2017 Call for Projects Questions and Answers

PowerAmerica will post all questions and answers for the 2017 Call for Projects below. If you need to submit a question about the 2017 Call for Projects to the PowerAmerica staff please complete the form found on our website.

Q: The FOA states that “Only one (1) Concept Paper per division/site will be accepted from any organization.” For a University applicant can the same person be the lead on a University project, and also team with industry on a different proposal? If a faculty is applying to a project in focus area 3, would they be eligible to apply for educational funding (area 5)?

A: A faculty member may only apply and be awarded a single project in FA 2 through FA 4.  This can be an individual award or as part of a team.   That faculty member may still apply, and be awarded an additional project in FA 5.

Q: Can we propose on a concept that is not listed as a topic or subtopic in the CFP or does PA have no interest in topics/subtopics outside the CFP descriptions?

A: Yes, we will consider concepts that are not specifically listed in the CFP, provided that a compelling case is made that the proposal meets the broad objectives of the CFP as identified at the end of the summary table on page 4. Please note, we will not consider concepts listed in section “B. Applications Specifically Not of Interest” on page 6.

Q: In the RFP, it indicate using >3.3kV WBG device. But, as MV motor and MV drive manufacturers, we have big concern on this. We actually prefer to use 1.7kV WBG devices in order to reduce the insulation stress on motor winding.

So, can we propose a solution for sub topic 4.4b but with 1.7kV WBG devices?

A: Yes.  Solutions that use WBG devices other than those specified in the CFP are acceptable to propose. Provided that a strong technical or economic rationale is made for using the lower voltage device.

Q: We understand that PA will assist with obtaining 3.3 kV, 6.5 kV, and 10 kV engineering samples. We may need multiple number of those engineering samples. Can we assume that we will have those devices available when we write our concept paper and full proposal?

A: We will make every attempt to assist with the acquisition of the stated devices in time for BP4.  But we cannot guarantee that we can acquire them and we will not have them available at the time of writing the concept papers or full proposals.

Q: For a collaborative university/industry/national lab team, does each party need to submit an individual concept paper? If individual concept papers are required, do all the concept paper need to have the same title?

A: For team proposals, just one concept paper describing the team’s activities is required. An extra 2 pages will be allowed to include all contributions.

Q: Topic 2.3 requires completion of five lots within a one-year period if the proposal involves device manufacturing. What are the requirements if the proposal involves demonstration of a new or improved technology in a manufacturing environment?

A: The proposal requires completion of 5 lots for all industrial device projects. Limited development work to transfer a working process from a small volume to a large volume fab can be part of the proposal. A “new” process, which has not been fully demonstrated at good yields in a small fab, will not be supported for volume manufacturing.

Q: I have a question regarding the final demonstration and hardware construction for the grid-related topics asking for direct connection to 4,160 V and 13,800 V ac networks. Is the concept paper and future project expected to propose and demonstrate a whole system implementation? Power ratings in the several hundred kW is not a problem, but scaling up in voltage requires devices that are not readily available (3.3 kV), or very costly (10 kV). Could a scaled-down prototype be constructed instead, keeping the power rating but operating at lower voltages and using 1.7 kV SiC MOSFETs, for instance, in order to succeed in the short-term (12 months) development and demonstration?

A:  For BP3 projects, all engineering devices (3.3 kV, 6.5 kV, 10 kV) were available prior to the start of BP3. We will discuss BP4 device needs early on and expect to have all BP4 engineering samples available timely. Please use the appropriate high voltage devices (3.3 kV, 6.5 kV, 10 kV) in your concept paper.

Q: For sub-topic 4.4b, it is mentioned that” motor drive applications with a > 3 kV DC bus using > 3.3 kV SiC switches”. Could 3.3 kV devices be considered as a candidate? The requirement for switching frequency is “>5 kHz”. Is this a firm requirement?

A: 3.3 kV devices can be used. Switching frequency >5 kHz is desirable.

Q: The CFP states one concept paper per “division/site.” We have 3 divisions on one site – can each separate division submit a concept paper? The 3 divisions are separate business units with different product portfolios.

A: Yes, in that case, each division could submit a concept paper.

Q: Topic 2.3 specifies the funding limits as “up to $600K for industry and up to an additional $300K each for universities and national labs teaming with industry”. If the proposal is led by a university with an industrial partner, is the maximum DoE funding still $900K? In other words, does the industry have to be the prime contractor in such an arrangement for these funding limits to apply? What are the funding limits if the university is the prime?

A: Though we prefer for industry to be the lead on the project as a way to foster commercialization, a university is also eligible to lead the team.  In either arrangement, the funding limits are the same.

Q: This year, it seems like I only submit one. Is this true and a
new requirement? We need to know since I plan to submit one in FA2 and one in FA5.

A: Two submissions for the concept paper are allowed if one is for FA5 and one is for FA2-4.