Today, ARPA-E released a Request For Information (RFI) concerning a draft Open Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). ARPA-E intends to formally issue a revised version of this Open FOA in early March 2012. The Open FOA is expected to support transformational and disruptive high-impact energy R&D projects related to renewable power, bioenergy, transportation, conventional generation, the electrical grid, and building efficiency, among other technology areas.
ARPA-E’s first FOA, issued in 2009, was a similarly open call for the most transformative energy technology solutions to our nation’s most pressing security, economic, and environmental challenges.
The RFI provides instructions for submitting comments on the draft Open FOA, which must be received by 5 PM Eastern Time on February 29, 2012 at ARPA-E-OpenFOA@hq.doe.gov.
Draft for review
A handful of researchers are even working to extend the concept to allow charging of electric vehicles while they are out on the road. Researchers at Oak Ridge and Stanford recently developed detailed concepts for such a system. In a $2.7 million federally funded project, researchers at Utah State University are installing a system to charge buses as they stop along a route in Salt Lake City.
In the Oak Ridge model, 200 coils would be embedded in a section of the roadway and controlled by a single roadside device; successive coils would be energized as electric vehicles pass over them, providing enough power for the vehicle to reach the next series of coils a mile down the road.
John Miller, a research scientist at Oak Ridge, estimates that each series of coils plus the controller would cost less than a million dollars. “Wireless chargers for electric vehicles are so convenient. You don’t have to mess with plug cables. You don’t care what the weather is. You don’t even have to think about it. I think it’s going to catch on superfast,” Miller says.
The installation of energy efficient lighting at all Hawkins County schools, which was completed last month, is already beginning to show significant energy savings including more than $65,000 at three schools alone between May and December of last year. But two more projects discussed by the Hawkins County Board of Education Thursday evening will drive down the system’s energy costs even further. Those projects include the installation of solar panels at 11 Hawkins County schools by Morristown-based TerraShares (President John Adkins), which will sell electricity back to the Tennessee Valley Authority.