- Department of Energy Awards $127 Million to Bring Innovative Clean Energy Technologies to Market
- DE-FOA-0002360 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2
The objectives of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs include increasing private sector commercialization of technology developed through U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-supported research and development (R&D), stimulating technological innovation in the private sector, encouraging participation by women-owned and minority-owned small businesses, and improving the return on investment from federally funded research for economic and social benefits to the nation.
An important goal of the SBIR/STTR programs is the commercialization of DOE-supported research or R&D. Following the start of Phase I, DOE encouraged its awardees to begin thinking about and seeking commitments from private sector or federal non-SBIR/STTR funding sources in anticipation of Phases II and III.
The seven selected small-business-led projects will each receive Phase II grants, ranging from $1.1 million–$1.5 million to explore the technical feasibility of innovative solutions in hydropower and marine energy. These solutions will support DOE and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) efforts to decarbonize the electricity and maritime transportation sectors.
The seven projects are:
- Natel Energy, Inc., Alameda, California: Hydropower Decision Support With Machine Learning and Satellite Driven Forecasts
- Upstream Tech, a subsidiary of Natel Energy, Inc., will advance their technology developed in Phase I to deliver accurate and reliable streamflow predictions across short-term and seasonal forecasts by leveraging novel machine learning techniques, a proprietary data platform, and a wide range of dynamic earth data. To achieve this, they will include additional weather forecast sources using a cloud-based system that is scalable, resilient, and secure. They plan to quantify the technology’s technical and financial benefits over alternative approaches to develop a marketing strategy to help with commercialization.
- Ocean Motion Technologies, Inc., San Diego, California: Leveraging Co-Development for the Energy Capture Subsystem of a Small-Scale Adaptive Wave Energy Converter
- Ocean Motion Technologies will fabricate a cost-effective, adaptive ocean wave energy device that can optimize its power output based on ambient environments for scientific and defense applications. This will enable the development of renewable energy powered systems that operate in the ocean for long periods of time without power constraints.
- Oscilla Power, Inc., Seattle, Washington: Integrated Wave Power Charging Capability for Ocean Observing Vehicles
- The Oscilla Power, Inc. project will integrate an ocean wave powered recharging capability into an autonomous ocean observing vehicle as a way of extending its mission duration. This new approach will allow these vehicles to operate for significantly longer periods of time, potentially indefinitely. This will be a major step towards allowing the United States to take the lead in harnessing this clean energy resource, providing enhanced defense/surveillance capabilities.
- Visionary Products Inc., Draper, Utah: MHK-RoboCatch: Context-Aware Robotic Trash Boom Powered By Marine Hydrokinetics
- Visionary Products' project aims to leverage energy from rivers' flow and robotics to monitor and aggregate plastic debris in a waterway, readying it for extraction. Rivers are a major pollution pathway, depositing floating trash into sensitive ecosystems where it remains for decades or longer, and this project will use hydrokinetic energy to alleviate this problem.
- 3Newable LLC, Portola Valley, California: Preventing Biofouling of Oceanographic Sensors Using UV Illumination Powered by a Compact Wave Energy Converter
- 3newable aims to capture ocean wave energy to power scientific oceanographic sensors, specifically an anti-biofouling device to keep the instrumentation clear of biological growth. This will provide a complementary source of renewable energy to power ocean systems.
- Triton Systems, Inc., Chelmsford, Massachusetts: Wave Energy Harvesting To Power Ocean Buoys
- Triton Systems is developing a point-absorber type of wave energy converter that will be integrated with ocean buoys. This can double the power budget available to these buoys and enable the collection of data from the ocean.
- Fastwatt LLC, Clifton Park, New York: Compact Power Converter With High Waveform Quality for Direct-drive Renewable Energy Generators
- Fastwatt LLC, in Clifton Park, New York, will develop a novel integrated power converter-transformer that is 2 times smaller and 10 times lighter, provides high waveform and power quality, which is desirable for machines such as superconducting generators intended for large, offshore renewable energy applications and is scalable for direct interface to 69 kilovolt Alternating Current grid collection systems. The modular and scalable power conditioning system will leverage wide, bandgap, semiconductor materials and power device manufacturing advancements that will reduce the size and weight of the power conditioning system, thereby lowering the cost to transport, install, and service the clean energy technologies.