NIST Workshop – Technical Implications of Deregulation

It’s been 5 years since the first UFTO visit to NIST, and we’ve had continuing contacts ever since. Our colleagues there have recently announced an upcoming workshop that may be of interest.

“Challenges for Measurements and Standards in a Deregulated Electric Power Industry”

A Workshop focused on the Technical Implications of Deregulation

–> For details, go to:
(ignore the password request–just click on “cancel”)

Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA (near downtown Washington, DC)

December 6-8, 1999

Sponsored by:
-NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
-EEEL (Electronics and Electrical Engineering Lab)
-Electricity Division

Technical Co-Sponsors: IEEE, DOE, NST, ERPI and NEMA

Deregulation promises to spur significant change in the electric power industry. To compete successfully and to provide the high levels of services that customers expect, companies will have to adapt to a new business climate, while effectively integrating emerging technologies into their operations. Thus, this historically regulated industry will be challenged to identify its technology needs in a changing and uncertain environment. To help the industry respond effectively, this workshop will address technical challenges related to measurements and standards that are needed to ensure continued reliable generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power.

The technical impact of deregulation on the industry’s measurement and standards infrastructure will be assessed from the perspectives of the electric utilities, power producers, electrical equipment manufacturers, meter manufacturers, federal and state regulators, government agencies, and standards-writing bodies. Sessions for this two-day workshop will focus on:

– measurement needs for transmission and distribution,
– international and voluntary standards needs of a deregulated
electric power industry,
– communication and control systems protocols and standards,
– competitive metering,
– distributed generation, and
– power quality.

The workshop will feature three or four plenary speakers each morning, and their comprehensive overviews of the technical topics will be complemented by panel sessions each afternoon. Panels will consist of recognized experts from all sectors of the electric power industry and relevant government agencies. The workshop’s published proceedings will identify key technical challenges facing the industry as it undergoes fundamental change, and it will discuss potential solutions. Copies will be distributed to all attendees.

Registration fee: $350 (includes reception, two lunches, and proceedings)

For questions and comments about this workshop, contact:

James K. Olthoff, 301-975-2431,
Electricity Division, NIST
Gaithersburg, MD

Technological and Economic Assessment of the Changing Measurement and Standards Needs of the Electric Power Industry

With restructuring of the electric power industry looming in all 50 states, NIST has initiated efforts to anticipate needs for measurements and standards that may arise as the industry transitions from a system of monolithic utilities to a diverse collection of firms competing to generate, distribute, and meter the power that goes to homes and businesses. In its role as the nation’s measurement authority, NIST has commissioned a study of technology and marketing trends in the transmission, distribution, and generation sectors of the electric power industry. Researchers will assess measurement and standards needs identified by power industry experts interviewed during the study.

The results of the study will be presented in a report, which will be distributed to the attendees of the workshop. An overview of the report and the conclusions therein will be presented in the first plenary talk of the workshop.

In May 1997, The Electricity Division at NIST published a planning document entitled:

“Measurement Support For the U.S. Electric Power Industry in the Era of Deregulation with Focus on Electrical Measurements for Transmission and Distribution”

It is available in “html” and “pdf” format.

A earlier draft of this document was offered to UFTO companies for comment.
(ref: UFTO Notes: 28Jan97 and 14Nov96)

The Division continues to seek input on its program to provide metrology support to the US electronic instrumentation and test equipment industry.

NIST Advanced Technology Program

NIST Adv Technology Program (ATP) Announcements

If you want government funding for your projects, you may want to get familiar with this program, which makes multimillion $ awards for cost shared projects, often to teams of companies, universities and labs.

ATP website is:

–1998 Program Awards — include major projects in “Premium Power”
–1999 Proposal Solicitation and Proposers Conferences


On October 7, 1998, NIST announced results of nine ATP competitions conducted in 1998, including a general competition open to proposals from any area of technology and eight competitions in focused technology areas.

If carried through to completion, the 79 projects will be funded at approximately $224 million from private industry, matched by approximately $236 million from the ATP. The awards are contingent on the acceptance of the awards by the recipients.

Detailed lists and descriptions of the 1998 ATP projects and their participants are available from the ATP World Wide Web site at:

or by contacting NIST Public and Business Affair at (301) 975-2758.

The 1998 Competition categories were:
General Competitions
Photonics Manufacturing
Premium Power (** See below)
Digital Video in Information Networks
Catalysis and Biocatalysis
Microelectronics Manufacturing Infrastructure
Selective-Membrane Platforms
Tools for DNA Diagnostics
Adaptive Learning Systems

**1998 Premium Power Awards

– Preparation and Fundamental Evaluation of Catalytic Materials for Energy Applications
– Modular 2KVA Fuel Cell Power Plant with Live Replaceable, Self-Hydrating, PEM Smart Cartridges
– Novel Process for High-Efficiency Copper-Indium-Gallium-Diselenide (CIGS) Photovoltaic Modules
– Higher Voltage, Lower Impedance Aerogel Ultracapacitor
– Asymmetric Supercapacitor Based Upon Nanostructured Active Materials
– Lightweight, Flexible, High-Efficiency CIS-Alloy Tandem Photovoltaic Devices
– Reduced-Temperature, Electrode-Supported, Planar (RTESP) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) System for Premium Power Applications
– Advanced Materials and Processes for Cost-Effective High-Power Ultracapacitor Modules
– Distributed Premium Power Fuel Cell Systems Incorporating Novel Materials and Assembly Techniques
– Propane-Fueled Fuel Cell Power System for Telecommunications Applications
– Advanced Lithium Solid Polymer Battery Development



On November 16, ATP announced the opening of its 1999 competition to support innovative, cost-shared industrial research and development. There will be only one single solicitation this year, open to all technology areas. The ATP has approximately $66 million dollars in fiscal year 1999 for first- year funding of new projects.
Full Proposals Due: 3p.m. Eastern Time April 14, 1999

Applicants may, if they wish, submit abbreviated pre-proposals to the ATP to receive feedback from the ATP as to suitability of the proposed project. Starting in FY1999, ATP will accept and provide feedback to pre-proposals throughout the year. However, ATP suggests that pre-proposals be submitted at least two months prior to the full proposal deadline to allow the proposer enough time to incorporate feedback into a 1999 proposal.

A complete collection of the ATP Proposers’ Conference presentations is available on line, along with the 1999 Proposal Preparation Kit.

Hardcopies can be obtained from ATP by phone 1-800-ATP-FUND or 1-800-287-3863.

ESA Newsletter

(By special permission from ESA, here is their latest newsletter.)


The ESA has listened to its membership and is being responsive to what the membership says it wants from the ESA. In our survey of ESA members over the last few months, the number one thing you want from the ESA is promotion and a forum so that potential customers are aware of the value and opportunities for including energy storage in their business plans. Energy Storage: It’s About Time! Is the theme for our new brochure and our marketing campaign for the next several years? Our new brochure should be available at the Spring meeting and the ESA staff is hard at work to deliver this message throughout the industry.

Our upcoming meeting in Phoenix is also focusing on the customer. The meeting’s preliminary agenda (mailed last week) includes presentations by power quality customer’s that have incorporated energy storage, electric utility customer’s that are installing energy storage, and fuel cell developers incorporating energy storage into their designs. Along with the exceptional visits to Arizona Public Service Company and Salt River Project (not to mention the amenities available in the Phoenix area), we expect our meeting to have outstanding attendance.
I recently was invited to participate in a plenary session on Alternative Generation and Storage at IEEE’s Winter Power Meeting at Tampa, Florida. I used the opportunity to present our standard ESA electronic presentation (available to any ESA member) and the response was overwhelming. More than 30 participants immediately asked for more information and I suspect several will attend our upcoming meeting in Phoenix. I am more convinced than ever that the interest in energy storage is at an all time high. However, we must be more proactive in delivering our message.

Thus, the objective of our brochure and marketing campaign.

Our membership is reflecting the transition taking place in the electricity business. We are picking up several new members while others have merged, downsized, or gone out of business. We cannot improve without ideas, feedback and commitment from our membership. As always, contact us at any time by phone, fax, and email or via our website and stop in to pay us a visit the next time you are in Washington, DC. Register for the Spring meeting early and do not forget your dues with registration and encourage other business partners, customers, and colleagues to participate in the ESA.

Jon Hurwitch, ESA Executive Director



The Spring 1998 ESA meeting is fast approaching. The preliminary agenda and registration materials are in the mail. As always, we anticipate changes to the agenda, additions and deletions as well as details on the presentations. Updates to meeting program will be available via the ESA world wide web site.

This meeting is shaping up to be very exciting and we hope that you will find the new format refreshing. The Feature Forum is dedicated to presentations on how customers are using energy storage technologies. We have avoided over-booking this session so that the presenters can give longer, more detailed presentations and there is time for questions and answers.

The Fuel Cell Storage Session will both serve to introduce fuel cell technology, a close relative to energy storage, and the potentially interactive relationship between fuel cells and storage, particularly for grid-independent systems. The remaining sessions are broken into the three primary applications for storage, utility, power quality and renewables. In addition to a strong program, we have two tours planned at Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service Company.

ESA/SEIA to Host PV-Battery Storage Discussion at SOLTECH

The Energy Storage Association will be co-sponsoring a session at the SOLTECH meeting on Monday, April 27, 1998. The SOLTECH , Interstate Renewable Energy Council and Utility Photovoltaic Group annual meetings are being held in Orlando, Florida, April 25-30, 1998.

For more information on the panel discussion, please contact the ESA. For information on the SOLTECH meeting contact the Solar Energy Industries Association at 202/383-2670.

————————— EESAT ’98 Meeting

The ESA has received copies of the meeting program and registration and will be distributing them at the meeting in Phoenix. If you need copies ahead of time, please give us a call and we will put them in the mail to you.

Other Upcoming Meetings

Marriott Boca Center, Boca Raton, Florida
For information call, 561/997-2299, or

HydroVision98: Exploring Our New Frontiers
July 28-31, 1998
For information call, 816/931-1311, or. www.hydrovision98com

Powersystems World ’98: Managing your Facility in a New Energy Marketplace
November 7-13, 1998
Santa Clara Convention Center

ESA Participates at IEEE Winter Power Meeting Plenary Session

ESA Executive Director, Jon Hurwitch was one of five invited panelists for the Plenary Session on “Alternative Energy Generation and Storage: Concepts or Becoming Operational Reality?” The other panelists were, Gilbert Cohen, Kramer Junction Company; Douglas Hyde, Green Mountain Energy Resources; Ernesto Terrado, World Bank; and Richard Walker, Central and Southwest Services.

The Plenary Session attracted more than 1000 delegates primary from the U.S. electric utility industry. Jon delivered an abridged Energy Storage Overview presentation which was well received and generated a number of prospective ESA members.


1998 ESA Index

The Energy Storage Association is in the process of updating the ESA Index for 1998. If you have any changes or additions to your listing or that of your colleagues, please forward that information to the ESA as soon as possible. We hope to issue the 1998 Index at the Spring meeting in Phoenix.

1998 ESA Member Directory
This year the ESA will be preparing a directory of its membership that will include a discussion of the products and services offered by member companies. The directory will be available in electronic form via the ESA website.

We are asking members to please send us, preferably in electronic form, a brief write up about the company; information on your energy storage product and services; photos or other graphics, but in particular the company logo; contact name and information; and the URL address for a company website.

ESA Welcomes New Member, KEMA

The Energy Storage Association continues to stretch its membership boundary. In February 1998 KEMA Nederland B.V., a major Dutch utility became the second European ESA member. KEMA has been a participant in the International Energy Agency Annex IX and has its own storage research program. We will all have the opportunity to meet representatives from KEMA and hear more about their interest in energy storage at the ESA meeting in Phoenix.

Omnion and AC Battery Reunited

Delphi and Omnion believe the prospects for AC Battery” power quality products are substantial, particularly in light of the ever-increasing sophistication of manufacturing and data processing operations and the potential power supply problems that may occur as utility deregulation moves forward. AC Battery products offer unique technological advantages over competitive products in the field.

Trace Engineering and Statpower Technologies Announce Merger Plans

Trace Engineering Corporation of Arlington, Washington and Statpower Technologies Corporation of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada signed a Letter of Intent to merge the two businesses in November of 1997. The merger, expected to be completed in the first quarter of 1998, will result in the world’s leading manufacturer of small electronic power inverters.
According to Trace Engineering President Bill Roppenecker, “Trace and Statpower make an excellent strategic fit. We have complimentary technologies, products, and market strengths. By joining forces we get the critical mass necessary to effectively serve the rapidly growing market for mobile and renewable power sources.”

Trace Engineering and Statpower Technologies develop and manufacture electric power inverters, battery chargers, and other power conversion products for a variety of markets including the recreational vehicle, marine truck, mobile office, backup power, and renewable energy markets.

Department of Energy 1999 Budget Request
The Administration has submitted its fiscal year 1999 budget request to Congress. The House and Senate are expected to begin hearings on the budget this month.

The budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs has jumped from $908 million in 1998 to a proposed $1,198 million in 1999. This increase of 32% will help to support the President’s proposed Climate Change Technology Initiative for clean energy research and development.

The budget request breakdown by major program offices is:

$322M – Utility
$167M – Industrial
$293M – Transportation
$ 34M – Federal Energy Management
$317M – Buildings, States & Communities

The energy storage program request for 1999 stands at $6 M up from $3.9 M in 1998, and includes funding for the ESA-backed Storage 2000 initiative. The Energy Storage Association backed the recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to increase the energy storage program budget to $20 M in 1999 to support renewable generation and storage programs. The ESA will work with the Sustainable Energy Coalition to continue to push for the PCAST budget recommendations during appropriations hearings in Congress.

Excerpts from the President’s State of The Union Address

In his State of the Union Address in January, President Clinton introduced his proposal for $3.6 billion in tax incentives over the next five years that will go directly to consumers in an effort to get advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies into the marketplace.

Some specific tax credits include:

– 20% credit on purchase price for energy-efficient building equipment which includes: fuel cells, electric heat pump water heaters, advanced natural gas and residential size electric heat pumps, and advanced central air conditions;
– 15% credit for qualified investment up to a maximum of $1,000 for solar water heating systems and $2000 for rooftop photovoltaic systems;
– five year extension of 1.5 cent/kWh tax credit for electricity produced from wind or closed-loop biomass

A copy of the report containing the proposed tax incentives is available via the world wide web at:

The National Regulatory Research Institute Issues Unbundling Report

According to a recent report, Unbundling Generation and Transmission Services for Competitive Electricity Markets: Examining Ancillary Services, the nationwide cost of ancillary services is about $12 billion a year, roughly 10% of the cost of the energy commodity. The report sponsored by the National Regulatory Research Institute and prepared by Oak Ridge National Laboratory is available from NPRI for $29.95 by calling 614/292-9404 (report number NPRI 98-05.)

The report notes that although the utility industry has made substantial progress in identifying and defining the key ancillary services, much remains to be done. Developing metrics, determining costs, and setting pricing rules are important because most ancillary services are produced by the same pieces of equipment that produce the basic electricity commodity. Thus, production of energy and ancillary services is highly interactive, sometimes complementary and sometimes competing. In contrast to today’s typical time-invariant, embedded-cost prices, competitive prices for ancillary services would vary with system loads and spot prices for energy.

The individual ancillary services differ substantially in their features, competitiveness, provision, and pricing. Operating reserves, for example, can likely be provided by competitive markets. The primary supplier cost for this service is the opportunity cost associated with foregone energy sales; significant fuel costs are incurred only when these reserves are called upon to respond to the loss of a major generation or transmission outage.

The report provides an overview of the twelve ancillary services plus details on two of those services, operating reserves and voltage support.

Cara Molinari Joins ESA Staff

On February 17, Switch Technologies welcomed new staff member Cara Molinari. As Executive Assistant, Cara will be taking over the responsibilities of ESA Coordinator including handling communications with members, finance, office administration, meeting planning, library maintenance, and website updates.

Prior to joining Switch, Cara was a Work Assignment Manager and Communications Specialist for Technical Resources International, Inc. of Rockville, Maryland. Cara brings experience in the preparation of communications and marketing materials including newsletters, brochures, and educational materials; and meeting planning to Switch and the ESA. Cara received her BS in Sociology and Italian Studies from St. Joseph’s University. Cara is fluent in Italian and proficient in Spanish and French.

You will have an opportunity to meet Cara in person at the upcoming ESA meeting in Phoenix.

Premium Power RFP Issued

The Department of Commerce, Advanced Technology Program released a request for proposals for premium power technology research and development. The goal of the program is to promote U.S. economic growth by supporting sustained, High-Risk Research and Development to accelerate progress in power technologies critical to changes occurring in information systems, telecommunication, and distributed electric power. Technologies within the scope include advanced rechargeable batteries, photovoltaic arrays, fuel cells, ultracapacitors and flywheels. In FY98, $82 million is available for new projects.

Proposals for the first round are due April 8, 1998. Proposal kits can be obtained by calling the ATP hotline at 800-ATP-FUND or e-mail at: Information on the premium power program is also available via the ATP website at:

JON HURWITCH, Executive Director
LAURA WALTEMATH, Projects Director

Please contact ESA office at:

Update on UFTO Operation Update

See earlier note attached below. Thanks to the many of you who responded.

We are making progress.

OAK RIDGE — tentatively scheduled for sometime Apr 1-3.
Need to know — WILL YOU COME??

NIST — looking for a date in May

ARGONNE — we’d hoped to go to ANL in March, however they’re gearing up for an initiative to approach utilities, and will be better prepared for us if we wait until June. I’ll keep you posted.
(note to Cubs fans–see how things work out?)

Subject: UFTO Operation Update
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 09:41:54 -0800
From: Ed Beardsworth

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 650-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 650-328-5675

At our June meeting in SF last year, there was a strong consensus behind the idea to revisit some of the Labs that we first went to several years ago. I’ve already gone to Sandia, and am beginning to put the plans in place for other Labs.

A number of you expressed an interest in accompanying me on such trips, so this note is to find out how many of you are likely to come.

The format will depend on how many of you attend, and what your interests will be. I would go ahead for meetings on Day 1, and then be prepared for your arrival that evening. Day 2 would be tours, presentations and meetings for the group. You certainly could expect a good overview of relevant programs at each Lab, and a chance to meet some of the management and key investigators.

I’ve contacted Oak Ridge, Argonne, and NIST, to start the process of finding possible dates. My goal is to accomplish all three visits by the mid July, though we may let one slide to the Fall.

(To review our materials for each of these labs, go to the website/ members only/ “advanced” search, and put the lab name in “Source”…For NIST use “institute”. Also, note new “reports and workshops” section.)

It’s very important to have good estimates for this. Please REPLY, by cob Tues Jan 27. Thank you.

A. ____ NIST (Wash DC)
____ Oak Ridge (Tenn.)
____ Argonne (Chicago)

_1_ Almost certain we will send someone, schedules permitting
_2_ A distinct possibility
_3_ Almost certainly won’t send anyone

B. Comments or suggestions on:
TIMING? (good, bad dates–preferred days of week, etc.)
Other comments?

C. ____ UFTO Members Meeting?
When? Where? (Combine with a Lab visit? Another event?)

Request for Comments on NIST Plan

Subject: UFTO – Request for Comments on NIST Plan
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 12:23:16 -0800
From: Ed Beardsworth

Gerry FitzPatrick called today, and says he’d appreciate any feedback or comments on the NIST Plan that many of you have seen. They have a review meeting coming up soon, and industry input would be very helpful to them. It’s also an opportunity to influence what they’re working on, and to forge stronger links with the program there at NIST.

Repeated below is the note about this from last November. I’m sure Jerry would be happy to rush you a copy of the plan, if you don’t have one.

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675

Subject: UFTO Note — NIST Strategic Plan
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 10:42:35 -0800
From: Ed Beardsworth

NIST Strategic Plan for Electric Power Industry

The Electrical Systems Group at NIST has prepared a Draft “Strategic Plan For Measurement Support for the U.S. Electric-Power Industry,” July 31, 1996. It is an attempt to identify the highest priority technical needs of the industry during these times of dramatic change, and particularly where NIST can make a significant contribution.

Based on a comprehensive review of needs in areas of power system efficiency and reliability, environmental protection and power quality, the report focuses on implications for NIST. It may prove a useful benchmark for your own technology needs identification purposes. More immediately, however, NIST is anxious to have a greater degree of input, review and comment from the industry, and will happily send you a copy. You can relay your request through UFTO, or directly to:

James K. Olthoff, 301-975-2431 or
Jerry Fitzpatrick, 301-975-2737

NIST Strategic Plan

Subject: UFTO Note — NIST Strategic Plan
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 10:42:35 -0800
From: Ed Beardsworth

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675

NIST Strategic Plan for Electric Power Industry

The Electrical Systems Group at NIST has prepared a Draft “Strategic Plan For Measurement Support for the U.S. Electric-Power Industry,” July 31, 1996. It is an attempt to identify the highest priority technical needs of the industry during these times of dramatic change, and particularly where NIST can make a significant contribution.

Based on a comprehensive review of needs in areas of power system efficiency and reliability, environmental protection and power quality, the report focuses on implications for NIST. It may prove a useful benchmark for your own technology needs identification purposes.

More immediately, however, NIST is anxious to have a greater degree of input, review and comment from the industry, and will happily send you a copy. You can relay your request through UFTO, or directly to:

James K. Olthoff, 301-975-2431 or
Jerry Fitzpatrick, 301-975-2737

Room Temp Superconductor Wire

Subject: UFTO Note — Room Temp Superconductor Wire
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 12:46:46 -0700
From: Ed Beardsworth <>
| * UFTO * Edward Beardsworth * Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675

ROOTS, Inc. — Room Temp Superconductors (again)

References: previous UFTO notes about this company:
Aug 27, 1996 Private placement offering memo
May 23, 1996 Update on progress
March 1995 First UFTO report

The credibility of this story appears to be increasing substantially.

ROOTS Inc. has established the presence of very high conductivity in certain classes of polypropylene polymer films, and is actively developing applications for the film, while also working on making wire. The materials exhibit near zero resistivity, several orders of magnitude less than copper, from -450 to +390 degrees F.

ROOTS has completed a phase 1 SBIR with the Air Force, and began a Phase 2 contract in May.

Dr. James L. Smith, Chief Scientist at the Superconductivity Center at Los Alamos National Lab, has recently joined their Scientific Advisory Group, and has clearly indicated that he takes their work very seriously.

The company now has prepared a detailed development plan to build “ultraconductor” wire, one kilometer long, and they recently submitted a proposal for an NIST/ATP grant for $2 million.

This new plan provides the clearest picture of what is happening, including a readable outline of the theory. A copy can be obtained from ROOTS under a non-disclosure agreement.
Contact Mark Goldes, ROOTS, Sebastopol, CA, 707-829-9391.

Travel Notes: Washington DC, Feb 26-29, 1996

1. Technology Partnering Conference

This 1 1/2 day event sponsored by McGraw-Hill’s Federal Technology Report., featured top management speakers from DOD, NASA, NIST, DOE and Congress, discussing the historical background and major new developments in the federal government’s role and approach to working with industry.

The bipartisan trend that had been developing for many years to increase links between federal labs and agencies and private industry was suddenly reversed by the new Republican Congress, as a part of its drive to reduce spending. Robert Walker, head of the House Science & Technology Committee (who is retiring the end of this year) attacks what he calls “corporate welfare”, but what others view as vital programs to put federal technology into the hands of industry so it can be successfully commercialized.

Congress has proposed to zero out the large and well-regarded multi-agency programs such as the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) run by NIST and the Technology Reinvestment Program (TRP) run by ARPA/DOD. The Clinton administration, however, is standing firm in its support, particularly for ATP. TRP will morph into the “Dual Use Applications Program”, explicitly focused on the needs of DOD, and under the Office of Defense Research and Engineering instead of ARPA.

The terminology is shifting from “technology transfer” to “Technology Partnering” and government agencies like DOE, NASA and DOD are to focus entirely on their own specific objectives. The rationale for partnering is that these agencies need industry to commercialize the technology they’ve developed, so they can then purchase and use it more cost effectively in the accomplishment of their own respective missions.

For example: DOD is the world’s largest customer for “low-rate production”, which says they have a strong interest in having industries that are highly capable at “agile manufacturing”, which coincidentally is the trend in the competitive world economy. Thus benefits flow both ways.

One of the risks of the budget cuts is that the Labs may become viewed as “unreliable” business partners if they have to curtail or reduce their funding of CRADAs, a reputation they’ve been struggling with some success to overcome.

One particularly interesting presentation was by John McTague, VP of Technical Affairs at Ford Motor Co. and advisor to DOE. He pointed out the well known behavior of large organizations to become bureaucratic and process/rulemaking oriented — when they lose track of what they’re supposed to be producing, or don’t have competitors. (Sound familiar?) DOE is attempting to reverse this trend, especially at the Labs, but old habits are hard to change, as are all the rules and procedures that have accumulated (many thanks to Congress).

As is often the case, networking during the breaks was particularly fruitful. Among other contacts, I’ll have more to report soon on a nifty new program between Dayton Power & Light and the Air Force’s Wright Lab to help DP&L’s major customers.

Also, thanks to a coincidental encounter, I arranged to meet later in the week with the DC office of the National Tech Transfer Center (NTTC), which has responsibility for tech transfer for the Ballistic Missle Defense Organization (BMDO), a separate DOD branch which has the huge technology repository of the entire SDI (Starwars) effort. They have taken a particular interest in reaching out to electric utilities, and UFTO may be in the right place at just the right time. More on this at a later date–please don’t tell anyone about it just yet.

I’ll be getting a copy of the conference proceedings, with all the papers and presentations. I’ll make additional information available to UFTO members on request.

2. DOE — Fossil Energy (FE) Patricia Godley, Assistant Secretary

The reorganization to a “lines-of-business” structure that has been in the works for over 2 years is to go into effect in April, if Congress approves. Cross-cutting teams will address advanced research, communications, and environment, health and safety.

I met with Victor Der (301-903-2700), who is proposed to head the “Power” business,and who is in very much a learning mode about the implications of utility industry restructuring for new fossil capacity additions and for potential changes in the Federal role in fossil energy more generally.

At the DOE level, as part of the ongoing effort to reinvent the agency, four strategic alignment areas have been defined: National Security (nuclear materials), Environment, Energy, and Administration. “Energy” is to be overseen by the “Energy Resources Board” headed by Kyle Simpson who reports to Charles Curtis, and including Fossil, Energy Efficiency, the Energy Information Administration, and with Energy Research represented on the Board.

The FE domestically is focused heavily on the commercialization of the Clean Coal technology, and internationally on helping to increase volumes and lower costs for “appropriate” technology to help US firms export. Fossil O&M is not addressed in the program , except as it underlies many of the development goals for new technology.

Fuel Cells continues to be a major program area.

Contacts are Charlie Pax (301-903-2832) or Ed Beyma (301-903-2828.)

FE is responsible for the high temperature technologies (PEM work is handled in the Office of Transportation Technologies), and the work is administered from Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC). Mark Williams is the Product Manager for Fuel Cells (304-285-4747). (Incidentally, there are plans to merge the 3 FE Tech Centers into a single “Federal Energy Institute”. Details yet forthcoming.)

– Phosphoric Acid (PA): DOD is providing partial cost rebates for the installation of ONSI 200kw units. Lots of people are in line for it. Other PA players include H Power and Fuel Cell Corp. of America, which bought the Westinghouse design. This technology is getting users familar with fuel cells, with operational availability over 95%.

– PEM: Conventional wisdom is that the low temperature and relatively lower efficiency (using natural gas) makes this uncompetitive for stationary power generation (and cogenerations) applications, however it’s high current densities and the possibility of earlier mass production may throw that view into contention for smaller units.

– Molten Carbonate — DOE is supporting work by ERC and MC Power.

– Solid Oxide–DOE is supporting only the Westinghouse tubular design, and Southern California Edison is testing a 25 kw “logistic” unit for the DOD at its Fuel Cell Test Center (“logistic” means with diesel and jetfuel.) Westinghouse will do a 100kw unit with utilities in the Netherlands soon. DOE has no planar SO program (Congress “picked a winner”?), though several smaller firms are doing work on this.

– In conjunction with the IEEE Power Engineering Society, DOE is sponsoring a series of regional Fuel Cell Technology Forums. Proceedings available (May ’95, Boston; Nov ’95, Santa Clara CA; Nov ’96 Houston ) Local host utility involvement is welcomed. Contact Sam Biondo, (301-903-5910)

FE Communications is headed by Bob Porter (202)586-6503. FE published about 150 new “Fact Sheets” last year, and currently is updating and adding to them. These will all appear on FE’s Internet WWW page. Later this year, information will be added on all 600 active R&D projects, along with full text of technical reports.

There is also a “Fax-on-Demand” service (call 202-586-4300), and a less well-known “Fax-Out” service, which sends announcements and news on chosen topics to whoever is on the list.

3. DOE/EE — Office of Utility Technologies (OUT)

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE), headed by Assistant Secretary Christine Irvin, has four major program areas: Utility (OUT), Transportation (OTT), Building (OBT), and Industrial (OIT).

Karl Rabago left on March 1 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for OUT, and Allan Hoffman, his associate, is currently acting in that capacity.

Generally, OUT is downsizing and restructuring, essentially eliminating the “Office” layer of management (though some titles remain), and dealing with major budget cuts. Initiatives to reorganize and rationalize the division names and missions are no longer at the fore. The mood is one of considerable uncertainty. The divisions of OUT are Wind, Hydro & Ocean; Geothermal; Photovoltaics; Solar Thermal and Biomass Power; Utility Systems, and Advanced Utility Concepts.


Photovoltaics Division, Jim Rannels, 202-586-1721

There are some noteworthy developments in the solar PV.

– The Enron-Amoco-Solarex project in to build a 3+ MW solar PV plant in Hawaii is moving forward, with the building of a new factory in Virginia to make the cells.

– C-Star, Las Vegas NV, set up by DOE and the state of Nevada, and headed by Rose Mckinney-James, is reviewing 5 major bids to solar install projects at the Nevada Test Site. Plans call for as much as 500 MW of capacity of a number of diverse solar technologies.

– Cells and modules are getting cheaper all the time, with the current emphasis on new thin fim technology and mass production. Expect local home supply stores to be selling modules with integral inverters that can plug right into the household circuit, and slow or reverse the meter. Utilities better be planning how they’re going to respond.

– United Solar, Troy MI, will put PV roofing shingles on the market in about one year. These will be featured along with many other innovations in the Atlanta Energy Showcase House, to coincide with the Olympics. Oak Ridge has the lead — contact Pat Love at 423-576-7942.

– Also at the Olympics, Georgia Tech and Georgia Power are putting in a major installation of PV panels on a 100 ft. high stadium roof. Expect very high profile nationally and internationally, with TV camera views from the blimp. This might well result in a resurgence of interest and inquiries about solar which utilities should consider preparing for–and possibly taking advantage of. Utilities would do well to make a conscious decision about this, and not get caught off guard.

– The Utility PV Group (UPVG), with 86 utility members, is a formally constituted independent organization set up 4 years ago with DOE’s help at the request of a small group of utilities. It serves as a major forum for program development and interactions among utilities, PV developers and DOE. (Most but not all UFTO members are in UPVG. For $2000/year, it would seem a very cost-effective way to keep abreast of new developments.)

Utility Systems Division, Robert Brewer (202-586-2828)

This group handles T&D, EMF and district heating and cooling. Budget cuts have zeroed out the T&D program entirely, and with the new emphasis on renewables, they are looking for ways to contribute in that arena.

The work at Oak Ridge on “High-Phase Order” Transmission was completed and published — found to be a valid approach. A commercial demonstration has been operational in upstate NY since 1992. A 1.5 mile three phase circuit was converted to six-phase, and offered a 73% increase in line capacity.

Real Time control studies are continuing, in particular the wide-area measurement work at PNNL with BPA and WAPA. The idea is tovalidate power system computer models so they can be relied upon to operate the transmission system closer to the margin.

Oak Ridge has developed a new advanced Resonant Snubber Inverterwith considerably improved part load performance. (Inverter development had been focused on HVDC, but now the effort is shifted to lower voltages.) While part load performance is less of an issue in many applications, it can be quite significant in solar and electric vehicles, where the system operates at part load much of the time. Adjustable speed drives may also benefit from this technology.The ORNL inverter is 80% efficient at low speeds and 98% at high speeds, vs. more typical performance of 60-70% and 94%. The device is much smaller and should be cheaper than conventional inverters and have much reduced waveform distortion and interference. Jason Lai is the inventor of this “resonant snubber” inverter. Contact Frank Juan 423-576-8540.

Sandia has looked at inverters that have failed in use, and DOE is continuing to support the work at PNNL on the multi input inverter, which interestingly was first developed for MHD.

ORNL also has just completed a study of “Electric Power Ancillary Services” (e.g. voltage and frequency control, spinning reserve, reactive power, etc.), examining who will provide these services in a restructured industry and how they will be priced. Brendon Kirby and Eric Hirst have a new report published Feb ’96 (ORNL/CON-426. To request a copy call Ethel at 423-576-0071.)

Interestingly, the work on Distributed Utilities (DU) was never a line item in the DOE budget, and was done largely with internal lab directed funds at NREL and PNNL. DOE has traditionally emphasized generation and supply, and not the overall “system”.

In T&D asset management, DOE (and Oak Ridge) take the position that the industry (utilities, vendors, EPRI) have the responsibility for near term real-time Operations & Maintenance improvements and techniques, and that DOE should take the broader long-term view. We encountered this idea at ORNL some time back, and discussed their “understand the basic physics and chemistry first” approach vs. a more pragmatic phenomenological approach (i.e., look at field data and use AI technniques, etc.)

4. Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT)

Denise Swink, Deputy Assistant Secretary, 202-586-9232

OIT has a wide ranging series of programs to support the development of efficient industrial technologies and process systems, to help U.S. industrial productivity and competitiveness. OIT funds R&D at the national labs, universities and industry in bioprocessing, catalysis, separations (membranes), sensors, CFCC’s, combustion, materials, cogeneration, and solar industrial technology, and in processes for each of the industries listed below. This technical work forms the basis of a vigorous outreach through “partnering” programs. Utilities could be very effective in bringing these resources to the attention of their industrial customers. Contact Marsha Quinn, 202-586-2097, Director, Technology Access

– Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse: 1-800-DOE-EREC

– Internet: http://www.eren.doe/industry/

– To receive the quarterly newsletter “Benefits and Breakthroughs”, contact Nicki Malenfant, NREL, 303-275-3632. The first (Summer ’95) issue gives a good overview of programs.

– “Impacts” (October ’95 ) catalogs what is available from the results of OIT funded projects, and there are also a new series of product sheets called “Bottom Line”.

Industries of the Future Program focuses on seven industries where technology can yield the biggest returns: Petroleum refining, chemicals, pulp and paper, steel, aluminum, foundries and glass. It brings together the technical resources of all the national labs in what is called a “virtual lab” concept, and works with those industries to develop “vision” statements, and establishes plans to solve their important problems and opportunities.

Contacts: Kurt Sisson, Acting Director 202-586-0139

Bruce Cranford, Chemicals 202-586 -9496 Tom Foust, Pulp & Paper 202-586 -0198
Douglas Kaempf, Metal Casting 202-586 -5264 Susanne Leonard, Glass 202-586-6108
Matt McMonigle, Aluminum 202-586 -2082 Dan Wiley, Refineries 202-586 -2099

The Motor Challenge Program has enrolled over a thousand industrial partners, who get easy access to product and system information and technical resources, such as fact sheets, “Motor Master” software, conferences and technical assistance.

Contact Paul Scheiling, 202-586-7234, or call the Hotline 1-800-631-3832.

Climate Wise helps U.S. industry partners reduce emissions while increasing profitability. This is a voluntary program paralleling the Climate Challenge program which many utilities participate. Members agree to come up with plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Firms like AT&T, Coors, DuPont, GM, and Weyerhauser have already signed up. Regional workshops have led to the formation of local area groups. Some funding may be available for smaller companies. Contact Marsha Quinn, 202-586-2097.

NICE3 (National Industrial Competiveness through Energy, Environment and Economics) awards grants to teams of state agencies and local industry to support demonstration of technologies that reduce energy consumption and pollution.

Contact Alan Schroeder, 202-586-1641

Industrial Assessment Centers (formerly Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Centers) at 30 universities around the country provide free audits and waste assessment services to small and medium industrial companies. This program has been in place for nearly 20 years, providing experience for engineering students as well. Recently ten IAC-State Office partnerships were awarded to encourage local industrial community links.

Contact Chuck Glaser, 202-586-1298 or Rolf Butters, 202-586-0984

International Development helps with the DOE trade missions, and is involved in work with China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Mexico and the Ukraine, to introduce appropriate and more efficient industrial technologies into these fast growing economies as their energy demands expand. Contact Peter Salmon-Cox, 202-586-2380