Clean Energy Technologies Get a Boost Toward Commercial Use

13 Sep 2017

Six clean energy technologies that do everything from protect fish to monitor the health of flow batteries are getting a boost at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

DOE is awarding PNNL nearly $1.5 million to bring six technologies closer to commercial use. The projects were announced today by DOE's Office of Technology Transitions, which selected them for funding from its Technology Commercialization Fund. The technologies show great promise, but need further development to improve their potential use in commercial products or services.

PNNL is among 12 DOE national labs receiving a total of nearly $20 million to advance 54 different lab-developed projects through today's announcement.

PNNL is using its technology licensing income to match DOE funding for most of its new projects, though two of the projects involve matching support from industrial partners. As a result, the total value of PNNL's six new projects is nearly $3 million.

PNNL's six projects, the lead PNNL researchers involved, and their partner organizations are as follows:

  • Improve the long-term operation of flow batteries for large-scale energy storage with a battery health monitoring system. 
    • PNNL materials scientist Wei Wang will work with UniEnergy Technologies of Mulkiteo, Wash. 
  • Evaluate the physical forces fish experience as they swim through hydroelectric dams by improving and commercializing a sensor device. 
    • PNNL engineer Daniel Deng will work with Advanced Telemetry Systems of Isanti, Minn., Natel Energy of Alameda, Calif., and Farmers Conservation Alliance of Hood River, Ore. 
  • Automatically detect fish near marine energy devices such as tidal turbines by improving software that analyzes underwater video. 
    • PNNL engineer Shari Matzner is leading this project. 
  • Enable electric utilities to quickly adopt distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar by speeding up data analysis done on two computing resources. 
    • PNNL engineer Jason Fuller will work with GridUnity of Boston, Mass., which is providing matching funding. 
  • Improve fuel cells and other energy devices by better sealing their ceramic and metallic parts together. 
    • PNNL materials scientists John Hardy and Jens Darsell will work with Aegis Technology of Santa Anna, Calif., which is providing matching funding. 
  • Inspect small nuclear reactors, nuclear storage containers and more with long-term sensors that are sprayed like paint onto the materials they examine. 
    • PNNL engineer Bill Glass will work with Innerspec Technologies of Forrest, Va.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | http://www.pnnl.gov