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The Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy has declared extra funding, which incorporates financing from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), for two small businesses that are striving to speed up the deployment of wind energy. These businesses were already granted SBIR Phase I and Phase II awards and have now been picked for a Phase III SBIR award worth $600,000 to $1,100,000 each, to advance their prior work and bring their technologies closer to commercialization.
Innovative Recycling Technology for Wind Turbine Blades
Carbon Rivers, a small business, has developed an innovative process that can convert glass fiber from retired wind turbine blades into a usable material for future composite manufacturing. With the help of a $1.1 million BIL-funded SBIR Phase III award, Carbon Rivers plans to further develop their technology to transform recycled glass fiber from end-of-life blades into nonwoven fabrics for use in constructing new wind turbine blades, as well as other industries such as aerospace, construction, and marine. This funding will also support their facility plans for recycling up to 5,000 blades annually, diverting these materials from landfills.
Meanwhile, another small business called Boulder Environmental Science and Technology (BEST) is developing a microwave radiometer to accurately assess atmospheric conditions for floating offshore wind turbines. This device will measure various factors that affect the power production and reliability of wind turbines, such as temperature and humidity profiles, cloud characteristics, and water vapor over long periods of time. BEST will utilize an additional $600,000 WETO-funded SBIR Phase III award to develop a radiometer that can be efficiently deployed on small marine platforms.
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