DOE Announces $25 Million to Develop Next Gen Electric Machines for Industrial Energy Savings

The Department of Energy (DOE) on March 11 announced $25 million in funding (DE-FOA-0001467) aimed at advancing technologies for energy-efficient electric motors through applied R&D. The DOE intends to select eight to twelve projects that leverage recent technical advancements in nanomaterials research, high temperature superconductivity, magnet development and deployment of lead-free, low-loss bearing technologies that are critical for high-speed electric motors.

The effort is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and is part of the Obama administration’s effort to double clean energy research and development investments over the next five years.

AMO has identified four key technology areas and says that enabling them could help manufacturers cumulatively save nearly 44 terawatt-hours per year, roughly 1.6% of total US electricity consumption, and pave the path for further savings in variable-speed motors. In addition, the AMO says these enabling technologies will improve motors used in the growing clean energy sector, therein helping wind, solar, electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.