Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the award last week of over $37 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for solid-state lighting projects. Solid-state lighting uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) instead of incandescent bulbs. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), it has the potential to be ten times more energy efficient than incandescent lighting. Lighting accounts for 24 percent of all electricity generation, and solid-state lighting could reduce that by one-third by 2030.
The 17 projects chosen to receive ARRA funds include core technology research, product development and domestic manufacturing of solid-state lighting. This is the sixth round of DOE funds for solid-state lighting research and product development, and the first time for manufacturing. The DOE began funding solid-state lighting projects in 2000.
“The United States must lead in energy efficiency. These solid-state lighting projects will help us significantly cut our energy use, reduce our carbon footprint and save money,” Chu said.
Three core technology research projects were awarded $4 million, including $1,239,071 to the University of Rochester to develop white phosphorescent OLEDs with less than 100 lumen per watt efficiency, and over 10,000 hours of operating time.
Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY) said, “It is critical that we continue to make investments in new energy efficient technologies at U of R; it will help the environment and boost the region as a center of the job-creating new energy sector.”
Six product development projects were awarded $10.3 million, including $5.77 million to General Electric Global Research of Niskayuna, New York to improve its pre-pilot OLED manufacturing line.
“These smart investments that we are making today will soon pay off with more energy efficient lighting that will cut our energy use and ultimately our reliance on imported foreign oil,” said Rep. Paul Tonko (NY).
Eight manufacturing projects were awarded $23.5 million, including Veeco Instruments of Somerset, New Jersey. Veeco’s project will focus on lessening the brightness of LEDs through improving the metal organic chemical vapor deposition technology (MOCVD). MOCVD is the “critical enabling technology” for producing LEDs.
“Veeco is very excited to have been granted this important DOE funding, which will enable us to speed-up development of our next generation MOCVD systems,” said John Peeler, Veeco’s CEO.