Utah State University Spin-Out Company Receives $2.7 Million Federal Grant To Electrify Mass Transit Route
Utah State University’s vehicle electrification spin-out company receives federal grant to reduce transit system energy consumption
LOGAN, Utah, Nov. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — WAVE, Inc., a Utah State University spin-out company, has received $2.7 million to electrify a bus route on the University of Utah campus.
“We are pleased that WAVE was selected from a very competitive field of candidates to receive this grant for the bus electrification project,” said Stan Albrecht, President of Utah State University. “It is always a proud moment when university technology is recognized for its potential in the marketplace. WAVE is part of our USTAR program; this grant represents a significant milestone for USTAR efforts at Utah State University.”
Using wireless power transfer technology developed at Utah State University by the Energy Dynamics Laboratory, WAVE tackles the problem of heavy and expensive electric vehicle batteries by using inductive power to transfer electricity between vehicle and roadway.
“Battery limitations represent the largest roadblock to full-scale electric vehicle market adoption,” said Wesley Smith, WAVE CEO. “Solving limitations related to weight, cost, range, recharge speed and user behavior is the highest priority for the electric vehicle sector.”
Therefore, rather than electrifying an existing highway, WAVE’s solution for bus routes will electrify sections of roadway at specific intervals–where a bus loads and unloads passengers, and where it waits to begin its next route. The installation on the University of Utah campus will demonstrate the viability of large-scale mass transit systems powered by wireless power transfer. Other installations may include off-road applications like fork lifts and haulers in industrial yards.
WAVE capabilities transfer energy wirelessly to stationary vehicles using infrastructure embedded in the roadway to vehicle-mounted receiver plates. This wireless charging ability reduces battery size requirements and allows for continuous use of the electric vehicle.
“This grant is a solid endorsement of our technology and commercialization efforts at Utah State University,” said Robert T Behunin, Vice President for Commercialization and Regional Development at USU.
TIGGER grants (Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) are capital investments to reduce transit system energy consumption and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions awarded by the Federal Transit Administration. The Utah Transit Authority sponsored WAVE’s TIGGER application to the FTA. TIGGER grantees, specifically, utilize innovative technologies of national significance that are not normally funded by other FTA programs. Federal regulations require applicants to partner with transit authorities, like the UTA, in order to receive funding consideration.
“University research and industry partnerships lead to innovation and economic impact for the state and local economies,” said Behunin. “USU has a robust technology portfolio that continues to grow and we look forward to commercial opportunities that result from leveraging the broad talents of our academic, research and business employee base with the backing of a strong research institution.”
The office of Commercial Enterprises at Utah State University, a division of Commercialization and Regional Development, provides a one-stop-shop for industry partnership and intellectual property development. Commercial Enterprises team members have valuable experience in business development and entrepreneurship that identify, secure and propagate economic value by leveraging Utah State University’s intellectual capital and physical assets. Directors of business development and intellectual property managers have the applied knowledge of industry internal operations, management concepts and intellectual property protection vital to success.
Since its founding in 1888, Utah State University has evolved from a small, agricultural college to one that is nationally and internationally recognized for its intellectual and technological leadership in land, water, space and life enhancement. As Utah’s land grant institution, the university has 850 faculty who provide education for more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. With seven colleges, more than 200 majors and 130 research-related classes, Utah State can count seventeen Goldwater Scholars and a Rhodes Scholar among its graduates in the past ten years.
SOURCE Utah State University Research Foundation