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DOE awards $45M to 38 advanced transportation technology projects; $3M from the Army

4 September 2013

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $45 million to 38 new projects that accelerate the research and development of advanced vehicle technologies. Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the Energy Department and the Department of the Army, the Army is contributing an additional $3 million in co-funding to support projects focused on lightweighting and propulsion materials, batteries, fuels, and lubricants.

The 38 projects span five major areas: advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials; advanced batteries; power electronics; fuels and lubricants; and efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials: 15 projects, $10.2 million. Advanced materials are essential for boosting the fuel economy of cars and trucks while maintaining and improving safety and performance. Next generation lightweight materials can reduce passenger car weight by up to 50%. Reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10% can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%.

These projects will conduct research on lightweight materials—such as advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, and aluminum—that allow vehicle manufacturers to include electric drive components, electronic systems, and emissions control equipment without increasing vehicle weight.

Advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials
Lead organization
Description Funding
University of Michigan This project will measure how temperature changes affect advanced cast magnesium alloys. $600,000
The Ohio State University This project will apply high-throughput approaches to study the kinetics of magnesium-based systems for automotive cast magnesium alloys. $600,000
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory  This project will examine the micro-structural evolution of automotive cast magnesium alloys during solidification and heat-treatment. $500,000
Oak Ridge National Laboratory This project will develop an improved understanding of corrosion in advanced magnesium alloys. $100,000
Arizona State University This project will examine corrosion of magnesium alloys at the microstructure level. $499,961
Mississippi State University This project will utilize a multi-scale modeling and experimental approach to examine corrosion in magnesium alloys. $499,998
Oak Ridge National Laboratory The project will develop and validate solid-state spot joining technology to join body-in-white high strength steel and aluminum. $178,714
Ford Motor Company This project will develop and demonstrate a novel impact welding technique for multi-material body-in-white. $1,500,000
General Motors his project will develop the processes and tools to join aluminum to advanced high strength steel utilizing friction stir scribe technology. $1,278,125
Johns Hopkins University This project will develop heat-generating foils to provide strong and stable bonds between aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, and steels. $595,520 (jointly funded)
Chrysler Group This project will demonstrate a robust, cost effective, and versatile technique to join die cast magnesium to dissimilar aluminum alloys and mild and high strength steels. $587,248 (jointly funded)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory This project will demonstrate laser-assisted joining of aluminum and carbon fiber components to reduce vehicle weight. $600,000
The Ohio State University his project will develop and demonstrate vapor- assisted collision welding of dissimilar metals. $568,499 (jointly funded)
Michigan State University, Composite Vehicle Research Center This project will demonstrate the bonding, repairability, and reassembly of dissimilar materials using thermoplastic adhesives. $599,999 (jointly funded)
Caterpillar  This project will develop a combination of new alloys and novel casting techniques to produce high-performance, low-cost castings for crankshafts and rotating components with properties similar to forged units. $1,500,000

Advanced batteries: 13 projects, $22.5 million. In the last four years, the cost of a plug-in electric vehicle battery has come down by nearly 50%. The new projects will help improve cell chemistry and composition, develop advanced electrolytes, and create new battery design tools, helping to further reduce costs. Broadly, the projects aim to cut battery size and weight in half, while improving efficiency and performance.

Advanced batteries
Lead organization Description Funding
Argonne National Laboratory This project will develop a new high energy electrochemical couple for automotive applications that meets or exceeds energy requirements for electric drive vehicles. $2,500,000
Farasis Energy This project will develop high energy density lithium-ion cells for electric vehicles based on novel, high voltage manganese-rich cathode material coupled with a metal alloy composite anode and a high voltage electrolyte. 2,762,074
Envia Systems This project will develop high-energy lithium batteries for plug-in electric vehicles by pairing high capacity manganese-rich cathodes with high capacity silicon/carbon based nanocomposites. $3,028,070
TIAX This project will develop high-energy lithium batteries for PEV applications that couples the applicant’s patented CAM-7, high-energy high-power cathode material, silicon-based anode material, and a separator capable of supporting high current density. $1,747,787
The Pennsylvania State University This project will develop high energy, long cycle life lithium-ion batteries for PEV applications consisting of a micro-sized porous silicon alloy-carbon composite anode coupled with a high performance Ni-rich layered oxide cathode coated with an ultra-stable LiFePO4 coating. $2,985,000
3M Company This project will develop a new high energy electrochemical couple for automotive applications that exceeds energy requirements for PEV applications that couples a high capacity core shell cathode, advanced electrolyte, and advanced stable silicon alloy composite anode with a novel conductive polymer binder. $3,000,043
Alliance for Sustainable Energy - NREL This project will develop computer-aided design tools to characterize the coupled mechanical and electrochemical response of lithium-ion batteries to abuse conditions in cells. $1,003,674
EC Power This project will develop and validate design tools to characterize the coupled mechanical and electrochemical response of lithium-ion batteries to abuse conditions in cells. $1,000,000 (jointly funded)
Sandia National Laboratories The project will develop computer-aided tools to predict and understand the implications of thermal runaway of lithium-ion batteries.  $1,500,000
Alliance for Sustainable Energy - NREL The project will develop a computational methodology to significantly improve the computational efficiency of nonlinear multiscale battery modeling and maintain or enhance the solution accuracy from the most advanced models. $717,580
Daikin America This project will develop advanced high performance electrolytes, based on fluoro-chemistries that allow batteries to operate at a higher voltage and temperature. $912,021
Argonne National Laboratory This project will develop a new generation electrolyte system with outstanding stabilities at high voltage and high temperature and with improved safety characteristics for lithium ion battery for PHEV and EV. $360,000
Wildcat Discovery Technologies This project will develop novel non-carbonate based electrolytes for silicon anodes, enabling substantial improvements in energy density and cost relative to current lithium-ion batteries. $999,778

Power electronics: 4 projects, $8 million. Compared to silicon-based technologies, wide bandgap semiconductors—such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride—can operate at higher temperatures, have greater durability and reliability, and can lower the cost and improve performance of plug-in electric vehicle inverters. Separately, new approaches to enable high-temperature operation and cost reduction for capacitors in these inverters will also help to reduce the cost of vehicle power electronics. These projects will contribute to reducing the cost of a plug-in electric vehicle inverter by more than 30%.

Power electronics
Lead organization Description Funding
Sigma Technologies International Group This project will focus on reducing the cost, size, and weight of high temperature capacitors for power electronics while increasing durability. $2,443,559
Argonne National Laboratory This project will develop an efficient, cost-effective process to produce advanced high-temperature capacitors for power inverters in electric drive vehicles. $1,859,897
GE Global Research This project will develop high performance DC link film capacitors for electric drive vehicle systems. $1,750,000
Arkansas Power Electronics International This project will demonstrate advanced wide bandgap inverters for under-the-hood electric vehicle traction drives. $1,999,935

Advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems: 2 projects, $4 million. Reducing the impact of heating and cooling on plug-in electric vehicles can significantly increase all-electric driving range. These two projects are focused on developing innovative heating and cooling technologies that reduce battery demands and improve range by 20% to 30%.

Advanced HVAC
Lead organization Description Funding
Delphi Automotive Systems This project will develop and integrate a phase change heating system for vehicles and demonstrate a significant reduction in the energy used for passenger cabin heating in electric vehicles. $1,741,263
Halla Visteon Climate Control USA This project will develop, integrate, and demonstrate an efficient heating and cooling (heat pump) system as well as other novel solutions to achieve and maintain passenger comfort using less battery power. $2,342,108

Fuels and lubricants: 4 projects, $2.5 million. These projects will develop advanced fuels and lubricants that can reduce friction losses and increase the efficiency of cars already on the market and next generation passenger vehicles.

Fuels and lubricants
Lead organization
(Partners)
Description Funding
Ford Motor This project will adapt lubricant technologies from high-value, high-precision applications, such as turbo-machinery, for use as an axle lubricant base stock. $350,000 (jointly funded)
Northwestern University This project will develop novel lubricant formulations with the potential to improve the fuel efficiency of light and medium vehicles by at least 2%. $1,000,000
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory This project will develop and test novel molecules in base oils that may substantially improve fuel efficiency without increasing wear. $519,375
Ashland Consumer Markets This project will develop prototype lubricants to improve fuel economy through integrated design of advanced lubricants in multiple systems in heavy-duty vehicles. $593,869 (jointly funded)

September 4, 2013 in Batteries, Lubricating Oils, Manufacturing, Materials, Power Electronics, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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