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NREL Cleans Up with FY19 Technology Commercialization Fund Awards

Twenty-One Winning Submissions Earn Support on the Path from Lab to Market

June 26, 2020

This year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded 21 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) submissions—worth more than a total $6.8 million—through its Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), accounting for 25% of all funded projects and 48% of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) budget allocated to TCF, more than any other DOE national laboratory and improving upon NREL’s 2018 total of 16.

The purpose of the TCF is to increase the number of energy technologies developed at DOE’s national laboratories that graduate to achieve commercial impact, as well as to enhance the department’s technology transitions system with a forward-looking and competitive approach to lab-industry partnerships. This year, DOE announced $33 million through the TCF to mature a total of 82 projects featuring promising energy technologies with the potential for high impact across the national laboratory system, with NREL rising to the top in both the number of awards and total funding.

“A TCF win of this magnitude demonstrates NREL’s unique orientation toward solving real-world problems,” Eric Payne, TCF capture manager, said. “Our researchers captured nearly half of the EERE budget allocated to TCF, demonstrating their ingenuity in the art of technology commercialization.”

A bar chart showing TCF funding by national laboratory

NREL’s winning submissions span several technology areas. The highest dollar amount awarded to an NREL team—$1 million—went toward improving the accuracy of building energy models used in the design process. Such models were instrumental in the design of some of NREL’s most noteworthy buildings. A project to create a high-fidelity modeling toolkit for wind farm development received $850,000; and behind it, rounding out the top-three funded NREL projects, is work to commercialize fully renewable non-isocyanate polyurethanes, to which DOE awarded $729,918.

The full list of NREL’s winning projects:

  • 3D-Printed Desiccant Wheel with Thermo-Responsive Desiccants for Energy Efficiency and Thermal Comfort in Buildings, $250,000
  • A Customizable Metric To Quantify the Quality of Mobility, $438,149
  • Advanced OT Edge-Level Data-Driven Threat Detection, $249,752
  • Advanced Power Distribution Sensing and Communications Through the Cable TV Broadband Network, $250,000
  • Carbon-Free Data Center Control & Assessment, $150,000
  • Commercialization of Fully Renewable Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes, $729,918
  • Commercializing Biographite for Lithium Ion Batteries, $100,062
  • Cracked Film Lithography for Metal Grids in CdTe Modules, $250,000
  • Full Area Quality Control for Advanced Membrane R2R Fabrication Lines by In-Line, High-Resolution, Multi-Layer Thickness Mapping, $124,986
  • Geothermal Resource Portfolio Optimization & Reporting Technique, $112,500
  • High-Fidelity Modeling Toolkit for Wind Farm Development, $850,000
  • Impacts of Hydrogen Blending in Natural Gas Networks, $175,000
  • Improving the Accuracy of Building Energy Models Used in the Design Process, $1,000,000
  • Passivated Contacts for Direct Wafers, $149,905
  • Scribe and Interface Modification for Stable Halide Perovskite Modules, $450,000
  • Surface-Modified Electrolyzer Components for Corrosion Resistance and Electrical Conductivity, $124,900
  • Technical and Commercial Assessment of a Newly Developed Secondary Reflector Design for Linear Fresnel Technology, $600,000
  • Technology Agnostic Loss and Life Informed Dispatch of battEry Assets (TALLIDEA), $250,000
  • Urban Algal Forests To Capture Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Wastewater Nutrients: Algal Strain Development To Enhance Efficiencies, $240,000
  • Wet Waste for High-Performance Sustainable Aviation Fuels, $249,660

“TCF funding provides an avenue for maturation of lab-developed technology with the involvement of companies interested in deploying it,” NREL Technology Transfer Office (TTO) Director Anne Miller said. “It is really gratifying to see this level of interest in the technologies developed by NREL scientists.”

Learn more about the TCF program on energy.gov.