The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) recently announced an investment of over $21 million towards 30 clean energy projects through the Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) Base Annual Appropriations Core Laboratory Infrastructure for Market Readiness (CLIMR) lab call. These projects are dedicated to advancing clean energy technologies and strengthening existing practices to contribute to climate change mitigation, economic stability, and the broader decarbonization goals set by the United States government.

Here, we present detailed information on each of the selected projects organized under topic areas outlined by the CLIMR lab call. These projects are designed to address commercialization challenges, accelerate the development of promising technologies, and streamline processes to efficiently deliver clean energy solutions to the market.

Brookhaven National Laboratory will host the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Connect program, engaging in stakeholder collaboration, outreach events, fellowships, and future planning for funding sources.

Partnering labs: LLNL, SNL, PPPL, SLAC, NETL

Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) Selection

  • Argonne National Laboratory will demonstrate the ultra-fast boriding process as a cost-effective replacement for expensive components in geothermal power plants.
    • Partnering labs: LLNL, SNL, PPPL, SLAC, NETL

Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) Selections

  • Sandia National Laboratories will work on overcoming barriers to industry adoption of active wake control through high-fidelity simulations.
  • Sandia National Laboratories will also develop the Wind Interconnection Standard Platform (WISP) tool for automating and accelerating interoperability and interconnection certification procedures for distributed wind power converters.

Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) Selection

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory will develop an interactive visualization and analysis web tool for climate-smart decision-making by power grid utilities, operators, and planners.

Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Selections

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory will work on advancing the photovoltaic conversion efficiency ceiling of cadmium telluride solar cells through negative cracked film lithography (CFL).
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory will also adapt and commercialize Reflected Target Non-Intrusive Assessment (ReTNA), a new optical measurement system for concentrated solar power (CSP) mirrors.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory will further commercialize the drone-based Non-Intrusive Optical (NIO) Technology for efficient and automated optical characterization of heliostats in CSP.
  • Sandia National Laboratories will create a commercial-scale, agrivoltaics ganged-PV microgrid product.

Nuclear Energy (NE) Selections

  • Argonne National Laboratory will improve the modeling capabilities, fidelity, and maturity of the System Analysis Module for advanced non-light water reactor safety analysis.
    • Partnering labs: ANL
  • Idaho National Laboratory will advance commercialization of a highly radiation-tolerant liquid level sensor.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory will provide unique solutions for heat exchangers, pump impellers, and other components.
  • Sandia National Laboratories and Idaho National Laboratory intend to improve safety in nuclear reactor designs through deployment of new software tools.
  • Argonne National Laboratory will provide a basis for the implementation of a robust process for recycling used nuclear fuel and managing nuclear waste.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) Selections

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory will demonstrate a novel high-speed, high-volume manufacturing platform for fabricating energy-efficient solid oxide electrolyzer cells.
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will establish an accelerated durability test for cryo-compressed hydrogen tanks.
  • Sandia National Laboratory will enable commercial adoption of Hydrogen Plus Other Alternative Fuels Risk Assessment Models, a software toolkit for assessing the safety of hydrogen and other alternative fuels infrastructure.
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will focus on developing a commercial prototype for fiber-optic sensor for direct detection of hydrogen leakage.
  • Idaho National Laboratory will develop high-performance proton-conducting solid oxide electrolyzers (P-SOEs).

Office of Electricity (OE) Selections

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will deliver long-duration zinc battery modules, testing data, and technology transition plans for scale-up and commercialization.
  • Idaho National Laboratory will accelerate the commercialization of OmniTap for enhanced protection of process controls within the U.S.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory will mature and validate a robust data-driven phase identification tool for customer phase connectivity determination in distribution grids.
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will develop an ultra-stable reference electrode as an in-situ system diagnostics tool for redox flow batteries.
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will develop a high-capacity quasi-solid-state Zn–MnO2 battery.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop a commercial software tool for measurement-driven automatic and adaptive damping control technology.
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will commercialize self-assembling Microgrid algorithms.
    • Partnering labs: NREL, LANL

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working with OTT’s coLABoratory Open Voucher Call to improve lab collaboration and enhance connections with small business innovators from underserved/underrepresented communities.
    • Partnering labs: SNL, PNNL, ANL, LANL, Ames, LBNL, ORNL
  • Idaho National Laboratory will streamline the Foreign Review Process for National Laboratory Agreements to engage foreign companies and U.S. companies with foreign influence more effectively.
    • Partnering labs: INL, Ames, SNL, LLNL, LANL, SLAC, ANL, ORNL
  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility will explore Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) to document best practices for rapid R&D and provide recommendations to the national lab system.
    • Partnering labs: INL, LLNL, SLAC, Ames, KCNSC
  • Idaho National Laboratory will develop a DOE-approved template for standardization of DOE lab work scopes associated with CRADAs to streamline the negotiation process.
    • Partnering labs: LANL, ANL, SLAC, ORNL

These CLIMR projects epitomize the synergy between innovation, collaboration, and dedication to advancing clean energy solutions. Each project showcases the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our National Laboratories and their partners in addressing pressing energy challenges. We are optimistic that the outcomes of these projects will significantly contribute to the nation’s journey towards a sustainable and resilient energy landscape.

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