Displaying 901 - 945 of 945

Status: ALUMNI
State: WA
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2012

University of Washington (UW)

Microbe-Based Methane to Diesel Conversion

The University of Washington (UW) is developing technologies for microbes to convert methane found in natural gas into liquid diesel fuel. Specifically the project seeks to significantly increase the amount of lipids produced by the microbe, and to develop novel catalytic technology to directly convert these lipids to liquid fuel. These engineered microbes could enable small-scale methane-to-liquid conversion at lower cost than conventional methods. Small-scale, microbe-based conversion would leverage abundant, domestic natural gas resources and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.


Status: ALUMNI
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: ARID

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

Advanced Heat Exchangers

The University of Wisconsin (UW-Madison) and its partner Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop enabling technologies for low-cost, high-performance air-cooled heat exchangers. The objective is to create an optimization algorithm in order to identify and design a novel heat exchanger topology with very high heat transfer performance. The team also plans to develop a high-thermal conductivity polymer composite filament that can be used in additive manufacturing (3D printing) to produce the high-performance heat exchanger design. Due to the design freedom enabled by additive manufacturing,…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: CIRCUITS

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

Inverters for PM Machine Drives

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) and its project team will develop new integrated motor drives (IMDs) using current-source inverters (CSIs). Recent advances in both silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) wide-bandgap semiconductor devices make these power switches well-suited for the selected CSI topology that the team plans to integrate into high-efficiency electric motors with spinning permanent magnets. The objective is to take advantage of the special performance characteristics of the technology to increase the penetration of variable-speed drives into heating,…


Status: ALUMNI
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: GRID DATA

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

EPIGRIDS Transmission System Models

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) and its partners will develop realistic transmission system models and scenarios that will serve as test cases to reduce barriers to the development and adoption of new technologies in grid optimization and control. The EPIGRIDS project aims to construct realistic grid models by using software to emulate the transmission and generation expansion decision processes used by utility planners. This synthetic model development will utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data on population density, industrial and commercial energy consumption…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: INTEGRATE

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

An Integrated High Pressure SOFC and Premixed Compression Ignition Engine System

The University of Wisconsin - Madison will develop components for a hybrid distributed energy generation system that couples a pressurized solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with a premixed compression ignition (PCI) engine system. In the resulting system, gases that leave the fuel cell, which consumes about 75% of the fuel, are directed into the engine to be ignited by compression of the pistons. To achieve a targeted 70% electric efficiency, the SOFC system must operate near 75% fuel utilization. When operating at this high level of fuel utilization, however, the flame speed of the leftover fuel…


Status: CANCELLED
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2012

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

Turning Sunlight, CO2, and Water into Fuel

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell are developing a low-cost metal catalyst to produce fuel precursors using abundant and renewable solar energy, water, and waste CO2 inputs. When placed in sunlight, the catalyst’s nanostructured surface enables the formation of hydrocarbons from CO2 and water by a plasmonic catalytic effect. These hydrocarbons can be refined and blended to produce a fuel compatible with typical cars and trucks. Wisconsin is proving the technology in a small reactor before scaling up conceptual designs that could be…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2018

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

Accelerated Materials Design for Molten Salt Technologies Using Innovative High-Throughput Methods

The University of Wisconsin’s integrated toolset seeks to expedite molten salt materials development for technology by two orders of magnitude, compared with current methods. The team will combine advances in additive manufacturing, in-place testing for materials/salt compatibility, new molten salt-resistant mini-electrode designs, and machine learning algorithms to optimize and accelerate identification of molten salt corrosion-resistant materials. Those materials can be used in energy applications including molten salt nuclear reactors, concentrated solar plants, and thermal storage.


Status: ACTIVE
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2018

University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW-Madison)

A Persistence Meter for Nimble Alarming Using Ambient Synchrophasor Data

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop an online monitoring tool to assess the stability of the power grid. The tool will determine options to increase grid stability as well as detect and isolate forced oscillations, which are often indicative of faulty control actions at plants and can be potentially dangerous if they excite a natural mode of the system. To accomplish this, the team will fine-tune the underlying computations, develop alarm and notification procedures, and design a user-friendly and practical tool interface. This approach could dramatically transform grid stability…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: MARINER

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)

Genome-Wide Seaweed Studies

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) will lead a MARINER Category 5 project to develop a breeding program and enable the development of macroalgae varieties that consistently produce high yields under farmed conditions. Controlled genetic improvements through crop breeding require establishing a bank of genetically homogeneous lines that are examined for markers and traits important for domestication and production. The researchers will sample giant sea kelp from the Southern California Bight, an area of high genetic diversity. The team will assess phenotypic performance of these…


Status: ALUMNI
State: UT
Project Term: -
Program: AMPED

Utah State University (USU)

Dynamic Cell-Level Control for Battery Packs

Utah State University (USU) is developing electronic hardware and control software to create an advanced battery management system that actively maximizes the performance of each cell in a battery pack. No two battery cells are alike—they differ over their life-times in terms of charge and discharge rates, capacity, and temperature characteristics, among other things. Traditionally, these issues have been managed by matching similarly performing cells at the factory level and conservative design and operation of battery packs, but this is an incomplete solution, leading to costly batching of…


Status: ALUMNI
State: UT
Project Term: -
Program: IDEAS

Utah State University (USU)

Feasibility Analysis of Electric Roadways

Utah State University (USU) will develop a technoeconomic analysis to assess the feasibility and environmental and economic impacts of various electric roadway technologies. This project will aggregate, synthesize, and link previously isolated data sets to form a high-resolution, comprehensive assessment of electric roadways at the regional scale. Localized grid and road construction cost estimates are being considered. Targeted outcomes include identification of first adopters, economic and environmental cost/benefit of incremental deployment, and technology gaps that can accelerate adoption…


Status: ACTIVE
State: CA
Project Term: -
Program: HITEMMP

Vacuum Process Engineering (VPE)

Compact Diffusion Bonded Printed-Circuit Heat Exchanger Development Using Nickel Superalloys for Highly Power Dense and Efficient Modular Energy Production Systems

Vacuum Process engineering will develop a superalloy-based printed circuit heat exchanger for operation at temperatures exceeding 800°C (1472°F) and pressures above 80 bar (1160 psi). The team will build the heat exchanger applying a diffusion solid-state welding manufacturing technique, which uses stacked individual metal sheets with semi-circular channels formed from a chemical treatment process. The goal is to create a highly effective, high temperature compact heat exchanger with a high-strength bond during the welding capable of containing the very high pressure fluid at elevated…


Status: ALUMNI
State: IN
Project Term: -
Program: METALS

Valparaiso University

Solar/Electrolytic Production of Magnesium from Ore

Valparaiso University is developing a solar electro-thermal reactor that produces magnesium from magnesium oxide. Current magnesium production processes involve high-temperature steps that consume large amounts of energy. Valparaiso’s reactor would extract magnesium using concentrated solar power to supply its thermal energy, minimizing the need for electricity. The reactor would be surrounded by mirrors that track the sun and capture heat for high-temperature magnesium electrolysis. Because Valparaiso’s reactor is powered by solar energy as opposed to burning fossil fuels, integrating…


Status: ACTIVE
State: TN
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2015

Vanderbilt University

Software for Smarter Grids

Vanderbilt University will develop a foundation platform for developing and deploying robust, reliable, effective and secure software applications for the Smart Grid. The Resilient Information Architecture Platform for the Smart Grid (RIAPS) provides core services for building effective and powerful smart grid applications. It offers unique services for real-time data dissemination, fault tolerance, and coordination across apps distributed over the network. The platform will allow plug-and-play architecture by providing a software layer that isolates the hardware details making software…


Status: ACTIVE
State: TN
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2018

Vanderbilt University

Bipolar Membranes with an Electrospun 3D Junction

The Vanderbilt University team will develop a new bipolar membrane featuring a three-dimensional water splitting or water formation junction region, prepared by an electrospinning process. The team’s membrane will allow for higher current density operation as compared to conventional BPMs while maintining a low operating voltage, long-term durability, and high separation efficiency. These membranes will be useful in electrodialysis, electrolysis, and fuel cell applications.


Status: ALUMNI
State: CA
Project Term: -
Program: GENI

Varentec

Dynamic Power Flow Controller

Varentec is developing compact, low-cost transmission power controllers with fractional power rating for controlling power flow on transmission networks. The technology will enhance grid operations through improved use of current assets and by dramatically reducing the number of transmission lines that have to be built to meet increasing contributions of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The proposed transmission controllers would allow for the dynamic control of voltage and power flow, improving the grid’s ability to dispatch power in real time to the places where it is most…


Status: ACTIVE
State: MA
Project Term: -
Program: Special Projects


Status: ACTIVE
State: MA
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2018

Via Separations

Scalable Graphene Oxide Membranes for Energy-Efficient Chemical Separations

Via Separations will work to develop a membrane platform made from highly robust sheets of graphene-oxide, a material known for its versatility, mechanical strength and relative thermal stability. These sheets will be tailored for specific chemical separation applications to replace conventional, energy-intensive industrial chemical separation processes. Through novelchemistries and innovative system-level intgeration, the proposed membrane platform promises a tunable molecular filtration capability and is highly resistant to chemical degradation. The team will demonstrate cost-effective,…


Status: ALUMNI
State: VA
Project Term: -
Program: REACT

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Carbon-Based Magnets

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is developing a new magnet for use in renewable power generators and EV motors that requires no rare earth minerals. Rare earths are difficult and expensive to process, but they make electric motors and generators smaller, lighter, and more efficient. VCU would replace the rare earth minerals in EV motor magnets with a low-cost and abundant carbon-based compound that resembles a fine black powder. This new magnet could demonstrate the same level of performance as the best commercial magnets available today at a significantly lower cost. The ultimate goal…


Status: ALUMNI
State: VA
Project Term: -
Program: SHIELD

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Crosslink Aerogels

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will develop innovative methods to produce aerogel-on-glass windowpanes for window retrofits. Silica aerogels are porous materials that can be used to control heat transfer across windows. However, widespread use of silica aerogels in windows has been limited by their mechanical fragility, difficulties with transparency, and high manufacturing costs. The team will use newly developed cross-linked aerogels that significantly improve the mechanical strength and durability of aerogels. Aerogels are typically produced through either air drying or…


Status: ACTIVE
State: VA
Project Term: -
Program: BETHE

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Capability in Theory, Modeling, and Validation for a Range of Innovative Fusion Concepts Using High-Fidelity Moment-Kinetic Models

As fusion machines move toward a burning-plasma regime, liquid first walls and blankets may be needed to handle first‑wall heat-flux, reduce erosion, and eventually to convert energy and generate tritium fuel. Repetitively pulsed fusion designs may require extreme electrode survivability, where the electrode may be solid, liquid, or a combination of both. It is critical to address how plasma dynamics in the fusion plasma will couple with both liquid-metal and electrode-material dynamics for fusion energy to become realizable. This Capability Team will use fluid and reduced kinetics, including…


Status: ACTIVE
State: VA
Project Term: -
Program: CIRCUITS

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

MOSFET-based Power Converters

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and its project team will develop high power, high voltage AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC modular power converters with a circuit configuration optimized for silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors. In medium voltage and high voltage applications, multilevel modular converters are the favored architecture that overcomes the limitations of Si. Such architecture requires high frequency galvanic isolation to attain higher operating voltages. This project seeks to develop modular power converters optimized for SiC devices without any…


Status: ACTIVE
State: VA
Project Term: -
Program: CIRCUITS

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Cascaded Multi-level Inverter

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) will develop a wide-bandgap-based, high power (100 kW) DC-to-AC inverter that can receive power from sources like batteries or solar panels and transfer it directly to the medium voltage level of the utility grid. The team will also integrate the device with an existing medium voltage AC-to-DC converter to build a bidirectional solid-state transformer that converts low-voltage AC to high-voltage AC without using heavy, low-frequency materials such as copper and iron in its design. The hardware prototype will be packaged with…


Status: ACTIVE
State: VA
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2018

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

20-kV GaN Switch Technology Demonstrated in High-Efficiency Medium-Voltage Building Block

Virginia Tech will accelerate deployment of power electronics into grid-scale energy applications by developing 20 kV GaN devices integrated into a medium-voltage (MV) power module. For the GaN power devices, high-quality substrates and innovative growth techniques will be used to reduce the background impurity contamination in the thick layers needed to block 20 kV. The power module will be fabricated using three-dimensional packaging for improved thermal management and high-power density at 20 kV. The power module will enable the full potential of high-voltage, high-temperature, and fast-…


Status: ALUMNI
State: MD
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2012

Vorbeck Materials

High-Performance, Low-Cost Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Vorbeck Materials is developing a low-cost, fast-charging storage battery for hybrid vehicles. The battery cells are based on lithium-sulfur (Li-S) chemistries, which have a greater energy density compared to today’s Li-Ion batteries. Vorbeck’s approach involves developing a Li-S battery with radically different design for both cathode and anode. The technology has the potential to capture more energy, increasing the efficiency of hybrid vehicles by up to 20% while reducing cost and greenhouse gas emissions.


Status: ACTIVE
State: WA
Project Term: -
Program: INTEGRATE

Washington State University (WSU)

De-Coupled Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Gas Turbine Hybrid (dFC-GT)

Washington State University will develop a hybrid power system using a high-pressure, high-temperature fuel cell stack and gas turbine. The project will examine the benefits of a decoupled design, in which the fuel cell stack and gas turbine components are not directly connected within the hybrid system. The team’s other primary innovation is the integration of a membrane to concentrate oxygen from air supplied by the turbine before feeding it into the fuel cell, which avoids pressurizing the entire air feed stream, improving performance and boosting efficiency. The pressurized solid oxide…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WA
Project Term: -
Program: Special Projects

Washington State University (WSU)

Biopolymer Modified Cementitious Systems with Radically Superior Strength and Durability

Develop a scalable process to fortify cement paste at the atomic scale with biopolymer-based nanomaterials derived from chitin, a waste material produced by the seafood industry in millions of tons annually. The newly enabled concrete is envisioned to transform the U.S. construction market, saving of dollars in repair and reconstruction costs every year and dramatically improving lifecycle energy and emissions costs for infrastructure.


Status: ACTIVE
State: MO
Project Term: -
Program: IONICS

Washington University

Reinforced AEM Separators

The Washington University team will develop new membrane separators for redox flow batteries using a styrene-ethylene-butylene block copolymer. The team will investigate three types of membrane construction to achieve the high levels of ion selectivity and mechanical stability necessary for use in flow batteries. If needed, the team will also explore the addition of inorganic silica particles in the polymer membrane to enhance selectivity. While many flow batteries utilize proton exchange membrane (PEM) separators that conduct positively-charged ions, the proposed membrane in this project is…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WV
Project Term: -
Program: GENSETS

West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVURC)

Advanced Stirling Power Generation System for CHP

West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVURC) and their partner, Infinia Technology Corporation, propose to demonstrate an advanced Stirling power generation system for residential CHP applications. A Stirling engine uses a working gas housed in a sealed environment, in this case the working gas is helium. When heated by the natural gas-fueled burner, the helium expands causing a piston to move and interact with a linear alternator to produce electricity. As the gas cools and contracts, the process resets before repeating again. Advanced Stirling engines endeavor to carefully manage…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WV
Project Term: -
Program: GENSETS

West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVURC)

Oscillating Linear Engine and Alternator

West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVURC), along with its partners at ANSYS, Inc., Sustainable Engineering, Wilson Works, and Stryke Industries, will develop a CHP generator for residential use based on a two-stroke, spark-ignited free-piston internal combustion engine (ICE). Traditional internal combustion engines use the force generated by the combustion of a fuel (natural gas in this case) to move a piston, transferring chemical energy to mechanical energy, which when used in conjunction with a generator produces electricity. This free-piston design differs from traditional…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WV
Project Term: -
Program: REFUEL

West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVURC)

Microwave-Plasma Ammonia Synthesis

West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVURC) will develop a process to convert renewable electricity, water, and air into ammonia using plasma excitation at low temperatures and pressures. This process is different from both electrochemical conversion processes and catalytic processes like the HB process. In this form of physical activation, the microwave-plasma process can activate nitrogen and hydrogen, generating ions and free radicals that react over the catalyst surface to form ammonia. Under the correct conditions, microwave heating can selectively heat the catalyst to the…


Status: ACTIVE
State: PA
Project Term: -
Program: MEITNER

Westinghouse Electric Company

Self-regulating, Solid Core Block for an Inherently Safe Heat Pipe Reactor

Westinghouse Electric Company will develop a self-regulating "solid core block" (SCB) that employs solid material (instead of bulk liquid flow or moving parts) to passively regulate the reaction rate in a micro-scale nuclear reactor. The project aims for the reactor to achieve safe shutdown without the need for additional controls, external power sources, or operator intervention, enabling highly autonomous operation. The SCB is key to the reactor design, which is comprised of a core (containing fuel, moderator, and axial reflectors) and primary and decay heat exchangers, all connected end to…


Status: ALUMNI
State: KS
Project Term: -
Program: REFUEL

Wichita State University

Alkaline Membrane-Based Ammonia Electrosynthesis

Wichita State University will develop a renewable energy-powered electrochemical device for ammonia production at ambient temperature. This allows the unit to consume less energy but maintain high productivity. The goal is an alternative path for ammonia electrochemical synthesis from water and air without the need for the high temperature and pressure required by the Haber-Bosch process. The key innovation is the use of a hydroxide-exchange membrane (HEM) polymer electrolyte. The more commonly used proton exchange membranes (PEM) present major challenges leading to low efficiency for PEM-…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WI
Project Term: -
Program: GENSETS

Wisconsin Engine Research Consultants (WERC)

Spark-Assisted HCCI Residential Generator

Wisconsin Engine Research Consultants (WERC) and its partners Adiabatics, Briggs and Stratton, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop a generator using an internal combustion engine (ICE) that incorporates an advanced spark-assisted homogeneous charge compression ignition (SA-HCCI) system. Traditional internal combustion engines use the force generated by the combustion of a fuel (e.g. natural gas) to move a piston, transferring chemical energy to mechanical energy. This can then be used in conjunction with a generator to create electricity. SA-HCCI systems achieve combustion by…


Status: ACTIVE
State: MA
Project Term: -
Program: MARINER

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Seaweed Hatchery and Selective Breeding Technologies

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution leads a MARINER Category 5 project, to develop a selective breeding program for sugar kelp, Saccharina latissima, one of the most commercially important kelp varieties. The goal of the project is to improve productivity and cost effectiveness of seaweed farming. The breeding program will build a germplasm library associated with plants that produce a 20% to 30% yield improvement over plants currently in the field. By using a combination of novel rapid phenotyping, genome-wide association studies, and genome prediction methods, the team…


Status: ACTIVE
State: MA
Project Term: -
Program: MARINER

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Monitoring Macroalgae Using Acoustics and UUV

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will lead a MARINER Category 4 project to develop an autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) system for monitoring large-scale seaweed farms for extended periods. Compared to more costly human labor and boat operations, UUV systems present an attractive option for consistent, daily monitoring of large-scale, offshore seaweed farms. The system will routinely survey and quantify key parameters such as infrastructure health, macroalgae growth rate, and nutrient content of the water. An upward/downward split-beam acoustic echosounder will use sonar…


Status: ACTIVE
State: TX
Project Term: -
Program: ATLANTIS

WS Atkins

Scale Model Experiments for Co-Designed FOWTs Supporting a High-Capacity (15-MW) Turbine

WS Atkins will focus on generating experimental data that can be used to validate computer programs and new technologies developed for FOWT applications. The team will conduct experiments of 15-MW (megawatt) wind turbine scale models in world-class test facilities to assess the behavior of conventional and unconventional FOWT structures with advanced solutions. The WS Atkins team will make their data accessible to ATLANTIS project members and the public to facilitate benchmarking of new designs, accurate calibration of computer tools, and a FOWT database for future research.


Status: ALUMNI
State: MA
Project Term: -
Program: BEEST

Xilectric

Reinventing the Edison Battery

Xilectric is developing a totally new class of low-cost rechargeable batteries with a chemistry analogous to the original nickel-iron Edison battery. At the turn of the 20th century, Thomas Edison experimented with low-cost, durable nickel-iron aqueous batteries for use in EVs. Given their inability to operate in cold weather and higher cost than lead-acid batteries, Edison’s batteries were eventually dismissed for automotive applications. Xilectric is reviving and re-engineering the basic chemistry of the Edison battery, using domestically abundant, environmentally friendly, and low-cost…


Status: ALUMNI
State: CT
Project Term: -
Program: FOCUS

Yale University

High-Temperature Dual-Junction Topping Cells

Yale University is developing a dual-junction solar cell that can operate efficiently at temperatures above 400 °C, unlike today’s solar cells, which lose efficiency rapidly above 100°C and are likely to fail at high temperatures over time. Yale’s specialized dual-junction design will allow the cell to extract significantly more energy from the sun at high temperature than today’s cells, enabling the next generation of hybrid solar converters to deliver much higher quantities of electricity and highly useful dispatchable heat. Heat rejected from the cells at high temperature can be stored and…


Status: ALUMNI
State: CT
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2012

Yale University

Closed-Loop System Using Waste Heat for Electricity

Yale University is developing a system to generate electricity using low-temperature waste heat from power plants, industrial facilities, and geothermal wells. Low-temperature waste heat is a vast, mostly untapped potential energy source. Yale’s closed loop system begins with waste heat as an input. This waste heat will separate an input salt water stream into two output streams, one with high salt concentration and one with low salt concentration. In the next stage, the high and low concentration salt streams will be recombined. Mixing these streams releases energy which can then be captured…


Status: ACTIVE
State: CT
Project Term: -
Program: PNDIODES

Yale University

Selective Area Growth for Vertical Power Electronics

Yale University will conduct a comprehensive investigation to overcome the barriers in selective area doping of gallium nitride (GaN) through an epitaxial regrowth process for high-performance, reliable GaN vertical transistors. Transistors based on GaN have emerged as promising candidates for future high efficiency, high power applications, but they have been plagued by poor electrical performance attributed to the existing selective doping processes. The team will demonstrate vertical GaN diodes through a selective area regrowth processes with performance similar to those made using current…


Status: CANCELLED
State: TN
Project Term: -
Program: MEITNER

Yellowstone Energy

Reactivity Control Device for Advanced Reactors

Yellowstone Energy will develop a new passive control technology to enhance safety and reduce nuclear power plant costs. The team's Reactivity Control Device (RCD) will integrate with the Yellowstone Energy Molten Nitrate Salt Reactor and other advanced reactor designs. The RCD will use fluid embedded in the reactor’s control rods to control reaction rates at elevated temperatures, even in the absence of external controls. As the heating from fission increases or decreases, the fluid density will automatically and passively respond to control the system. The RCD’s passive control is highly…


Status: ACTIVE
State: MI
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2015


Status: ACTIVE
State: WA
Project Term: -
Program: BETHE

Zap Energy

Sheared Flow Stabilized Z-Pinch Performance Improvement

A Z-pinch fusion device has an electrical current driven through the fusion fuel, creating self-generated magnetic fields that compress and heat the fuel toward fusion conditions. While a Z-pinch with no equilibrium flows has rapidly growing instabilities that disrupt the plasma within nanoseconds, the Z-pinch can be stabilized if an axial plasma flow varying strongly enough with radius is introduced. This sheared-flow stabilized (SFS) Z-pinch may be the simplest and most compact of all known controlled-fusion approaches, as it does not require magnetic coils nor any external heating systems…


Status: ACTIVE
State: WA
Project Term: -
Program: OPEN 2018

Zap Energy

Electrode Technology Development for the Sheared-Flow Z-Pinch Fusion Reactor

Zap Energy will advance the fusion performance of the sheared-flow stabilized (SFS) Z-pinch fusion concept. While the simplicity of the Z-pinch is attractive, it has been plagued by plasma instabilities. Like traditional Z-pinch approaches, the SFS Z-pinch drives electrical current through a plasma to create magnetic fields that compress and heat the plasma toward fusion conditions. The innovation of the SFS Z-pinch is the velocity gradient across the radius of the Z-pinch—in other words, the outer edge of the plasma column is moving at a different velocity than the center—which stabilizes…