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DOE To Award $104.7M to Establish Research and Testing Facilities for Carbon Fiber Manufacturing, Advanced Batteries, and Net-Zero Energy Building Technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $104.7 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for eight new projects to establish critical research and testing facilities at seven DOE National Laboratories. The projects will support the development and improvement of clean energy and efficiency technologies of strategic national interest.

Specifically, the funding will go toward reducing the production cost of carbon fiber manufacturing, to help in reducing the weight of vehicles; improved efficiency and lower costs for car batteries; and net-zero energy building technologies.

The Department of Energy solicited applications from eligible National Laboratories nationwide. Applications underwent a thorough technical review process. Laboratories selected include:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN) will receive $34.7 million for carbon fiber manufacturing and processing to construct the Carbon Fiber Technology Center. The Center will investigate novel manufacturing processes and alternative feedstocks in order to lower the cost of carbon fiber from the current $10-$20 per pound to under $5 per pound.

    ORNL will also receive $20.2 million to develop an Integrated Net-Zero Energy Buildings Research Laboratory that includes a commercial building field research platform.

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA) will receive $15.9 million to build and operate a National User Facility for Net-Zero Energy Buildings Research that will contain a series of coordinated integration test beds that address key technical challenges for net-zero energy buildings.

  • National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, WV) will receive $13.9 million to construct a 35,000 square foot Performance Verification Laboratory to perform nearly 17,000 verifications tests per year on a broad range of residential and commercial appliances.

  • Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne, IL) will receive $8.8 million to construct three battery research and development facilities: a Battery Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility, a Materials Production Scale-Up Facility, and a Post-Test Analysis Facility.

  • Idaho National Laboratory (Idaho Falls, ID) will receive $5 million to establish a High Energy Battery Test Facility. The High Energy Battery Test Facility will possess capabilities that will enable development of low cost batteries that meet real world performance requirements.

  • Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) will receive $4.2 million to modify and enhance its Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory. Abusive testing includes such conditions as over charging, over discharge, short circuits, fire and external heat exposure. The improved battery abuse testing facilities will possess capabilities critical for developing low cost batteries that meet real world performance requirements.

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO) will receive $2 million to establish a Battery Thermal and Life Test Facility. The Battery Thermal and Life Test Facility will enable researchers to develop lower cost, more robust battery thermal management systems and battery designs.

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