2020-09-03
DOE announces $33 million in funding for carbon-neutral hybrid electric aviation

DOE announces $33 million in funding for carbon-neutral hybrid electric aviation

Image used for representation only. Courtesy: Wright Electric

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a $33 million funding as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Aviation-class Synergistically Cooled Electric-motors with integrated Drives (ASCEND) and Range Extenders for Electric Aviation with Low Carbon and High Efficiency (REEACH) programs.

DOE will be funding a total of 17 projects as part of ASCEND and REEACH programs.

“Millions of Americans travel on single-aisle aircraft every year, contributing to continued increases in energy use and emissions by commercial airlines,” said Lane Genatowski, Director of ARPA-E.

“REEACH and ASCEND teams will work to lower these burdens by creating innovative new systems to enable more cost-effective and efficient flight systems for commercial travel.”

Both ASCEND and REEACH programs are aimed at decreasing energy usage and resultant carbon emissions for commercial aircraft propulsion systems.

ASCEND projects essentially work to develop innovative, lightweight, and ultra-efficient all-electric powertrain with advanced thermal management systems that will enable efficient net-zero carbon emissions for single-aisle passenger commercial aircraft. Whereas REEACH projects seek to create innovative, cost-effective, and high-performance energy storage and power generation sub-systems for electric aircraft, with a focus on fuel-to-electric power conversion technologies.

According to the DOE, of the $33 million being awarded through these programs, eight projects were selected under REEACH to split $18.5 million in funding, while ASCEND teams will receive $14.5 million for nine projects for Phase 1. For Phase 2 of the program, a total of up to $18 million has been allocated.

DOE statement added that those projects teams that achieve technical success in phase 1 may be eligible for additional funding under Phase 2 to develop their technologies.

 To view the full list of ASCEND projects click here and for REEACH projects click here

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