Funding for energy-efficient electric motor programs

The Energy Department announced up to $25 million in available funding aimed at advancing technologies to increase the efficiency of electric motors.
By U.S. Department of Energy March 17, 2016

The Energy Department announced up to $25 million in available funding aimed at advancing technologies for energy-efficient electric motors through applied research and development (R&D). This effort will fund innovative technologies to increase the efficiency of electric motors, which use approximately 70% of the electricity consumed by U.S. manufacturers and nearly a quarter of all electricity consumed nationally. 

The Energy Department plans to select eight to 12 projects designed to develop key technologies that will enable further efficiency enhancements and weight reductions in a cost-effective way. The projects are also designed to address the limitations of traditional conductive metals and silicon-infused "electrical" steels used in motor components.

Funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), these projects will leverage technical advancements made in nanomaterials research, a new 6.5% siliconizing process in steel manufacturing, and improved performance of high temperature superconductors. The projects also encourage research, development, and deployment of advanced magnets, high frequency insulation materials, and lead-free, low-loss bearing technologies that are critical for high speed electric motors.

These enabling technologies could help manufacturers cumulatively save nearly 44 terawatt-hours per year, which is roughly 1.6% of total U.S. electricity consumption, and provide further savings in variable-speed motors. In addition, these enabling technologies will improve motors used in the growing clean energy sector, helping wind, solar, electric vehicle, and battery manufacturers.

U.S. Department of Energy

www.energy.gov 

– Edited from a Department of Energy press release by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, Control Engineering, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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