Press Releases
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $33 million in funding for 17 projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Aviation-class Synergistically Cooled Electric-motors with iNtegrated Drives (ASCEND) and Range Extenders for Electric Aviation with Low Carbon and High Efficiency (REEACH) programs.

Blog Posts
by Dr. David Babson We live in a carbon-based economy. From the fuels that power our trains, planes, and automobiles to the materials used in our earbuds and iPhone cases, carbon is a critical backbone of our modern economy. Despite our need to actively mitigate and remove carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from our atmosphere, our future economy will not be a low-carbon economy that emphasizes incremental GHG reductions as much as it will be a new carbon economy: one that removes, efficiently uses, and sequesters more carbon than it emits.

Slick Sheet: Project
The Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) will develop a new approach to internally cool permanent magnet motors. The technology could dramatically improve electric motors’ power density and reduce system size and weight. To do so, the team will integrate motor and drive electronics into a unique system packaging incorporating an embedded advanced thermal management system. They will also develop wide bandgap power electronics packaging to enable high power density operations at higher temperature.

Slick Sheet: Project
Achates Power will develop an opposed-piston engine suitable for hybrid electric vehicle applications. The team will use a unique gasoline compression ignition design that minimizes energy losses (e.g., heat transfer) typical in conventional internal combustion engines. A motor-generator integrated on each engine crankshaft will provide independent control to each piston and eliminate all torque transmitted across the crankshaft connection, thus reducing engine size, mass, cost, friction, and noise.

Slick Sheet: Project
Pinnacle Engines will develop a highly efficient hybrid electric engine that, if successful, will significantly reduce petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. Adding a unique electric powertrain to Pinnacle’s four-stroke, spark-ignited, opposed-piston sleeve-valve engine technology enables a fundamental leap forward in fuel efficiency. Electric motor-generators on each crankshaft will improve engine efficiency by modifying and optimizing the piston motion and resulting combustion process.

Slick Sheet: Project
Advanced Magnet Lab (AML) is developing a reliable, contact-free current transfer mechanism from a stationary to a rotating electrode to allow direct current (DC) electrical machines, motors, and generators to achieve unprecedented power and torque density. This technology, a reimagining of the first electric “homopolar” motor invented by Michael Faraday, would provide current transfer without the need for the costly sliding contacts, brushes, and liquids that have limited DC electrical engine efficiency and lifetime.

Slick Sheet: Project
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is developing a metal-supported SOFC (MS-SOFC) stack that produces electricity from an ethanol-water blend at high efficiency and energy density. This technology will enable light- to medium-duty hybrid passenger EVs to operate at a long range, with higher efficiency than gasoline vehicles and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than current vehicles.

Slick Sheet: Project
The team led by Achates Power will develop an internal combustion engine that combines two promising engine technologies: an opposed-piston (OP) engine configuration and gasoline compression ignition (GCI). Compression ignition OP engines are inherently more efficient than existing spark-ignited 4-stroke engines (potentially up to 50% higher thermal efficiency using gasoline) while providing comparable power and torque, and showing the potential to meet future tailpipe emissions standards.

Slick Sheet: Project
The University of Michigan team will develop a compact micro-hybrid configuration that pairs an Electrically Assisted Variable Speed (EAVS) supercharger with an exhaust expander Waste Energy Recovery (WER) system. Together, the EAVS and WER can nearly eliminate the slow air-path dynamics associated with turbocharge inertia and high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).

Slick Sheet: Project
Cummins Corporate Research & Technology will develop an advanced high efficiency natural gas-fueled internal combustion engine for high-power distributed electricity generation. The team is seeking to achieve 55% brake thermal efficiency while maintaining low exhaust emissions. The enabling technology is wet compression, where fine droplets of water are sprayed directly into the engine cylinders, causing the charge temperature to drop and thereby prevent the onset of damaging engine knock at high compression ratios.