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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $43 million in funding to 19 new projects focused on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle (EV) technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid and provide energy security.

These projects are supported through two new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) programs: Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).

“This latest round of ARPA-E projects seek to address the remaining challenges in energy storage technologies, which could revolutionize the way Americans store and use energy in electric vehicles, the grid and beyond, while also potentially improving the access to energy for the U.S. military at forward operating bases in remote areas,” says Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

Twelve research projects are receiving $30 million in funding under the AMPED program, which aims to develop advanced sensing and control technologies that could improve and provide innovations in safety, performance, and lifetime for grid-scale and vehicle batteries.

Unlike other DOE efforts to push the frontiers of battery chemistry, AMPED is focused on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. The DOE says these innovations will help reduce costs and improve the performance of next-generation storage technologies, which could be applied in both plug-in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

ARPA-E is also announcing a total of $13 million for seven projects to enterprising small businesses to pursue cutting-edge energy storage developments for stationary power and electric vehicles.

These projects will develop new battery chemistries and battery designs, continuing ARPA-E’s funding for storage technologies. These awards are part of the larger DOE-wide SBIR/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

For example, Energy Storage Systems Inc., in Portland, Ore., will construct a flow battery for grid-scale storage using an advanced cell design and electrolyte materials composed of low-cost iron. The flow battery will have a target storage cost of less than $100/kWh, which could enable deployment of renewable energy technologies throughout the grid.

Information on all of the new AMPED and SBIR projects is available here.




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