SunPower Inc. receives $3.5M grant

SunPower Inc., of Athens, was recently awarded $3,500,000 in federal funding for a generator development project.

“The generators built at SunPower could serve as a model for energy efficiency efforts across the country,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in a news release. “This award is a testament to the strength of Ohio’s innovative power companies.”

The $3,500,000 award comes from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)’s GENerators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS) project, which aims to develop generator technologies that will improve efficiencies in residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation.

SunPower Inc. and its research partners will design and build a generator based on a free piston Stirling engine with a high-temperature heater head and gas bearings for non-contact operation. Team member Aerojet Rocketdyne, based in Arlington, Virginia, will develop new materials to increase the efficiency of the system by allowing it to operate at high temperatures, and partner Precision Combustion, Inc., based in New Haven, Connecticut, will develop an innovative, catalytically assisted recuperated burner to ensure low exhaust emissions and high efficiency operation.

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E awardees are unique because they are developing entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy.

From The Athens Messenger  |  June 22, 2015