ARPA-E IDEAS Submittals
1428-1856: Concentrated Solar Power Generator
Collecting concentrated solar energy utilizes a broader wavelength spectrum of solar flux, has potential for higher efficiency, has multiple uses, and can generate both electricity and heat, and when designed for minimal energy loss results in much higher energy collection, as high as 70% efficient (30% electric and 40% heat), for a given solar area than the currently deployed solar cells which tend to have an efficiency of about 15%.
1428-1857: High Reliability Biomass Home and Grid Power Generator
This project is to design and create a prototype 5 KW rate high reliability biomass pellet burning home turbine steam generator for grid power production. A generator with 30% thermal efficiency gives 10 KW waste heat rate to heat water which can be used for hot water, close drying, and home heating for effective energy use.
1428-1870: Very High Efficiency Natural Gas Heating, Home Backup Generator, Distributed Power Grid Generation and Local Grid Stabilizer
Home heating using Natural Gas is common, however direct heating is not the most efficient heating method since at lower temperature differences, heat pumps are more efficient. Natural Gas is often used for Central Power Generation, however the waste heat cannot usually be used effectively. This project creates a very high efficiency home heat management system that uses natural gas to run an electric generator, that can run a heat pump, captures most heat that is generally lost, can produce flexible distributed grid power that can be more reliable then central power, reduce the power distribution loses, and eliminate the lost heat of Central Power Generation. Even though combine cycle generators can achieve up to 50% to 60% efficiencies, the huge savings per home can greatly reduce consumption for the same home heating result.
1428-1888: Biomass Pellet Powered Engine
Create a low cost engine that burns processed biomass fuel (wood and plant pellets) with a flexible output power range usable for cars, trucks, farm tractors, small portable power plants, etc. The need for collecting solar energy into stable ecological safe carbon neutral stored energy that can be easily transported, distributed, and utilized at a later, more optimal time, without the requirement to use ground sourced fuel that adds CO2 to the atmosphere in the process. Farmers need to be able to easily produce and harvest biomass energy at low cost compatible with the biosphere which does not require exotic or non-stable processes, has low volume, high risk, and/or high cost methods, that can provide a sellable energy crop and also provide energy for future crop production.
1428-1919: Electric Vehicle Travel Battery and Support Industry
Battery-Only Electric Vehicles (BOEV) tend to use energy more efficiently than fossil fuel based vehicles, however they are very limited in their travel distance due to the high cost of batteries. When traveling long distances, they are very inconvenient and time consuming to recharge, making them a very poor choice for general long distance travel, and making them non-competitive to fossil fuel vehicles. However, if cars are equipped with several travel battery slots, rental batteries could be inserted and replaced at various service stations along the travel route and make long distance travel almost as easy as fossil fuel vehicles.
1428-2020: Concentrated Solar Power High Efficiency Engine
This is a high efficiency CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) engine prototype project for concentrated solar flux range of up to 16,000 watts. This uses a unique solar collector heat exchanger in an oven to minimized energy loss and a piston engine to allow a wide range of solar flux conversion as observed from dawn to dusk and for quick adaption to quick dynamic change in solar flux levels as by a passing cloud. The goal is to minimize heat and radiant energy loss with most of the collected energy passing through the piston engine for > 30% conversion efficiency and collecting the remaining energy as heat in a heat exchanger between exhaust and intake of a closed cycle engine. With a low heat loss of maybe 15%, the heat energy output is the balance of about 55% for 30% conversion efficiency, but has less heat output when the engine has higher thermal to mechanical conversion efficiency.
1428-2029: Local Distributed Power Grid Management
This project is to design and write a prototype smart grid TCP/IP server client programs for grid segment power controller and local building (home/business) power management controller that coordinate with each other over a standard IP network. Additionally, power source device controller TCP/IP server and client programs for battery power, solar power, wind power, and fuel based power generators will be written but power generation and management is simulated. To improve cyber security, the communications protocols will be byte packed, highly defined, and limited to only what makes sense and each system will maintain internal logic to only do reasonable and logical operations.