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DOE announces $26.6M SBIR/STTR FY15 Phase 1 Release 2 awards; fuel cells, batteries, power electronics and efficient combustion engines

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 162 projects to receive about $26.6 million in the 2015 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 2 Awards. (Earlier post.) Of these, 16 are vehicle-related, encompassing projects developing batteries, power electronics and improved combustion engine technology including on-board reformers, and two are specifically hydrogen fuel cell-related.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) are Federal programs in which agencies with large research and development (R&D) budgets set aside a small fraction of their funding for competitions among small businesses only. Small businesses that win awards in these programs keep the rights to any technology developed and are encouraged to commercialize the technology. While the original charter of the program focused on technological innovation, the current programs have evolved to have a greater focus on commercialization.

SBIR and STTR programs at DOE have three distinct phases:

  • Phase I explores the feasibility of innovative concepts with awards up to $225,000 over 9 months. Only DOE Phase I award winners may compete for DOE Phase II funding.

  • Phase II is the principal R&D effort, with awards up to $1,500,000 over two-years.

  • Phase III offers opportunities to small businesses to continue their Phase I and II R&D work to pursue commercial applications of their R&D with non-SBIR/STTR funding.

Select SBIR/STTR FY15 Phase 1 Release 2 awards
Organization Description Amt. requested
Mainstream Engineering Corporation Cross-polarized Near-UV Detector for In-line Quality Control of PEM Materials
Mainstream Engineering is developing a real-time, in-line optical detector for the measurement of membrane thickness and defect detection. This quality control device will help to drive down the costs of fuel cells by reducing waste and improving the process efficiency of roll-to-roll manufacturing of polymer electrolyte membranes.
$149,871.44
US Hybrid Corporation Fuel Cell-Battery Electric Hybrid for Utility or Municipal MD or HD Bucket Trucks (H2BT)
The fuel cell bucket truck has no emission and saves 1,400 gallons of diesel fuel per year. It is cleaner, quieter, and friendlier to operate with a fuel cell power plant enabling mobility via renewable energy.
$148,393.82
American Lithium Energy Corporation Developing Robust all-Solid-State Li Battery with a Ceramic Electrolyte and Interfacially Engineered Lithium Metal Anode
A next generation of a low cost and high energy density advanced solid state rechargeable lithium battery will be developed through the proposed project for use in the next generation of PHEV and EV rechargeable batteries.
$149,999.70
ARC Technology, LLC ICE Ignition Using Transient Plasma Acceleration
Lean-burn gasoline engines have trouble reliably igniting gasoline and air mixtures. A Transient Plasma Acceleration system, which can reliably operate in lean burn mode and at high compression ratios, will be developed.
$149,975.00
Ballast Energy, Inc. High Loading Lithium-Ion Electrode Architecture for Low Cost Electric Vehicle Batteries
Ballast Energy, Inc. is developing the next generation of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles with a unique cost cutting innovation. Successful commercialization of its technology will contribute to more affordable electric vehicles.
$150,000.00
Bettergy Corp. Advanced Lithium Sulfur Battery for Electric Vehicle Applications
Successful completion of the current program will make significant contribution toward development of the key energy storage system that can be used in the long range EVs to improve the vehicles energy efficiency and running range.
$154,995.00
Combined Technology Solutions Dynamic Spark Ignition Enables Ultra Lean Burn Combustion
The DOE is actively searching for ignition technologies for the automotive industry that will provide wide spread use of lean burn processes that may dramatically reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions without major changes in engine designs.
$148,102.00
Filter Sensing Technologies, Inc. High Efficiency SI Engines by Generation of Multiple Fuels from Gasoline
The generation of high quality fuel components on-board the vehicle from conventional petroleum fuels is a key enabler to achieve high efficiency engine operation and associated fuel savings. This project will develop novel on-board separation and reforming technologies to deliver 10% improvement in engine fuel efficiency, in a low-cost and highly scalable system, not possible with off-line fuel production and distribution infrastructure.
$150,000.00
GeneSiC Semiconductor Inc 900 V/200 A SiC Schottky Diode fabrication on 150 mm substrates in a high-volume Si foundry for automotive traction inverters
The lack of high-performance, cost-effective power semiconductor components presents a serious bottleneck for improving mileage efficiency in electric vehicles to targets set by President Obama for the year 2022. The proposed program will develop silicon carbide power semiconductor components offering a disruptive cost-performance metric relative to the current state-of-the-art technology.
$150,000.00
HICO Tech Development of Long Cycle Life Li-ion Hybrid Batteries with High Energy and Power Densities for Micro-hybrid Vehicles
Supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries are two major energy storage systems in the market. However, a performance gap exists between them. Novel lithium-ion hybrid batteries based on Si-C composites anodes and porous carbon cathodes will be developed to bridge the gap with both high energy and power densities for hybrid vehicles.
$150,000.00
Monolith Semiconductor Inc Development of 600V, 100A SiC Schottky Diodes in a 150mm Si Foundry for Electric Vehicle Traction Inverter Applications
The final objective of this research is to develop next generation power semiconductor devices for electric vehicle applications. These devices will enable a lighter, longer range and cost effective electric vehicles.
$149,950.10
Novarials Corporation A High Performance Battery Separator
The proposed ultrahigh safety battery separator technology is a critical technology for manufacturing high safety and long term stability lithium ion batteries desired by electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
$150,000.00
PH Matter, LLC Components for Improved-Performance EV Batteries
In this project, pH Matter, LLC and the University of Akron will develop low-cost components to improve the energy capacity and durability of lithium ion batteries. The technology will be used for automotive energy storage applications, such as electric vehicles.
$150,000.00
Precision Combustion, Inc. Onboard implementation of an ultra-compact hydrogen-generator for efficiency and emissions benefits in IC engines
In order to decrease U.S. reliance on foreign energy sources and mitigate climate change, highly efficient automotive gasoline fueled engines need to be developed. PCI will use its novel ultra compact reformer technology to solve a major roadblock for these engines towards enabling DOE objectives for significantly improved fleet average fuel consumption with reduced emissions.
$149,890.56
SilLion, LLC Ionic Liquid Enabled High-Energy Li-ion Battery
Despite the slow rate of improvement in Li-ion technology, demand for a battery double the specific energy of current state-of-the-art (400 Wh/kg) is growing. To address this issue, this venture proposes to enable a safe, ~400 Wh/kg Si/Li-Mn-rich full-cell, compatible with the existing battery-manufacturing infrastructure, by utilizing a room temperature ionic liquid electrolyte.
$150,000.00
Tiax LLC Low-Cost, High-Performance Battery for Start-Stop Applications
Vehicles equipped with start-stop technology can enable significant improvements in fuel economy of vehicles. TIAX’s novel battery technology can enable the widespread deployment of start-stop technology by enabling small, lightweight, and inexpensive start-stop systems for vehicle integration.
$149,935.00
Transient Plasma Systems Advanced Ignition System for Internal Combustion Engines Enabling Lean-Burn and Dilute Gasoline Ignition
Dilute-burn gasoline engines are the key to developing more energy efficient and environmentally friendly highway vehicles, but limitations of existing ignition technology prevents wide-spread application. A US-made, low-energy and cost effective non-thermal plasma ignition system that enables dilute-burn gasoline engines will be developed and demonstrated, which, if implemented on all new US vehicles, will result in reductions of over 10 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 100 million pounds of nitrogen oxides, and $1.5 billion in fuel savings annually.
$150,000.00
United Silicon Carbide, Inc. High Current Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes for Electric Drive Vehicle Power Electronics
United Silicon Carbide, Inc. will develop Silicon Carbide Schottky diode technology to address the need for more efficient power conversion modules used in electric vehicle motor drives.
$154,802.00

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