DOE Drive to Increase SSL Efficiencies will Drive Down Power Converter Sizes

December 05, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

As part of cutting energy waste and doubling energy productivity by 2030, the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) today announced nearly $10 million to support research, development, and manufacturing of solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies across the country. A side-effect of success from this program will be a significant reduction in the size and wattage ratings of power converters associated with SSL installations. It will also lead to an even greater growth in the numbers of power converters consumed as a result of the very-high growth rates that success will drive into the market for LED lighting.

Based on the Energy Department’s recent report on the adoption of LEDs, Department-supported research and development over the past 10 years has helped accelerate SSL technology deployment, yielding an energy savings of $675 million in 2012. Today, available LED technology is about 150 lumens per watt; the Energy Department’s target is 250 lumens per watt – a 75% increase. Higher performing LEDS will help further reduce overall costs and increase lighting efficiency. An improvement of 75% in the efficiency of LEDs to product light is expected to result in a similar magnitude reduction in the size of the needed power converter for any given light fixture and lighting rating.

This funding will help accelerate the development of high-quality light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products with the potential to reduce lighting energy use for American families and businesses by one half and enhance U.S. global competitiveness. Today’s funding opportunity is open to applications in the following areas: Core Technology Research – The Energy Department will fund projects seeking to advance applied research for technology development, with an emphasis on meeting efficacy, performance, and cost targets. Product Development – The Energy Department will fund projects seeking to use basic or applied research to develop or improve commercially viable SSL materials, devices, or systems. And U.S. Manufacturing – The Energy Department will fund projects seeking to accelerate SSL technology adoption through manufacturing innovations and improvements that reduce costs and enhance quality and consistency.