Emerging technology that turns waste heat into energy is about to get a hard-core field test in separate pilot projects for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. The projects will bring a combined $1.48 million to Alphabet Energy, a company that emerged from stealth earlier this year with a hire that will focus on prepping commercial-scale manufacturing operations.
The Phase II contracts fall under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs runs by the Air Force and the Army. They are valued at $750,000 and $730,000, respectively. The products covered under the contracts will be used in mobile auxiliary power generation tests that could be used in battlefield situations. The contracts were granted after Alphabet Energy met key milestones for prototype products during Phase 1 of the projects, which were awarded last year. Another Phase 1 project with the Department of Energy is still in progress.
Alphabet Energy's approach to alternative energy sources uses thermoelectric materials that are designed to generate electricity in a solid state phase. They suck up waste heat and convert it into electricity. The company is pitching the technology for applications in the military, aerospace, automotive industries as well as for metals refining, and cement and glass production.