CRG has landed $206K in federal funding to develop a new solid-state transformer that aims to improve the resiliency of the nation’s power grid.
CRG is one of 259 grant recipients to receive a portion of the $53M total funding awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) last week through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
With this funding, CRG will develop a solid-state transformer with an embedded digital twin for predictive maintenance, a technique that can pinpoint repair or replacement of electronic components nearing the end of their useful life. Predictive maintenance reduces the total life cycle costs of the installed system, ultimately reducing the cost passed on to consumers. Additionally, this technology will improve the resiliency of the grid by reducing power outages, which cost the U.S. economy $150B annually.
Once demonstrated, this technology will be capable of expanding to use in a wide range of products, including power conversion systems in electric vehicles and aircraft.
“Supporting small businesses will ensure we are tapping into all of America’s talent to develop clean energy technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis,” said Steve Binkley, Acting Director of the DOE’s Office of Science.
The Dayton Business Journal posted an article about CRG’s zoning approval to commence a battery manufacturing process at its new facility at 8821 Washington Church Road. CRG acquired the property in January, 2020, and it added 126,000 square feet of manufacturing or production space, 36,000 square feet of warehouse space and 12,000 square feet of office space.
“The [zoning] decision will enable CRG to outfit a 2,000-square-foot space inside the building to develop batteries for the Department of Defense that are approximately the size and thickness of a credit card,” said Jeffrey Bennett, CRG’s Vice President of Operations. “Five to eight of them will be put together in a pack, so it will be about the size of a deck of cards. It is then incorporated into body armor for troops on the ground.”
Upon completion and renovation, the new facility will be CRG’s third location in the Dayton region.
In January of 2020, CRG established its new Power and Energy Center (PEC). This new center lets CRG focus on rapidly expanding technologies such as advanced battery cell chemistries, cell fabrication, hybrid electric systems, wearable power technologies, power generation systems, advanced energy storage systems, power management, and distribution and conversion technologies.
The PEC already has multiple systems progressing towards procurement and is conducting research for the DoD, NASA and DHS. The rapid successes taking place in this center have led to the company to begin standing up battery cell production at the new facility that was recently acquired.
The PEC team includes electrical engineers, chemical engineers, software engineers and electrochemists led by PEC Vice President, Brian Henslee. Read more about the PEC here.