On November 28, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced nearly $25 million for 13 projects aimed at advancing technologies for energy-efficient electric motors through applied research and development. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Next Generation Electric Machinesprojects will address the limitations of traditional materials and designs used in electric motor components by cost-effectively enhancing their efficiency, improving their performance, and reducing weight. This effort will support innovative approaches that will significantly improve the technology in industrial electric motors, which use approximately 70 percent of the electricity consumed by U.S. manufacturers and nearly a quarter of all electricity consumed nationally.

Awardees are listed below.

SELECTEE NAME SELECTEE LOCATION DOE SHARE PROJECT SUMMARY
AK Steel Corporation Research & Innovation West Chester, Ohio $1,800,000 AK Steel will explore different chemical compositions added in to the existing composition of standard electrical steels to increase the resistivity of electrical steels, resulting in a potential savings of 11.8 gigawatt hours per year (GWhr/yr).
American Superconductor Corporation Devens, Massachusetts $4,500,000 This project will improve the manufacturing process of superconductive wires to improve yield and reduce cost at high enough temperatures where nitrogen can be used as the cryogenic fluid.
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania $1,250,000 CMU will develop metal amorphous nanocomposite as an enabling technology for next generation electric machines. The project aims to improve the efficiency of a 5-kilowatt standard industrial motor from 92% to above 96%.
Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida $1,000,000 FSU will address the reliability of superconducting coils through an innovative coil manufacturing process.
General Electric Company, GE Global Research Niskayuna, New York $750,000 General Electric will develop a novel ground wall insulation that will improve voltage endurance by a factor of two, thereby saving 5-10% energy with the use of advanced SiC drives.
NovaTorque, Inc. Fremont, California $800,000 NovaTorque will develop a rare earth element-free motor that uses soft magnetic composites and grain oriented electrical steel in an innovative conical air gap motor architecture. The project aims to improve the efficiency of a 5-kilowatt standard industrial motor from 92% to above 96%.
Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana $1,500,000 Purdue will address the workability of high percentage silicon electrical steel lamination through innovative manufacturing process, yielding a potential savings of 11.8 GWhr/yr.
Rice University Houston, Texas $1,000,000 This project will focus on increasing the conductivity of wires that are used in electric motors by using nanocarbon enhancements to achieve its project targets.
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New York $1,000,000 RIT will use nanocarbon enhancements to increase the conductivity of wires that are used in electric motors. This project targets a 50% improvement over traditional metallic wires.
Superconductor Technologies Incorporated Austin, Texas $4,500,000 STI will focus on improving the manufacturing process of superconductive wires to improve yield and reduce cost at high enough temperatures where nitrogen can be used as the cryogenic fluid.
SurfTec, LLC Fayetteville, Arkansas $1,200,000 SurfTec will develop a novel nanoparticle composite coatings as a replacement for the lead containing babbitt alloys traditionally used in journal bearings. The successful implementation is expected to reduce friction by over 10% in lubricated conditions and increase wear-life by at least 40% when used in high speed, megawatt-class electric motors and generator systems.
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida $1,000,000 UCF will use metal matrix composites to increase the conductivity of wires that are used in electric motors. This project targets a 50% improvement over traditional metallic wires, which is a 33% reduction in stator losses.
University of Houston Houston, Texas $4,500,000 University of Houston will use a metal organic chemical vapor deposition process to achieve four-fold improvement in superconductor wire performance at high enough temperatures where nitrogen can be used as the cryogenic fluid.