Complete Freedom and Flexibility: A Look Back on the ARPA-E Summer Scholars Program with David Zhang
With spring break just around the corner, ARPA-E is getting ready to welcome a new crop of energy enthusiasts to its annual Summer Scholars program. We reached out to a former Summer Scholar, David Zhang, to learn a little about his background, his experience at ARPA-E, and how it helped change the course of his career.
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $35 million in awards for 12 projects that find new ways to harness medium-voltage electricity for applications in industry, transportation, on the grid and beyond. The selected projects are part of ARPA-E’s Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely (BREAKERS) program, as well as the latest OPEN+ cohort, Kilovolt Devices.
Electricity delivered by alternating current (AC) has a long and colorful history in the United States. This method, which alternates the flow of electricity back and forth many times per second, dominates our transmission and distribution system. AC proliferation has been driven by the ease and lower cost of voltage regulation as compared to direct current (DC), despite higher efficiencies that could be enabled by transitioning to DC. Through recent and ongoing technological innovations, economically competitive and robust DC hardware solutions have started to pave the way for radical advancements in grid efficiency, reliability and resilience.
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced up to $15 million in funding for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely (BREAKERS). BREAKERS projects will develop designs for medium voltage, direct current (MVDC) circuit breakers for a variety of applications.