Blog Posts
The U.S. electric grid has limited ability to store excess energy, so electricity must constantly be over-generated to assure reliable supply. Advanced energy storage promises to play a key role in modernizing the nation’s electricity grid to enable the integration of increasing amounts of renewables, improve operating capabilities, enhance reliability, allow deferral of infrastructure investments and provide backup power during emergencies. The Primus Power and City University of New York Energy Institute (CUNY-EI) teams developed unique approaches to turning battery storage ideas into reality.

Blog Posts
Long-duration electricity storage (LDES) – storage systems that can discharge for 10 hours or more at their rated power – have recently gained a lot of attention and continue to be a technology space of interest in energy innovation discussions. The increased interest stems from a growing appreciation and acknowledgement of the need for “firm” low-carbon energy resources to complement variable renewable generators like wind and solar, and ARPA-E is actively working to increase storage capacity to help fill this need. 

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ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovation to create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D support to businesses, universities, and national labs to develop technologies that could fundamentally change the way we get, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided approximately $2 billion in support to more than 800 energy technology projects. In January, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. Check out these projects turning ideas into reality.

Blog Posts
ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovations that will help create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D funding for technologies that could fundamentally change the way we get, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided approximately $2 billion in R&D funding for more than 800 energy technology projects.

Blog Posts
On September 3, 2020, battery producer QuantumScape announced its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange through a reverse-merger with the special public acquisition company Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. at an implied value of $3.3 billion. QuantumScape spun out of a project at Stanford University that was awarded $1.5 million to develop transportation battery technology under the Batteries for Electrical Storage in Transportation (BEEST) program.

Slick Sheet: Project
SiEnergy Systems is developing a hybrid electrochemical system that uses a multi-functional electrode to allow the cell to perform as both a fuel cell and a battery, a capability that does not exist today. A fuel cell can convert chemical energy stored in domestically abundant natural gas to electrical energy at high efficiency, but adoption of these technologies has been slow due to high cost and limited functionality. SiEnergy’s design would expand the functional capability of a fuel cell to two modes: fuel cell mode and battery mode.

Slick Sheet: Project
The University of South Carolina is developing an intermediate-temperature, ceramic-based fuel cell that will both generate and store electrical power with high efficiencies. Reducing operating temperatures for fuel cells is critical to enabling distributed power generation. The device will incorporate a newly discovered ceramic electrolyte and nanostructured electrodes that enable it to operate at temperatures lower than 500ºC, far below the temperatures associated with fuel cells for grid-scale power generation.

Slick Sheet: Project
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) is developing an intermediate-temperature fuel cell that is capable of utilizing a wide variety of carbon-based input fuels such as methane, butane, propane, or coal without reformation. Current fuel cell technologies require the use of a reformer – which turns hydrocarbon fuels into hydrogen and can generate heat and produce gases. PARC’s design will include a novel electrolyte membrane system that doesn’t have a methane-to-hydrogen reformer, and transports oxygen in a form that allows it to react directly with almost any fuel.

Slick Sheet: Project
Materials & Systems Research, Inc. (MSRI) is developing an intermediate-temperature fuel cell capable of electrochemically converting natural gas into electricity or liquid fuel in a single step. Existing solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) convert the chemical energy of hydrocarbons—such as hydrogen or methane—into electricity at higher efficiencies than traditional power generators, but are expensive to manufacture and operate at extremely high temperatures, introducing durability and cost concerns over time.

Slick Sheet: Project
MIT will develop critical components for a new, cost-effective, high efficiency power storage system to store renewable energy at grid scale and discharge it on demand. The system combines low-cost, very high-temperature energy storage with high-efficiency, innovative semiconductor converters used to transform heat into electricity. MIT’s technology would store heat at temperatures above 2000°C (3600°F) and convert it to electricity using specialized photovoltaic cells designed to remain efficient under the intense infrared heat a high-temperature emitter radiates.