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LighTimes: DOE Awards Four SBIR/STTR Grants for SSL Technology Development

20 May 2014

May 15, 2014…The US. Department of Energy’s Office of Science has awarded four Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to advance solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. The FY14 Release 2 Phase I awards will explore the feasibility of proposed innovative concepts or technologies. The SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program aims to increase the small business participation in federal R&D.

VoltServer, Inc. received SBIR/STTR Release 2 Phase 1 grant funding for advancing in the use of low-cost, high efficiency SSL with integrated building controls using a PET Power Distribution System. VoltServer’s proposed project is to demonstrate a way to use a unique technology called “Packet Energy Transfer” (PET) to embed the data signals directly onto the power distribution channel to safely distribute high voltage direct current (DC) power in buildings. According to the company’s proposal, eventual commercialization of the technology could reduce SSL installed costs by 20–30%, seamlessly integrate advanced building controls, and reduce power distribution and conversion losses by a factor of three.

Innotec, Corp. also received the SBIR/STTR phase 1 grant for research into integrating efficient SSL with advanced sensors, controls and connectivity. Innotec proposal is to design and demonstrate a new, improved, and integrated electronic film construction. This electronic film is to support the thermal energy, and electrical current levels required for efficient SSL applications. The company plans on combining printed films with injection over molding to streamline the number of components and reduce assembly time, resulting in lower production costs for pcLEDs, the elimination of PCBs in the manufacturing process, and improved performance and increased design flexibility.

MoJo Labs Inc. received the grant to replace traditional light switches or analog dimmers with a smart SSL wall dimmers equipped with photosensors, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) RF communication, and a novel task-to-wall (TTW) sensing and control technology that enables energy savings via daylighting. The TTW architecture will be designed and managed by any personal device running iOS, Android, or Windows 8. Using smart devices not only eliminates the cost to design, manufacture, and support custom commissioning hardware, but will also reduce adoption barriers by employing simple, no-cost UI’s. Leveraging the ambient light sensing capability of smart devices (phones and tablets) could enable nearly 33% lower product cost.

OLEDWorks LLC is the grant’s fourth recipient. OLEDWorks proposes using an integrated, systematic design approach, to demonstrate a low-cost OLED panel product with the thinness and light quality characteristic of OLEDs while achieving high efficacy. For Phase I, OLED Works plans on producing a 4-inch prototype OLED with directional control that can be applied to white light panels with efficiency of greater than 45 lumens per watt. The company also plans on devising a roadmap along with a roadmap for greater than 60 lumen per watt OLEDs and color applications such as amber.