December 18 (Renewables Now) - US government agency ARPA-E, attached to the US Department of Energy (DOE), will provide up to USD 55 million (EUR 49.4m) in funding to aid the development of low-cost electric aviation engine technology and powertrain systems in passenger aircraft.
The DOE said Tuesday that up to USD 35 million will be available to the ASCEND programme, or Aviation-class Synergistically Cooled Electric-motors with iNtegrated Drives. The ASCEND funds will support research into the development of lightweight and ultra-efficient integrated electric motors, drives and thermal management systems to facilitate net-zero carbon emissions.
A second programme called Range Extenders for Electric Aviation with Low Carbon and High Efficiency (REEACH), will be endowed with up to USD 20 million. It will be aimed at developing a system for the conversion of the chemical energy contained in energy-dense carbon-neutral liquid fuels to electric power for aircraft propulsion.
Both programmes will have a portion of the funding set aside for qualifying small business applicants.
“These programs will focus on innovative research and development for flight systems that increase the overall efficiency of aircraft and have the potential to reduce aircraft fuel consumption and emissions”, DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette said.
In the US, air travel creates around 175 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year, according to the DOE.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.9)