The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has awarded 70 grants totaling $10.5 million to small businesses to develop clean energy technologies designed to improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, reduce reliance on foreign oil and generate electricity from renewable energy.
The projects will explore concepts in a variety of areas, including improving the performance of batteries, increasing the efficiency of engines, developing advanced materials and manufacturing methods, and reducing the supply-chain vulnerabilities for rare-earth materials. Sixty-three awards will go to Small Business Innovation Research projects, and another seven will go to Small Business Technology Transfer projects.
Three of the awards will go to small businesses that will develop innovative wind energy technologies, including the following projects:
- Lafayette, Colo.-based Boulder Nonlinear Systems Inc. will develop a compact, low-power, offshore 3D wind sensor to monitor offshore winds and optimize wind power generation. Successful development of the technology will enable small wind sensors to be incorporated into many platforms, including ocean-based buoys, wind turbine generators, gliders, unmanned air vehicles and commercial aircraft.
- Columbus, Ohio-based Hyper Tech Research Inc. will develop a transportable 5 MW to 6 MW superconducting wind turbine generator for use on land. The company will develop an innovative class of superconducting wind turbine generators that will be lightweight so that they are easily transportable by trucks on present roads and installed on taller towers, thus enabling 5 MW to 6 MW land-based wind turbine generator systems.
- Lawrence, Kan.-based Wetzel Engineering Inc. will develop field-assembled, component-based rotor blades for land-based machines in order to avoid expensive and logistically challenging transport requirements.
The full list of the projects receiving funding is available here.