Top government contracts won by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) are projects that aim to revolutionize how we generate, store and use energy from new wind turbine designs and transportation fuels made from bacteria to energy storage solutions and more efficient semiconductors.
As a U.S. government agency, Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) is responsible for promoting and funding research and development of advanced energy technologies, national security, and environmental well-being. It operates as a research program under the Department of Energy and is modeled after DARPA.
5 Top Government Contracts Won by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
Transphorm’s GaN Switch Contract
August 2022 saw Transphorm win a contract from Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). As a part of the ARPA-E CIRCUITS program and subcontract from the Illinois Institute of Technology, the work covers the supply of GaN-based four-quadrant switches (FQSes).
Transphorm was responsible for prototyping the FQS platform with its 650 V GaN technology. The GaN adoption brought four-quadrant switch bidirectional devices to market and prepared them for commercial production. So far, top government contracts won by Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) has helped a lot in different ways.
General Electric’s Contract to Develop High-Voltage SiC Super Junction Transistor
In February 2019, General Electric Research won a $3 million contract award from ARPA-E to develop the first-ever high voltage SiC super junction (SJ) metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET). This innovative technology allows highly efficient power conversion for advanced MVDC and HVDC grids and energy, healthcare, and aviation applications.
Additionally, GE researchers worked on another ARPA-E program focused on developing a superfast DC circuit breaker, another key enabling technology for MVDC grids.
HexaTech’s Contract to Develop For Aluminum Nitride (AlN) High Voltage Power Electronics
It was in December 2012, when HexaTech won a $2.2 million award from ARPA-E to develop new power semiconductor technology to revolutionize the nation’s electrical power grid. HexaTech’s high-quality aluminum nitride (AlN) technology holds great promise in its transformational capabilities. HexaTech developed new doping schemes and contact metals for AlN/AlGaN with high aluminum content using a single-crystal AlN substrate.
The ARPA-E contract opened material development and research opportunities to showcase AlN’s high-voltage, high-efficiency power conversion capability. These AlN-based power devices are useful for reducing size, weight, and cooling for power systems and grid-scale power conversion applications.
FuelCell Energy’s Contract for Cell Technology Improvement
A $3 million contract from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) was awarded to FuelCell Energy in May 2017. This was a part of the Renewable Energy to Fuels through the utilization of the Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) program.
Under the contract, FuelCell Energy will support the advancement of solid oxide cell technology that alternates between electrolysis and fuel cell power generation mode (reversible SOFC or RSOFC) in energy storage applications. The special types of fuel cells can store energy by producing hydrogen or other known clean fuels and generate electricity when the power grid needs it.
Integral Wins ARPA-E Contract for Research on Renewable Wave Energy
The Marine Science and Engineering Group of Integral Consulting won a two-year contract award from ARPA-E to further develop a real-time, cost-effective wave measurement buoy. Integral Consulting partnered with Sandia National Laboratories as they developed, tested, and validated a wave measurement buoy that can follow and transmit ocean’s real-time wave-by-wave motions.
The focus is to reduce the cost of wave energy by increasing WEC energy capture efficiency through operational control strategies with real-time data about surface wave-by-wave motions.