT), along with their partners, will develop a new type of microgrid design, along with its corresponding controller. Like most other microgrids, it will have solar PV-based distributed generation and be capable of grid-connected or disconnected (islanded) operations. Unlike other microgrids, this design will incorporate smart grid capabilities including intelligent switches and high-speed communication links. The included controller will accommodate and utilize these smart grid features for enhanced performance and reduced costs. The microgrid controller will be open source, offering a flexible and robust development and implementation environment. The microgrid and controller design will also be scalable for different geographic areas, load sizes, distributed generation source number and types, and even multiple microgrids within an area.

Program: 
Project Term: 
02/18/2019 to 02/17/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
The Vanderbilt University team will develop a new bipolar membrane featuring a three-dimensional water splitting or water formation junction region, prepared by an electrospinning process. The team's membrane will allow for higher current density operation as compared to conventional BPMs while maintining a low operating voltage, long-term durability, and high separation efficiency. These membranes will be useful in electrodialysis, electrolysis, and fuel cell applications.
Vanderbilt University
Program: 
Project Term: 
04/04/2016 to 01/03/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 
Vanderbilt University will develop a foundation platform for developing and deploying robust, reliable, effective and secure software applications for the Smart Grid. The Resilient Information Architecture Platform for the Smart Grid (RIAPS) provides core services for building effective and powerful smart grid applications. It offers unique services for real-time data dissemination, fault tolerance, and coordination across apps distributed over the network. The platform will allow plug-and-play architecture by providing a software layer that isolates the hardware details making software applications portable across multiple devices and enabling interoperability among heterogeneous devices and applications. Additionally, the RIAPS will be supported by a model-driven development toolchain to reduce development costs. The platform will allow apps to be upgraded and dynamically reconfigured in the field and will enable a marketplace of hardware device vendors, app developers, and end users to sell and buy products and services that will interoperate. Vanderbilt's team will develop and prototype the platform using an open source code base. The team will also construct representative open source energy management software apps that will demonstrate the effectiveness and dependability of the system, while offering a starting point for commercial implementations. The team expects the platform to become an industry standard on which Smart Grid applications can reliably run, much in the same way Android and iOS have become industry standard platforms for smartphones.
Program: 
Project Term: 
08/01/2018 to 02/28/2021
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Tennessee
Technical Categories: 

Yellowstone Energy will develop a new passive control technology to enhance safety and reduce nuclear power plant costs. The team's Reactivity Control Device (RCD) will integrate with the Yellowstone Energy Molten Nitrate Salt Reactor and other advanced reactor designs. The RCD will use fluid embedded in the reactor's control rods to control reaction rates at elevated temperatures, even in the absence of external controls. As the heating from fission increases or decreases, the fluid density will automatically and passively respond to control the system. The RCD's passive control is highly beneficial for ensuring reactor safety and stability under normal operation and accident scenarios. The team will use simulation tools to determine the effectiveness of the control device and conduct a techno-economic analysis at the plant level to determine cost effectiveness. If successful, the system will provide a high level of resiliency and reliability while significantly improving the economics and safety of many advanced reactor designs. The RCD may also serve as the basis for additional innovations in reactor designs including a broader range of coolant salts in solid fueled, salt-cooled reactors and further advanced reactor defense against cybersecurity threats.