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Efficiency

Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology

In today's increasingly electrified world, power conversion--the process of converting electricity between different currents, voltage levels, and frequencies--forms a vital link between the electronic devices we use every day and the sources of power required to run them. The projects that make up ARPA-E's ADEPT program, short for "Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology," are paving the way for more energy efficient power conversion and advancing the basic building blocks of power conversion: circuits, transistors, inductors, transformers, and capacitors.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's AMPED Program, short for "Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices," seek to develop advanced sensing, control, and power management technologies that redefine the way we think about battery management. Energy storage can significantly improve U.S. energy independence, efficiency, and security by enabling a new generation of electric vehicles. While rapid progress is being made in new battery materials and storage technologies, few innovations have emerged in the management of advanced battery systems. AMPED aims to unlock enormous untapped potential in the performance, safety, and lifetime of today's commercial battery systems exclusively through system-level innovations, and is thus distinct from existing efforts to enhance underlying battery materials and architectures.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Advanced Research In Dry cooling

ARPA-E's Advanced Research In Dry cooling (ARID) program comprises projects that are aimed at maintaining the efficiency of U.S. electric power generation, which otherwise could suffer due to regional water shortages. To achieve this objective, ARID project teams will create novel air-cooled heat exchangers, supplemental cooling systems, and/or cool-storage systems that can cost-effectively and efficiently dissipate, or reject, waste heat with no net water consumption. Project teams will design kilowatt-scale testing prototypes to ensure the technologies can scale up to the megawatt-cooling capacities of real systems without significant performance loss. If successful, these dry-cooling technologies will significantly reduce water use at power plants without sacrificing efficiency and with minimal additional costs.
  For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.    

Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's BEETIT program, short for "Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices," are developing new approaches and technologies for building cooling equipment and air conditioners. These projects aim to drastically improve building energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) at a cost comparable to current technologies.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely

Recent advances in hardware for handling direct current (DC) electricity have created an opportunity to greatly improve the efficiency, security, and safety of the U.S. power system while supporting new industries and grid design options. There remains, however, a significant technology gap in the safety and protection mechanisms required to mitigate potentially damaging faults in these systems. The projects that comprise ARPA-E's BREAKERS (Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely) program will develop novel technologies for medium voltage direct current (MVDC) circuit breakers, applicable to markets including electrified transportation, MVDC grid distribution, renewable interconnections, and offshore oil, gas, and wind production. Project teams will either develop transformational improvements to conventional DC circuit breakers (i.e., mechanical, solid state, hybrid) or construct circuit breakers based on completely novel designs. These systems must achieve program goals of handling a voltage between 1 - 100 kV DC and power above 1 MW at extremely high efficiencies and fast response times.

Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semiconductors

Development of advanced power electronics with unprecedented functionality, efficiency, reliability, and reduced form factor will provide the United States a critical technological advantage in an increasingly electrified world economy. The projects that comprise ARPA E's CIRCUITS (Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semiconductors) program seek to accelerate the development and deployment of a new class of efficient, lightweight, and reliable power converters, based on wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors. CIRCUITS projects will establish the building blocks of this class of power converter by advancing higher efficiency designs that exhibit enhanced reliability and superior total cost of ownership. In addition, a reduced form factor (size and weight) will drive adoption of higher performance and more efficient power converters relative to today's state-of-the-art systems. Past ARPA-E programs have focused on challenges associated with fabricating WBG high-performance switching devices. Program developments led to a new generation of devices that operate at much higher powers, voltages, frequencies, and temperatures than traditional silicon-based semiconductor devices. CIRCUITS projects will build on these earlier ARPA-E programs by designing circuit topologies optimally suited for WBG attributes to maximize overall electrical system performance. Innovations stemming from CIRCUITS projects have the potential to affect high-impact applications wherever electrical power is generated or used, including the electric grid, industrial motor controllers, automotive electrification, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, solar and wind power systems, datacenters, aerospace control surfaces, wireless power transfer, and consumer electronics.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.    

Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities

The projects in ARPA-E's DELTA Program, short for "Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities," aim to reduce the costs for heating and cooling buildings by developing Localized Thermal Management Systems (LTMS). LTMS modify the physical space around the human body rather than the entire building, with significant energy savings for both new and old buildings. Such technologies range from on-body wearable devices to off-body installed systems and provide more options for maintaining occupant comfort within buildings. ARPA-E's DELTA projects include a broad range of LTMS approaches that potentially enable energy savings of upwards of 2% of the total domestic energy supply and similar reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

ENergy-efficient Light-wave Integrated Technology Enabling Networks that Enhance Dataprocessing

The explosive growth of the internet has increased the amount of energy consumed by the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector, especially from datacenters where information in the "cloud" is stored and processed. There are many approaches to improve how datacenters use energy effectively, but ultimately, the metal interconnects currently used to transmit information between devices within a datacenter will limit efficiency gains. The ENergy-efficient Light-wave Integrated Technology Enabling Networks that Enhance Dataprocessing (ENLITENED) program seeks an entirely new approach to improving datacenter energy efficiency. ENLITENED projects will develop novel network topologies enabled by integrated photonics technologies, which use light instead of electricity to transmit information.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage

The objective of the FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program is to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that enable power generators to be responsive to grid conditions in a high variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration environment. This includes retrofits to existing power generators as well as greenfield systems with a carbon-containing fuel input and electricity as an output (i.e., a “black box” in which the nature of the fuel-to-electricity conversion process is not prescribed). The value of such CCS technologies will be evaluated by their impact on system-wide levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in modeled net-zero carbon electricity grids, as determined by a range of possible future scenarios in capacity expansion models. However, ARPA-E does not expect every CCS technology in FLECCS to be a net-zero carbon process. FLECCS technologies will provide flexible and economical assets for future low- and zero-carbon electricity systems. The cost and performance of each project will be evaluated in the context of a net-zero carbon system that may include negative emission assets. Recent work suggests that a system LCOE of $75/MWh for a net-zero carbon electricity system is possible.  FLECCS is a 2-phase program. Phase 1 focuses on designing and optimizing innovative CCS processes that enable flexibility on a high-VRE grid. Phase 1 will last for approximately 15 months and include approximately $7 million in Federal funding. Based on the output of the individual projects, engineering design review, and capacity expansion analysis, ARPA-E will select projects to continue to the next phase. Phase 2 will focus on building components, unit operations, and small prototype systems to reduce the technical risk and cost associated with these CCS systems. This phase will last for approximately 3 years and have a total budget of approximately $36 million in Federal funding.

Green Electricity Network Integration

The projects in ARPA-E's GENI program, short for "Green Electricity Network Integration," aim to modernize the way electricity is transmitted in the U.S. through advances in hardware and software for the electric grid. These advances will improve the efficiency and reliability of electricity transmission, increase the amount of renewable energy the grid can utilize, and provide energy suppliers and consumers with greater control over their power flows in order to better manage peak power demand and cost.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.

Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science

The IDEAS program - short for Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science - provides a continuing opportunity for the rapid support of early-stage applied research to explore pioneering new concepts with the potential for transformational and disruptive changes in energy technology. IDEAS awards, which are restricted to maximums of one year in duration and $500,000 in funding, are intended to be flexible and may take the form of analyses or exploratory research that provides the agency with information useful for the subsequent development of focused technology programs. IDEAS awards may also support proof-of-concept research to develop a unique technology concept, either in an area not currently supported by the agency or as a potential enhancement to an ongoing focused technology program. This program identifies potentially disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies that challenge the status quo and represent a leap beyond today's technology. That said, an innovative concept alone is not enough. IDEAS projects must also represent a fundamentally new paradigm in energy technology and have the potential to significantly impact ARPA-E's mission areas.

Innovative Materials and Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies

IMPACCT's projects seek to develop technologies for existing coal-fired power plants that will lower the cost of carbon capture. Short for "Innovative Materials and Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies," the IMPACCT program is geared toward minimizing the cost of removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plant exhaust by developing materials and processes that have never before been considered for this application. Retrofitting coal-fired power plants to capture the CO2 they produce would enable greenhouse gas reductions without forcing these plants to close, shifting away from the inexpensive and abundant U.S. coal supply.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here. 

Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advances in Light Metals Systems

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's METALS program, short for "Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advances in Light Metal Systems," aim to find cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals for lightweight vehicles and aircraft. Processing light metals such as aluminum, titanium, and magnesium more efficiently would enable competition with incumbent structural metals like steel to manufacture vehicles and aircraft that meet demanding fuel efficiency standards without compromising performance or safety.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) program are developing innovative technologies to cost-effectively and accurately locate and measure methane emissions associated with natural gas production. Such low-cost sensing systems are needed to reduce methane leaks anywhere from the wellpad to local distribution networks, reduce safety hazards, promote more efficient use of our domestic natural gas resources, and reduce the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) impact from natural gas development. In order to evaluate the performance of each MONITOR technology to locate and quantify fugitive methane emissions, the MONITOR Field Test Site will develop a representative test facility that simulates real-world natural gas operations--at the wellpad and further downstream. Specifically, the MONITOR Test Site supports the operation of a multi-user field test site for MONITOR performers to validate performance under realistic use-case scenarios--and meet the MONITOR program's required metrics related to localization, quantification, communications and cost. Data generated during the field tests will demonstrate the performance capabilities of the technologies and could be used by the MONITOR performers to accelerate the commercialization and/or regulatory approval of their technologies.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2009, ARPA-E issued an open call for the most revolutionary energy technologies to form the agency's inaugural program. The first open solicitation was open to ideas from all energy areas and focused on funding projects already equipped with strong research and development plans for their potentially high-impact technologies. The projects chosen received a level of financial support that could accelerate technical progress and catalyze additional investment from the private sector. After only 2 months, ARPA-E's investment in these projects catalyzed an additional $33 million in investments. In response to ARPA-E's first open solicitation, more than 3,700 concept papers flooded into the new agency, which were thoroughly reviewed by a team of 500 scientists and engineers in just 6 months. In the end, 36 projects were selected as ARPA-E's first award recipients, receiving $176 million in federal funding.
 For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2012, ARPA-E issued its second open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received more than 4,000 concept papers for OPEN 2012, which hundreds of scientists and engineers thoroughly reviewed over the course of several months. In the end, ARPA-E selected 66 projects for its OPEN 2012 program, awarding them a total of $130 million in federal funding. OPEN 2012 projects cut across 11 technology areas: advanced fuels, advanced vehicle design and materials, building efficiency, carbon capture, grid modernization, renewable power, stationary power generation, water, as well as stationary, thermal, and transportation energy storage.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2015, ARPA-E issued its third open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received more than 2,000 concept papers for OPEN 2015, which hundreds of scientists and engineers thoroughly reviewed over the course of several months. In the end, ARPA-E selected 41 projects for its OPEN 2015 program, awarding them a total of $125 million in federal funding. OPEN 2015 projects cut across ten technology areas: building efficiency, industrial processes and waste heat, data management and communication, wind, solar, tidal and distributed generation, grid scale storage, power electronics, power grid system performance, vehicle efficiency, storage for electric vehicles, and alternative fuels and bio-energy.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2018, ARPA-E issued its fourth open funding opportunity, designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received thousands of concept papers for OPEN 2018, which hundreds of scientists and engineers reviewed over the course of several months. ARPA-E selected 45 projects for its OPEN 2018 program, awarding them $112 million in federal funding. OPEN 2018 projects cut across ten technology areas: building efficiency, distributed generation, electrical efficiency, grid, grid storage, manufacturing efficiency, resource efficiency, transportation fuels, transportation energy conversion, and transportation vehicles.

Power Nitride Doping Innovation Offers Devices Enabling SWITCHES

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's PNDIODES (Power Nitride Doping Innovation Offers Devices Enabling SWITCHES) program seek to develop transformational advances in the process of selective area doping in the wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor, gallium nitride (GaN), and its alloys. Wide-bandgap semiconductors have applications similar to today's popular semiconductors, such as silicon and gallium arsenide, but with properties that allow them to operate at much higher voltages, frequencies and temperatures than these traditional materials. These qualities inherent to WBGs stand to enable high-power, high-performance power conversion hardware for a broad range of applications, including consumer electronics, the electricity grid, power supplies, solar and wind power, automotive, ship propulsion, and aerospace. The doping process, the challenge central to the PNDIODES program, consists of adding a specific impurity to a semiconductor to change its electrical properties--altering its physical makeup to achieve performance characteristics that are useful for electronics. Developing a reliable and usable doping process that can be applied to specific regions of the semiconductor gallium nitride and its alloys remains an important obstacle in the fabrication of power electronics devices using this technology. The PNDIODES program is an extension of ARPA-E's SWITCHES (Strategies for Wide-Bandgap, Inexpensive Transistors for Controlling High-Efficiency Systems) program, seeking to fill technological gaps in the area of selective area doping, further advancing the field by addressing the problem of producing sufficiently high quality and reliably doped regions in GaN and its alloys to create viable high-power, high-performance transistors.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.    

Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's REACT program, short for "Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies", are developing cost-effective alternatives to rare earths, the naturally occurring minerals with unique magnetic properties that are used in electric vehicle (EV) motors and wind generators. The REACT projects will identify low-cost and abundant replacement materials for rare earths while encouraging existing technologies to use them more efficiently. These alternatives would facilitate the widespread use of EVs and wind power, drastically reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
  For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.    

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