Blog Posts
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. Last month, 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
Newest ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Robert (Bob) J. Ledoux’s professional experience ranges from professor to entrepreneur and his patents from nonintrusive cargo inspection to medical technologies. Recently we had a chance to visit with Dr. Ledoux to discuss how he will bring his experience to bear to further ARPA-E’s mission.

Blog Posts
Here at ARPA-E, we’re constantly looking for new white space where we can innovate American energy technologies to increase efficiency and decrease emissions. How people get around has always been an area of interest to us. For instance, we’ve launched programs focused on developing transportation technologies that use smart connected vehicles or alternative power sources and storage technologies for electric motors. Now, our Program Directors are looking at developing transportation programs in a different space – one that has required them to look to the sky.

Blog Posts
Every year, convention centers around the world fill with eager attendees looking for a chance to experience firsthand the latest and greatest in the world of automobile innovation. Whether you’re a classic gearhead or technology enthusiast, the auto manufacturers’ annual showcase season is truly a sight to behold. To celebrate car show season, here’s a quick look at some of ARPA-E’s transportation portfolio and a few projects that could one day shape how Americans get around. 

Slick Sheet: Project
This project will develop a unique, fully integrated, Python-based open-source software tool to evaluate strategies for deploying advanced locomotive technologies and associated infrastructure for cost-effective decarbonization. ALTRIOS will simulate energy conversion and storage dynamics, locomotive and train dynamics, meet-pass planning (detailed train timetabling), and freight-demand-driven train scheduling in a Pareto optimization.

Slick Sheet: Project
The Penn State team is developing a fully open-source toolset for exploring and optimizing Energy Storage and Power (ES&P) systems for rail transportation. The core of the toolset will be an Energy-Longitudinal Train Dynamics (E-LTD) model that represents the train as a complex rolling micro-grid of power sources and sinks, determining the optimal power flow policy for each. The E-LTD will model power demands and calculate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel consumption, power, acquisition, operations and support, and infrastructure costs.

Slick Sheet: Project
Advanced Conductor Technologies will develop two-pole, high-temperature, superconducting DC power cables and connectors with a power rating of up to 50 MW to enable twin-aisle aircraft with distributed electric propulsion to reduce carbon emissions. The cables and connectors will contain insulation independent of the cryogenic medium used as coolant and allow an operating voltage of 10 kV. Because they have intrinsic fault current limiting capabilities, the cables can protect the power distribution network from over-currents.

Slick Sheet: Project
New propulsion and energy storage (ES) systems technologies, as well as the charging/fueling infrastructure, must be developed to fully decarbonize U.S. rail freight greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Northwestern will develop and apply analysis, evaluation, and decision tools to assess the effectiveness of technologies and deployment strategies to significantly reduce GHG emissions from the rail freight sector.

Slick Sheet: Project
To make the power density of electric aircraft closer to conventional aircraft, an electric power system (EPS) with high power delivery and low system mass is necessary. As an essential component of aircraft EPS, cables are necessary to transmit power from one node to another. Virginia Tech will develop a high-power density, cost-effective ±5 kV cable for twin-aisle all-electric aircraft.

Slick Sheet: Project
GE Research will develop a safe, lightweight, and altitude-capable megawatt power cable system with electromagnetic interference shielding capability for large aircraft. The proposed 10 MW cable system is expected to achieve ten times greater power density than conventional technology without degradation by partial discharge and is fire safe and oil resistant.