Earlier this week, DOE announced $53 million in funding awards for diverse small businesses to pursue advanced scientific instrumentation and technologies to address climate change. The funding will support 259 projects across 38 states that cover security and resilience, renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture and conversion, and fusion energy, including projects that invest in disadvantaged communities to promote equitable research, development, and deployment of solutions. Developing new, clean energy solutions is a key component of achieving President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. 

The Office of Electricity selected five projects:  

Infinity Physics, LLC 

Advanced Superconducting Fault Current Limiter

This funding will help enable grid modernization through the development of an Advanced Superconducting Fault Current Limiter™. A fault current limiter limits the amount of current flowing through the system and allows for the continual, uninterrupted operation of the electrical system, like how surge protectors limit damaging currents to household devices. Infinity Physics’ innovation will support the development of the first tiered, fully high-temperature superconductor that is combined inductive and resistive. 

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. 

Solid State Transformer with Predictive Digital Twin

Solid-state transformers (SSTs) are one of the emerging technologies that can help the grid maintain resilience and reliability through the fundamental shift in supply and demand technologies. The Cornerstone Research Group will develop an SST with an embedded “digital twin,” that can be leveraged to provide predictive health monitoring to enable maintenance strategies that reduce unplanned outages, enable maintenance scheduling, and avoid premature system replacement. 

Universal Real Time Power Conversion LLC 

Real-Time Simulation Tool for Predicting the Performance of Power Electronics Technology Used on the Grid 

Universal Real Time Power Conversion will develop a groundbreaking real-time simulator that will simulate a large power system for interoperability, fault analysis, and design optimization.  

Higher Wire Inc. 

Multiport Multi-Directional Modular and Scalable Power Conversion Platform With DC/AC Source/Storage Integration 

Higher Wire Inc., in conjunction with Arizona State University, will develop a high-efficiency power-conversion system to encourage solar adoption among disadvantaged communities. The company’s solution will increase system efficiency and reduce the cost of a typical residential system by up to 14%. 


PowerBox: A Multi-Port Power Conversion System for Remote Communities

PowerBox is a highly reliable and adaptive energy-conversion system to use battery storage, renewable resources, and backup generators to provide dependable power to tribal lands and underrepresented remote communities. This project will design a portable PowerBox with a small footprint, remote control, simplified deployment, low cost, and high resiliency to address challenges faced by remote communities and to act as an emergency response system.