TCAT receives $1.7 million ARPA grant

December 10, 2012
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) was recently awarded a $1.7 million U.S. Energy Department grant through the department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).  The ARPA grant will be used to develop a way to generate electricity from low-temperature waste heat. The project was one of 66 across the country selected for funding.

TCAT is a center housed within the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), a research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System.

"As the largest research university in the state, it is critical that we attract life-changing research opportunities like this grant from ARPA," said John Sharp, A&M System chancellor.

Each project needed to address the challenges imposed by the rapidly evolving global energy market to include all areas of energy research and development, including resource identification, extraction, transportation and use, and energy generation, storage, transmission and use in both the transportation and stationary power sectors.

"These projects represent swinging for the fences and trying to hit home runs to support development of the most innovative technologies and change what's possible for America's energy future," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The scope of TCAT's project involves developing a system to generate electricity from low-temperature waste heat. The system will cycle between heating and cooling a metal hydride to produce a flow of high-pressure hydrogen. This hydrogen flow is then used to generate electricity via a turbine and generator.

Michael Martin, interim director for TCAT's Energy and Environmental division, conveyed his excitement over the prospect of promoting future research and development in the San Antonio area.

"The grant selection process was competitive and we are fortunate to have captured funding from the DOE," Martin said. "We are excited to have an opportunity to investigate and demonstrate this emerging technology in San Antonio. We look forward to close collaboration with partners and to bringing future research and business to the local community."

The project team includes TCAT, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, which owns the site where the work will be performed and ERRA Inc., a clean technology company based in San Antonio.

General Charles G. Rodriguez, Texas A&M University-San Antonio's Chief of Staff & Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Military Affairs, expressed his pleasure at the coupling of two of The Texas A&M University System parts working side by side on a project of this magnitude.

"Texas A&M-San Antonio is pleased to be an important part of this public-private energy research effort," Rodriguez said. "We look forward to hosting the activities on our property and for the benefit of our university community and the public."


Have a question? Not finding what you're looking for? Let us get you in touch with the right person.

Fill out the form below or give us a call at (979) 458-1648 to reach us.