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Department of Energy invests in thermal management research and development

DOE’s ARPA-E division funds 22 new projects that promise to facilitate emissions reductions and improve energy efficiency.

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has announced $60 million in funding for nearly two dozen innovative new projects aimed at detecting and measuring methane emissions and developing localized thermal management systems that reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings.

The scope of the various projects ranges widely, from the development of new, low-cost optical sensors that will be integrated in a distributed sensor network to enable enhanced methane leak detection from natural gas systems, to the creation of novel printed sensor arrays can quantify and locate methane leaks. There is also an innovative project that focuses on the development of thermoregulatory materials designed to enable the expansion of the neutral temperature band for buildings in both heating and cooling seasons.

“These new projects highlight the Department of Energy’s commitment to developing a broad range of disruptive technologies to ensure a secure, affordable and sustainable American energy future,” said US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Investments in innovative methane detection and thermal management technologies demonstrate ARPA-E’s role in catalyzing energy research and development by leveraging our top scientists and engineers from across the country.”

The projects are funded through ARPA-E’s two newest programs: Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) and Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities (DELTA).

More details on each of the individual projects are available online.

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Bioenergy  •  Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Geothermal  •  Green building  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar heating and cooling