September 13, 2017
News Release

Energy Technologies Get a Boost Toward Commercial Use

PNNL awarded $1.5M to advance, commercialize 6 lab-developed technologies


PNNL is working with UniEnergy Technologies to develop a health monitoring system for flow batteries, such as PNNL's vanadium flow battery shown here.

Six energy technologies that do everything from protect fish to monitor the health of flow batteries are getting a boost at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

DOE is awarding PNNL nearly $1.5 million to bring six technologies closer to commercial use. The projects were announced today by DOE's Office of Technology Transitions, which selected them for funding from its Technology Commercialization Fund. The technologies show great promise, but need further development to improve their potential use in commercial products or services.

PNNL is among 12 DOE national labs receiving a total of nearly $20 million to advance 54 different lab-developed projects through today's announcement.

PNNL is using its technology licensing income to match DOE funding for most of its new projects, though two of the projects involve matching support from industrial partners. As a result, the total value of PNNL's six new projects is nearly $3 million.

PNNL's six projects, the lead PNNL researchers involved, and their partner organizations are as follows:

  • Improve the long-term operation of flow batteries for large-scale energy storage with a battery health monitoring system.
  • Evaluate the physical forces fish experience as they swim through hydroelectric dams by improving and commercializing a sensor device.
  • Automatically detect fish near marine energy devices such as tidal turbines by improving software that analyzes underwater video.
  • Enable electric utilities to quickly adopt distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar by speeding up data analysis done on two computing resources.
    • PNNL engineer Jason Fuller will work with GridUnity of Boston, Mass., which is providing matching funding.
  • Improve fuel cells and other energy devices by better sealing their ceramic and metallic parts together.
  • Inspect small nuclear reactors, nuclear storage containers and more with long-term sensors that are sprayed like paint onto the materials they examine.

A full list of the 2017 Technology Commercialization Fund-supported projects is available on DOE's Office of Technology Transitions' website.

For more information about licensing PNNL-developed technologies, visit PNNL's Available Technologies website.

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