The DoE sees massive energy-saving potential in LEDs, but recognises the upfront price as a significant barrier. The research projects aim to reduce manufacturing costs while continuing to improve quality and performance, and the department’s $10 million investment is to be matched by private funding.
Eaton Corp, Cree, Philips Lumileds, PPG Industries and OLEDWorks will all benefit from the investment to develop new LED and OLED technologies.
Energy secretary Ernest Moniz said: ‘This partnership with industry to produce affordable, efficient lighting will save consumers money and create American jobs. It is another example of how energy efficiency is a win-win proposition for our economy.’
Eaton Corp will get $2.4 million from the DoE to develop a way of placing LED chips directly on to heatsinks, to streamline LED fixture design.
Cree will get $2.3 million to develop a modular design for LED fittings that link together to light large areas.
PPG Industries will get $2.3 million to develop a way of making an integrated substrate for OLEDs, so that glass substrates no longer have to be attached to separate conductive layers.
Philips Lumileds will get $1.8 million to develop LED manufacturing technology that does not require the sapphire substrate to be etched away before light can shine through.
OLEDWorks will get $1m to develop spray-printing equipment for manufacturing OLEDs.
This is the fourth round of investments by the DoE in solid-state lighting manufacturing projects since 2010. The department said the investments support its efforts to ‘accelerate domestic manufacturing and technical leadership in energy-efficient technologies, helping to create jobs, boost exports, and strengthen America’s role as a global leader in the clean energy race’.