Two of the five DOE Energy Innovation Hubs with appropriations in FY 2012 are managed through the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program of the Office of Science (SC). The Hubs focus multiple teams of researchers—each working in separate but collaborative research areas—on overcoming the related scientific barriers to development of a complete energy system that has potential for implementation into a transformative energy technology. The two Hubs funded and managed by SC/BES will bring together teams of experts from multiple disciplines to focus on two grand challenges in energy: (1) Fuels from Sunlight, a Hub established in FY 2010 and (2) Batteries and Energy Storage, a new Hub in the FY 2012 appropriation.
The Fuels from Sunlight Hub is the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), which was initiated in FY 2010 and is led by the California Institute of Technology in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other California institutions. The mission of JCAP is: To demonstrate a scalable, manufacturable solar-fuels generator using Earth-abundant elements, that, with no wires, robustly produces fuel from the sun ten times more efficiently than (current) crops. Basic research has provided enormous advances in our understanding of the subtle and complex chemistry behind the biological conversion of sunlight into fuels during natural photosynthesis. Yet we still lack sufficient knowledge to design solar-fuel generation systems with the required efficiency, scalability, and sustainability to be economically viable. The Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub was designed to attack just such a grand challenge as it develops and demonstrates prototype solar-fuels generators that produce fuel through artificial photosynthesis using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide as inputs. Acting in its role as coordinator for the scientific and engineering communities, JCAP incorporates research results from many individual laboratories (including 20 DOE-sponsored Energy Frontier Research Centers) to accelerate the pace of technological development toward the creation of a direct solar fuels industry.
JCAP Web Site| JCAP Brochure (450KB)| JCAP Technical Summary (108KB) | JCAP Fact Sheet (177KB)
JCAP AP Futures Highlight (108KB)|
The Batteries and Energy Storage Hub is the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), which was initiated in FY 2013. JCESR is led by Argonne National Laboratory in partnership with four other DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms. Joining Argonne on the JCESR team are Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Participating universities include Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Michigan, and private firms joining the effort are Dow Chemical Co., Applied Materials, Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., and Clean Energy Trust. Headquartered at Argonne, the JCESR Energy Innovation Hub brings together many of the world’s leading battery researchers around a common objective of overcoming fundamental scientific challenges and enabling next-generation, beyond lithium-ion, energy storage systems. The JCESR mission is ambitious: To pursue advanced scientific research to understand electrochemical materials and phenomena at the atomic and molecular scale, and to use this fundamental knowledge to discover and design next-generation energy storage technologies. JCESR’s core task is basic research – using a new generation of nanoscience tools that enable observation, characterization, and control of matter down to the atomic and molecular scales. This enhanced ability to understand materials and chemical processes at a fundamental level will enable exploration of new technologies that move beyond traditional lithium-ion batteries and store at least five times more energy than today’s batteries at one-fifth of the cost – and to achieve this objective within five years. As an integrator in the scientific and engineering communities pursuing next-generation energy storage, JCESR is coordinating its efforts with the DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers and other programs in the DOE technology offices and in ARPA-E. JCESR’s industrial partners will help guide the Hub’s efforts to ensure that the research leads toward practical solutions that are competitive in marketplaces such as transportation, utilities, construction, electronics, medicine, aerospace, and defense.
JCESR Website | JCESR Partners | JCESR Multimedia | JCESR Fact Sheet (1.1MB)
DOE News Release, November 30, 2012: Team Led by Argonne National Lab Selected as DOE’s Batteries and Energy Storage Hub. The Energy Innovation Hub, to be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the R&D firepower of five DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance. For more information go to: http://energy.gov/articles/team-led-argonne-national-lab-selected-doe-s-batteries-and-energy-storage-hub