DOE Provides Millions for Solar and Energy-Efficiency Research

The U.S. Department of Energy will grant $10.9 million to 13 firms to perform scientific research for energy-efficient power generation, industrial and buildings systems, and transportation.

WASHINGTON, DC – “These firms will conduct ground-breaking research into the development of more energy-efficient computers, engines, materials and alternative energy systems,” says Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. “Investment in these technologies should help ease the demand for energy.” DOE funds research to improve energy efficiency and reduce dependency on traditional energy sources. The goal of these grants is to help bring exploratory research to the point where advanced energy-efficient systems can be developed into commercial products. The grant amounts are subject to final negotiation with the universities and companies involved. The University of Nevada in Reno will research Adaptive Full-Spectrum Solar Energy Systems, to demonstrate that solar energy systems can be made at an affordable cost for commercial buildings. The University will demonstrate that complex hybrid reactors used for emissions reduction at power plants can be made to compete favorably with existing technologies. The estimated grant amount is $1.8 million, of which the university will provide $355,391. Other grants include: – The University of Wisconsin in Madison will address key issues needed to improve the performance of superconducting tapes to increase their energy efficiency and make them more economical. The estimated grant amount is $350,000. – Drexel University in Philadelphia will research atomic-scale structure and dynamics of complex catalytic materials that produce reactions to improve energy efficiency. The grant is $599,922. – Washington State University in Pullman will perform basic research on the utilization of animal manures as feedstocks to produce low-cost energy products, including fuels, chemicals, electricity and other products. The grant is $800,000. – The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena will develop new proton conducting materials for fuel cells with higher chemical stability that improve energy efficiency. The grant is $406,559. – The Colorado School of Mines in Golden will demonstrate how additional classes of proton conductivity will potentially result in greater power generation. The grant is $1,082,377. – Dartmouth College in Hanover will develop software and manufacturing methods to improve the reliability and efficiency of magnetic compounds used in power-generating electronics. The grant is $1,000,498. – Battelle Memorial Institute in Richland will conduct research that resolves key technical issues which restrict economic viability and improves energy efficiency of compact microtechnology-based heat pumps and gas absorbers. The grant is $939,477. Holyoke Center in Cambridge will study methods that improve the texture of silicone-based materials and increase energy efficiency. The grant is $700,000. – The University of Wisconsin in Madison will conduct research in material properties resulting from combining microscopic-sized structures (nanostructures) in metal alloys that could lead to enhancements of energy efficiency. The grant is $994,898. – Northwestern University in Evanston will conduct research that enables high temperature ceramic coatings to be used in energy efficient heat engines, such as microturbines and industrial gas turbines. The grant is $814,215. – Washington University in St. Louis will conduct work to promote energy efficiency through design, scale-up and operation of anaerobic digesters that convert animal manure into chemicals and energy for use in agriculture and other industries. The grant is $737,150. – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg will develop and demonstrate the application of self-calibrating temperature and pressure sensors for several energy-intensive industries where conventional, commercially available sensors fail prematurely. This emerging technology will provide for improved reliability and durability in commercial applications. The grant is $647,417.

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