What To Watch For @

ARPA-E is gearing up for their annual Energy Innovation Summit. Learn more about the technologies and companies that are shaking things up in 2017.

Next month, the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will host the seventh annual Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. Last year, over 2,250 people attended the summit to learn about the latest energy technologies, industry trends and hot startups.

ARPA-E is always one of our favorite industry events of the year and a great opportunity to interact with organizations from around the country that, like us, have energy innovation running through their veins. We will be at the showcase–Booth 509–with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) innovation team as well as other incubators/accelerators: LACI, ATI, NextEnergy, Greentown Labs, ACRE, Prospect Silicon Valley, and CLT Joules.

Additionally, CET’s Director of Technology Development, Dr. Ben Gaddy, will moderate a panel on innovative funding strategies on Wednesday, March 1st. The panel will address a variety of funding and infrastructure support strategies across the spectrum of technical maturation. Panelists include Dr. Mike Biddle, Managing Director at Evok Innovations; Mr. Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner at DBL Partners; and Mr. Michael Horwitz, Partner at Greentech Capital Advisors.

But of course, in addition to the panels and industry networking, we are are most looking forward to exploring the new technologies and startups! Below are just 5 of the companies exhibiting at the ARPA-E Summit that we are tracking.

Cadenza Innovation

What it is: Cadenza Innovation is developing a new design for battery packs so that Electric Vehicles (EVs) can be designed and produced with more flexibility. Current battery pack systems come with many limitations on where they can be placed within the vehicle.

Why we like it: This lighter, safer, and more flexible battery pack promises to help push EV ownership and infrastructure past the tipping point of adoption. In February 2014, Cadenza received almost $4 million from ARPA-E to develop the technology and are additionally backed by industry heavyweights Chrysler Group LLC and Magna E-Car.

Mackinac Technology Co

What it is: Transparent window coverings that can be placed over windows, with the same insulation benefits of walls. No expensive replacements, retro-fits or coatings needed.

Why we like it: Even though windows only cover 10 – 20% of a building’s surface, they are responsible for 60 – 80% of heat loss. Because Mackinac’s technology requires no expensive replacements, retro-fits or coatings it has a unique value proposition for the industry. They recently signed a $1.1 million contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Research and Development Center to develop a product for Department of Defense facilities.

Semprius, Inc.

What it is: A hybrid concept solar panel with 2 types of solar cells – highly efficient multi-junction and low-cost single-junction.

Why we like it: The multi-junction cells will be able to capture direct sunlight, while the single-junction cells will capture diffuse and indirect sunlight. The combination of these 2 types of solar cells has the potential to dramatically increase the efficiency of a panel.

Smart Wires

What it is: Smart Wires devices clamp onto existing transmission lines to help control the flow of power to better meet distribution needs.

Why we like it: The 300,000 miles of high-voltage transmission line in the U.S. today are congested and inefficient, with only around 50% of all transmission capacity utilized at any given time. Their devices would act much like internet routers allocate bandwidth throughout the web and support greater use of renewable energy on the grid by providing more consistent control.

Solid Power

What it is: Solid Power is developing a new low-cost, all-solid-state battery for EVs with greater energy storage capacity and a lighter, safer design compared to lithium-ion batteries.

Why we like it: Solid Power’s liquid-free cells store more energy for their size and weight but use non-flammable and non-volatile materials that are stable high temperatures.

Click here to learn more about the 2017 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.

For a complete list of all of the Showcase participants, click here.

Startups and other companies wanting to connect with CET at the summit can find us at Booth 509, along with other incubators/accelerators: LACI, ATI, NextEnergy, Greentown Labs, ACRE, Prospect Silicon Valley, and CLT Joules.

By Alex Foucault | January 27, 2017