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Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0011860
Agency Tracking Number: 0000219296
Amount: $999,121.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 03a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001258
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-07-26
Small Business Information
42 Ladd Street
East Greenwich, RI 02818-4361
United States
DUNS: 354866810
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Stephen Eaves
 (401) 885-8658
Business Contact
 Stephen Eaves
Title: Dr.
Phone: (401) 885-8658
Research Institution

The primary barrier to widespread adoption of solid-state lighting is its high initial cost relative to other options approximately two times more expensive than equivalent compact fluorescent lamps, and five times more expensive than equivalent downlight fixtures. The performance and cost of solid-state lighting driver circuitry, which comprises 15-20% of the cost of a commercial lamp, operates at a nominal efficiency of 84%, and is the lamps primary failure mode. This project addresses these problems using a novel, natively digital approach to safely distribute high voltage direct current power. Having the ability to differentiate human touch or a fault from normal electrical loads, the novel technology allows high voltage lighting power to be safely installed without conduit and with limited to no licensed electrician involvement. It offers the benefits of safe, low cost installation associated with low voltage lighting systems but without the downside of limited power and lower efficiency. In Phase I of the project, the technology was shown to reduce the total cost of ownership of solid-state lighting systems by more than 35% by reducing installation cost, energy use, and lamp replacement costs. The technology was used to replace low efficiency solid-state lighting driver circuitry with a high efficiency, high reliability central power supply improving power conversion efficiency from 84% to 90% -- and to demonstrate inline control of lighting fixtures. In Phase II, the technology will be integrated into a commercial lighting fixture and certified as a Class 2 Power Limited Circuit, which will allow these fixtures to be installed without conduit and with limited licensed electrician involvement. The technology will be further optimized for commercial applications by improving the end-to-end conversion efficiency to 93% and by increasing the power capacity. The technology will be deployed in two commercial building pilots to assess the benefits along multiple dimensions (installation, reliability, efficiency, and controls integration). Solid-state lighting fixtures optimized to utilize the technology are targeted for deployment in large commercial buildings, such as offices, hospitals, and retail spaces. Its high efficiency architecture directly reduces energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, and, by driving down the cost of solid-state lighting systems, it enables broad-based adoption of solid-state lighting technology. Ultimately, the technology can be used to form a multifunctional, direct current, in-building power grid that offers radical improvements in installation costs, reliability, efficiency, and adaptability to alternative energy sources, while providing embedded data capabilities for controls and mobile networking.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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