The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) announced a call for cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) between national laboratories and industrial partners to address roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing challenges that will allow rapid transfer of manufacturing and processing technologies from the lab to the plant floor, resulting in less costly and more energy efficient products entering the marketplace. These efforts will be supported with current and prior year funds. (Solicitation Nº ORNL-R2RAMM-2017-02-02.)
A DOE laboratory consortium comprising Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) was formed to enhance battery and fuel cell electrode performance, processing of water, and R2R manufacturing technologies using an advanced materials manufacturing approach. This consortium is now accepting proposals for CRADAs.
The broader solicitation is focused on advanced materials and component development, synthesis and processing methods, and quality control and metrology in the specific areas of:
- Polymer electrolyte fuel cells and polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers
- Advanced batteries
- Flexible electronics and displays
- Energy efficient window films
- Flexible solar photovoltaic (PV) cells
- Water separation and purification membranes
However, only projects that have a strong likelihood of creating jobs domestically and enabling manufacturing of hydrogen and/or fuel cell technologies are of interest for FCTO funding. CRADAs will require industry to provide at least a 50% cost share, which can be monetary funds or in-kind contributions (e.g., facilities, services, and staff time).
Proposals should emphasize only one of the following categories related to the above topic areas:
- New materials synthesis
- Impact of new and existing raw material morphology and structure on processability
- Advanced and high-speed R2R processing methods
- Process metrology and non-destructive evaluation (NDE) for developing advanced feedback loops
- Materials and subcomponent integration
- Multilayer coatings and 3-D patterning
- Linking of pre-pilot processing (10s to 100s of feet) experiments to pilot-scale processing (thousands to millions of feet)
- Impact of process parameter variation on device performance and durability
Projects selected for funding from the FCTO to complement funds from DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and industry partners will focus on advanced materials and component development, synthesis and processing methods, and quality control and metrology in the specific areas of polymer electrolyte fuel cells and polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers.
Priority of awards will be given to those topics that address: high-value (HV) R2R process modeling and materials synthesis and properties modeling; energy storage and generation materials, products, and manufacturing; and water generation materials and manufacturing. Potential projects need to advance existing technology from TRL 4-5 to TRL 7-8.
These projects will be conducted within a 12-to-18-month period. Up to $1 million is available from FCTO to complement $1.3 million in AMO funding.