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As the use of renewable power, electric vehicles (EVs) and the smart grid become more widespread and integrated, one challenge also becomes more apparent: storage. Thankfully, the experts are on it.
This summer, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for the development of new technologies in this field. The $43 million will come from the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy and will be directed toward two different types of research and development, with the intent of cultivating energy-storage technology for EVs, the grid and the armed forces.
Of the total grant, $30 million will go to 12 research projects. These funds, under the Advanced Management and Protection of Energy and Storage Devices program, will support the development of advanced sensing and control technologies that could provide innovations in safety, performance, and lifetime of grid-scale and vehicle batteries. The program focuses on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, a recipient, will develop an optical sensor to monitor the internal environment of lithium batteries in real time. Such innovations could benefit plug-in and hybrid EVs.
The other $13 million will go to seven projects under the Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, which will develop new battery chemistries and designs. The projects will develop energy-storage technologies that could be applied to stationary power and EVs. Energy Storage Systems of Portland, Ore., a recipient, will construct a flow battery for grid-scale storage using an advanced cell design and electrolyte materials composed of low-cost iron.