Advanced science.  Applied technology.


ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

May 24, 2021 to May 27, 2021
Go to ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit event

SwRI will be exhibiting at the virtual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.

Project: Model Predictive Control for Energy-Efficient Maneuvering of Connected Autonomous Vehicles

SwRI’s automotive engineers developed control algorithms that demonstrated a fuel economy improvement of more than 20% by leveraging vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity and low levels of automation (SAE Level 2 and below) on a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug in hybrid vehicle. The improvement was achieved by energy efficient routing strategies, optimizing power-split between electric machines and internal combustion engine as well as acceleration smoothing in urban environments via eco-driving. The technology uses route preview information using conventional navigational services such as Google Maps that includes grade, stop signs, traffic lights and traffic volume with no modifications to the powertrain hardware. The team will now build upon these existing technologies and work on newer vehicle dynamics and powertrain control strategies to achieve 30% improvement in fuel economy by taking advantage of advanced sensing and actuation mechanisms enabled via fully automated vehicles (SAE Level 4 and above). The project is funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) NEXTCAR program, under Award Number DE-AR0000837.

For more information, contact Scott Hotz.

Project: Oxygen Storage Incorporated into the Allam Oxy-Fuel Power Cycle

Oxygen-fueled supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power generation cycles, such as the Allam-Fetvedt cycle, improve efficiency and enable simpler carbon capture strategies. Southwest Research Institute will apply energy storage concepts to this power generation cycle by incorporating oxygen storage adjacent to the air separation unit (ASU). By operating the ASU at higher capacities when power from alternative energies is available (e.g., wind power at night or solar photovoltaic power during the day) and storing liquid oxygen (LOX), greater output from the power plant can be achieved during times of peak electricity demand. Further savings can be achieved by using LOX’s vaporization cooling to reduce the compression power of CO2 needed for the power cycle.

For more information, contact Jeff Moore.

Project: Grid-Scale Electricity Storage at Lowest Possible Cost: Enabled by Pumped Heat Electricity Storage

SwRI’s Pumped Heat Energy Storage (PHES) system is based on an innovative thermodynamic cycle to store energy in hot and cold fluids. This technology features a simplified system, high round-trip conversion efficiencies (the ratio of energy put in to energy retrieved from storage), and low plant costs. At full scale, as being developed by project partner Malta Inc., the technology would provide more than 10 hours of electricity at rated power (the highest power input allowed to flow through particular equipment). SwRI is currently assembling a kW-scale demonstration facility to validate the technology, and develop control strategy and operational procedures. This grid-scale energy storage systems will help make the U.S. more energy secure and resilient.

For more information, contact Natalie Smith.