Alternative Energy & Fuels

Department of Energy Announces $57 Million for Small Businesses to Support Technology Commercialization

23 Nov, 2010

Projects to accelerate commercialization of clean energy technologies, increase American competitiveness and create jobs

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu recently announced $57 million, including nearly $11 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to support clean energy technology commercialization projects for 33 small businesses across the country.  These projects, funded as part of DOE's Small Business Phase III Xlerator program, will help small businesses develop manufacturing processes to scale up production of their new, proven technologies, creating new markets and new jobs. Today's awards include funding for renewable energy resources, advanced vehicle technologies, industrial and building energy efficiency, a modernized electricity grid, cleaner fossil fuels, and the next generation of nuclear power.

"Small businesses are engines of job creation and innovation, and we need their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to drive a clean energy economy," said Secretary Chu. "By helping America's small businesses bring these innovative technologies to market, we will spur economic growth and help reduce the country's energy use."

The 33 projects announced today are based in 16 states, with 100 percent of the projects led by small businesses in partnership with universities, national labs, and large businesses.  These Phase III Xlerator awards are a first for the Department of Energy and build on the Department's existing efforts under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.  Previously, the SBIR and STTR programs through the Department of Energy have only been funded through Phase II.  Companies that had previously received DOE SBIR or STTR funding were eligible to apply for the Phase III grants.  The awards range from $500,000 to $3 million and will provide small innovative companies with the "staying power" they need to develop the processes that are necessary to reduce the manufacturing costs for their products and enable manufacturing at scale.  Overcoming cost and scale challenges is critical for small businesses to successfully bring their ideas to the marketplace.

Small businesses create around two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., and supporting America's entrepreneurs at this stage of the innovation development process will allow them to grow their companies at a critical juncture, leading to jobs and manufacturing in the clean energy economy.

The following projects have been selected for awards:

Biomass Technologies: Harvesting/Dewatering Technology for Algal Biofuels

  • Renewable Algal Energy, LLC (Kingsport, Tenn.) - Algal Biodiesel via Innovative Harvesting and Aquaculture Systems - $3,000,000

Buildings: Solid State Lighting Products made from Organic Light-Emitting Diodes

  • Universal Display Corporation (Ewing, N.J.) - Energy Saving Phosphorescent OLED Luminaires - $2,000,000

Fuel Cell Technologies:  Advanced Materials and Bio-Fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cells 

  • Dynalene, Inc.  (Whitehall, Pa.) - Large Scale Testing, Demonstration and Commercialization of the Nanoparticle-based Fuel Cell Coolant - $1,000,000

  • Giner Electrochemical Systems, Inc.  (Newton, Mass.) - Dimensionally Stable High Performance Membrane - $1,500,000

  • InnovaTek Inc. (Richland, Wash.) - Power Generation from an Integrated Biomass Reformer and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell - $2,200,000

  • TDA Research Inc. (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) - Bio-fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - $1,900,000

Geothermal Technologies: High-Temperature-High-Volume Lifting

  • Composite Technology Development, Inc. (Lafayette, Colo.) - Commercialization of High Temperature Electrical Insulation - $1,900,000

Industrial Technologies: Mitigation of Heat Losses, Fouling, and Scaling in Key Manufacturing Unit Operations; Integrated Reaction-Separation Using Non-Thermal Processes

  • Altex Technologies Corporation (Sunnyvale, Calif.) - Low Cost Microchannel Heat Exchanger - $820,000

  • Exelus, Inc. (Livingston, N.J.) - Launching A New Route To Styrene Monomer - $500,000

  • KSE, Inc. (Amherst, Mass.) - Reduction of Distillation Usage in the Manufacture of Ethanol by Reactive Water - $1,000,000

  • Los Gatos Research (Mountain View, Calif.) - Advanced Laser-Based Sensors for Industrial Process Control - $990,000

Solar Technologies:  Lowering the Cost of Photovoltaics

  • Applied Nanotech (Austin, Texas) - High Capacity Manufacturing of Non-Contact, Printable Metallic Inks for Silicon Solar Cells - $1,600,000

  • Microlink (Niles, Ill.) - Backside Contact Multijunction Solar Cells for High Concentration Applications - $1,600,000

  • Ultrasonic Technologies (Tampa, Fla.) - Resonance Ultrasonic Vibration (RUV) Technology as an Industrial Tool for Silicon Solar Manufacturing - $1,400,000

Vehicle Technologies

  • Electron Energy Corporation (Landisville, Pa.) - High Performance Permanent Magnets for Advanced Motors - $3,000,000

  • Materials Innovation Technologies, LLC (Fletcher, N.C.) - Advanced Materials for Lightweight Vehicles - $3,000,000

  • Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. (State College, Pa.) - Compact High Temperature DC Bus Capacitors for Electric Vehicles - $1,000,000

Advanced Wind Technologies Systems

  • Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. (Newport, Del.) - Water Removal from Lubricating Fluid via Compact Membranes - $2,800,000

  • Native American Technologies (Golden, Colo.) - Onsite Manufactured, Self-erecting Wind Turbine Tower - $3,000,000

  • Princeton Power Systems, Inc. (Princeton, N.J.) - Distributed Generation Transformer for MW-Scale Wind Turbines - $1,800,000

  • Webcore Technologies, LLC (Miamisburg, Ohio) - Reducing Cost and Weight of Wind Turbine Blades Using An Engineered Core Material - $1,800,000

Fossil Energy Research and Development

  • Faraday Technology, Inc. (Clayton, Ohio) - Electrodeposited Manganese-Cobalt Alloy Coating for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Interconnects - $992,000

  • Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.) - Field Demonstration of CO2 capture from Coal-Derived Syngas - $1,500,000

  • Mikro Systems, (Charlottesville, Va.) - Commercialization of Advanced Turbine Blades for IGCC Power Plants - $1,500,000

Nuclear Energy - Advanced Instrumentation and Control, Radiation Resistant Sensors, and Wireless On-Line Monitoring Systems for Nuclear Power Plant Applications

  • Analysis and Measurement Services (AMS), Inc. (Knoxville, Tenn.) - On-line Monitoring Implementation in Boiling Water Reactors - $2,500,000

  • Analysis and Measurement Services (AMS), Inc. (Knoxville, Tenn.) - In-Containment Application of Wireless Technology for On-line Condition Monitoring in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) - $2,800,000

  • Luna Innovations, Inc., (Blacksburg, Va.) - Low-Drift Ultra-High Temperature Fiber Optic Thermal Sensors - $2,900,000

Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability

  • Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.  (Fayetteville, Ark) - Commercialization of Silicon Carbide Power Modules for High Performance Energy Applications - $500,000

  • Clever Fellows Innovation Consortium, Inc, (Troy, N.Y.) - Reliable, Practical Kilowatt-Class Cryogenics for Superconducting Devices - $620,000

  • FieldMetrics, Inc. (Seminole, Fla.) - A Low-Cost Modular Optical Voltage Sensor for Power Transmission Applications - $500,000

  • Infinia Corporation  (Kennewick, Wash.) - Innovative High-Efficiency Maintenance-Free Cryocooler to Support High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) Commercialization - $1,500,000

  • Infotility, Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) - Commercializing the GridAgents Suite: Photovoltaics Integration Plus (PVI+) Software - $500,000

  • Underground Systems, Inc. (Armonk, N.Y.) - Low Cost Real Time Monitoring System for Overhead Transmission - $480,000