DOE Funds 40 New Projects

The selected OPEN 2018 projects are in 21 states and fall into nine technical categories, including transportation, electricity generation and delivery, and energy efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy is providing $98 million in funding for 40 new projects as part of OPEN 2018, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy's latest open funding opportunity. The money will support some of America's top energy innovators' R&D projects as they seek to develop technologies to transform the U.S. energy system, according to the agency's news release.

"ARPA-E's open solicitations serve a valuable purpose: They give America's energy innovators the opportunity to tell us about the next big thing," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. "Many of the greatest advances in human history started from the bottom up with a single person or idea, and OPEN 2018 provides a chance to open our doors to potentially the next great advancement in energy."

One of the funded projects is the being developed by the University of California San Diego, which is getting $1,894,705 from DOE. It is developing a universal battery integration system that utilizes second-life batteries from electric vehicles. DOE noted that, during the next decade, millions of electric vehicle batteries will be retired worldwide, and those batteries can be utilized in a "second life" to provide inexpensive stationary storage for homes, businesses, and the electricity grid. But it's challenging to combine batteries with different ages and usage histories. The UC San Diego project will develop a modular power converter matrix to control power flow to connected battery modules and will also incorporate advanced life cycle control modeling and optimization algorithms to condition batteries for resale and create a scalable, low-cost stationary storage system.

OPEN solicitations are an open call to scientists and engineers for transformational technologies across the scope of ARPA-E's energy mission. The selected OPEN 2018 projects are in 21 states and fall into nine technical categories, including transportation, electricity generation and delivery, and energy efficiency. About 43 percent of the selected 2018 projects will be led by universities, 35 percent by small businesses, and the rest by large businesses, non-profit organizations, or federally funded research and development centers.

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