ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 5

On September 7, 2021, WHOOP launched its latest wearable fitness device, WHOOP 4.0, which will feature Sila Nanotechnologies’ new battery technology. Their technology replaces graphite anodes with silicon (Si) to increase the energy density of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which can reduce battery size without sacrificing safety or performance. Sila Nanotechnologies’ anode technology helps enable the WHOOP 4.0’s slim design.   Compared with the previous model, the WHOOP 4.0 has…


Fusing for Further Advancement: Introducing the ARPA-E Fusion Capability Teams

Over the past several years, ARPA-E has funded a number of fusion “capability teams” through the Fusion Diagnostics “Exploratory Topic” (2019) and the BETHE program (2020) to accelerate fusion-energy R&D via public-private partnerships. These capability teams, drawing predominantly from federally funded researchers at U.S. national laboratories and universities, bring state-of-the-art tools (including diagnostic instruments and computational modeling) and expertise to help ARPA-E-supported fusion concept teams (and other federally and privately supported fusion teams) accelerate progress…


ARPA-E Announces Over $9 Million in Funding to Technology Projects Working to Remove Harmful Greenhouse Gas From U.S. Power Grid

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced it selected four projects to receive a combined $9.4 million to develop technology focused on removing sulfur hexafluoride—a significantly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide—from the U.S. power grid. The four projects selected to receive funding include the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.; Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga.; GE Grid Solutions, LLC in Charleroi, Pa.; and Toshiba International Corporation in Houston, Texas. “The climate crisis is already devastating…


Announcing Grid Optimization (GO) Competition Challenge 2 Winners

The Grid Optimization (GO) Competition—managed by ARPA‑E—is a series of challenges aimed at developing software management solutions to address challenging power grid problems. The competition’s intent is to create a more reliable, resilient and secure American electricity grid.  The GO Competition began with Challenge 1, which tasked participating teams to find solutions to a security constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem. Challenge 2 expands upon the SCOPF problem posed in Challenge 1 by adding new features including transmission line switching, adjustable…


NIFty and SPARCly: Recent Achievements in Fusion

On August 17, 2021, a New York Times article proclaimed a fusion energy release of 1.3 megajoules from 1.9 megajoules of incident laser energy, achieved at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The announcement of such a significant physics result rocked the fusion world, renewing discussions on R&D to enable commercially viable embodiments of laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF). While the NIF result equals the decades-old record tokamak scientific…


REPAIR Program Update: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

ARPA-E has kicked off a 3-year, $38M research program called REPAIR (Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement) to rehabilitate cast iron, wrought iron, and bare steel natural gas distribution pipes. The goal of the program is to use robots to create a new pipe inside the old pipe. For the program to be successful, the new pipe must meet utilities and regulatory agencies’ requirements, have a minimum life of 50 years, and possess sufficient material properties to operate throughout its service life without relying on the exterior pipe. Considering that gas utilities have…


Refueling Carbon Neutral Liquid Fuel Development with REFUEL+IT

Working to find outside-the-box solutions that address existing limitations of energy technologies is a unifying goal among many ARPA-E programs. A core aspect of our mission is to look at how we can develop new materials, new processes, and new technologies to solve complex problems, with a particular focus on decreasing carbon emissions across a range of energy applications. One such space that ARPA-E identified for impact back in 2016 was the development of manufacturing low-carbon, renewable liquid fuels that are cost and performance competitive with existing petroleum-based fuels.…


The Heat is ON this Summer at ARPA-E

It’s July, and it being the middle of Summer means temperatures are rising and Americans across the country are doing their best to manage the heat in different ways. While people in business and residential spaces seek to keep temperatures as cool and comfortable as possible and electricity costs low (check out this throwback blog about some ARPA-E projects working to do just that), managing heat and thermal energy is also extremely important in almost every aspect of energy technology development. Heat itself - or more specifically thermal energy - is involved in over 90% of all energy…


A Virtual First: The 2021 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Recap

Nearly every year – we took a little break in 2020 –  ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit gathers participants from across the country and around the world to meet and discuss some of the most pressing issues in energy technology development. The Summit’s Main Stage program features high-level speakers and thought leaders, including Cabinet Secretaries, CEOs, and entrepreneurs working to design the energy systems and technologies of the future. The Summit’s popular Technology Showcase features presentations, displays, and interactive booths from ARPA-E performers who show off the cutting…


ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 4

Update: October 19, 2021 ESS began trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange on October 11, 2021. ESS’ (NYSE: GWH) batteries provide a new tool for decarbonizing the grid and further ARPA-E's mission of changing what's possible in how we generate, use, and store energy. For a look back at ESS’ time as an ARPA-E project, check out the original blog below and watch the video we recorded with them in 2017. Long Duration Storage with ESS, Inc. On May 7, 2021, ESS Inc. (ESS) announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination…