By Eric Lanke
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has just announced up to $3 million of new funding for fluid power systems research for off-road vehicles. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) has been posted to the EERE Exchange website and can be accessed at: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaIdb316f593-12df-4e13-8c28-a4f31d459976
According to the web posting, “The objective of this FOA is to research technologies that can improve the energy efficiency of fluid power systems for commercial off-road vehicles. Construction, mining, and agriculture equipment represent the majority of fuel consumption in off-road vehicles, and this equipment relies heavily on fluid-power systems (i.e. hydraulics) to actuate most of their functions. They are preferred over electric motors because of their high specific power density and ability to tolerate shock and harsh environments. However, current fluid-power systems have poor efficiency. Research in this area can provide decreased operating costs for these key domestic industries.”
The DOE is hosting an informational webinar for those interested in learning more or perhaps submitting proposals. The webinar will be held on November 1 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. Pre-registration is required at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7720635796163965442
Detailed information accessible at the website describes the awarding of approximately two to three awards under this FOA, each with a budget of between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000. The projects will be competitively selected through this funding opportunity and will complement additional early-stage research on mobile fluid power systems at DOE national laboratories. The deadline for submission of concept papers is November 20, with full applications due by January 18.
As I’ve mentioned before, this is a major new initiative for the fluid power industry. The academic and industry leadership of the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) were instrumental in creating this opportunity. Its success is a direct result of that unique organization and the NSF and industry funding it has received for the last twelve years. Many thanks to all who worked so hard to make this program a reality.
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