Governor Cuomo Announces $4.3 Million in Awards to 17 Businesses Developing Transportation Projects That Will Reduce Energy Use

Project Awards Support the Governor’s Goal to Align Advanced Research and Commercialization Efforts with Market Demand.

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Albany, NY - April 18, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced awards of $4.3 million for 17 projects dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of transportation in New York State. These projects are in line with the governor’s energy vision to increase support for new and innovative clean energy technologies that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, reduce pollution and promote a cleaner and healthier environment while supporting the growth of the economy.

“By investing in innovative new energy technologies, we are continuing our progress in building a cleaner New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects will have a far-reaching impact on our environment and economy by spurring major improvements in our modes of transportation, reducing pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels, and ultimately fostering healthier communities statewide.”

The projects include energy-efficient ways to control airplane traffic at major airports, reduced-cost methods of constructing hybrid bus motors, ways to improve truck aerodynamics and tire pressure monitoring, and new ideas for bicycle- and car-sharing programs. Technologies that qualified for funding included electrified transport, heavy-duty/commercial vehicles, advanced vehicle components, and efforts to reduce traffic congestion, improve infrastructure or reduce energy use in transportation by road, rail, water or air.

The projects are being funded through a competitive solicitation administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

"Congratulations to the winners of these awards, whose innovative projects bring transportation technology to new levels of efficiency and emissions control,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “With commercialization and deployment in the market, they will help meet Governor Cuomo's goals for reducing New York's fossil fuel use while scaling up the clean-energy economy.”

Transportation is responsible for three-fourths of the State's fossil fuel use and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Since 1996, NYSERDA has provided $93 million to 246 businesses performing transportation research and development work.

Award recipients announced today will work on projects in the following regions:

New York City

  • LED lighting for New York City Subway ($242,000) – Clear-Vu Lighting, Westbury, will expand its LED lighting products to include a new device to be used in the New York City subway system. Clear-Vu's product would replace a compact fluorescent lighting system used to light tunnels with a LED-based system that would significantly reduce installation and energy costs.
  • Improving traffic management ($75,000) – Bandwagon, a company located in Brooklyn, will work with researchers at Columbia University, New York University and several New York City agencies to develop an open database management system that would pool sources of electronic information on traffic flow in order to promote traffic data accessibility, improve traffic management, increase traffic efficiency and reduce fuel use due to traffic delays.
  •  Wireless electric vehicle charging ($240,000) – HEVO Power, New York City, working with NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, Pepsi-Co/Frito-Lay of Purchase, and several other partners, is developing wireless electric vehicle charging technology. The concept uses a wireless transmitter in the pavement and a receiver unit mounted under the vehicle. The technology is meant to promote the growth of electric vehicles in New York City.
  • Reducing FDNY ambulance idling ($360,000) – The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) averages 625 ambulance trips per day, strategically dispersed throughout the five boroughs of New York City to minimize response time. However, those ambulances can idle 12 hours a day, wasting fuel. Shorepower Technologies, Utica, a national leader in truck stop electrification, is working with Eldor Electric LLC, College Point, and the FDNY on a pilot project to design, install and evaluate street-side electric connections to replace wasteful idling.
  • Car-share/van-pool efficiency ($325,000) – Social Bicycles, New York City, seeks to combine car-share and van-pool programs to make more efficient use of idled vehicles for work commuting, airport trips, large entertainment events such as concerts, and other uses.

Capital Region

  • Mushroom by-products for car insulation ($110,000) – Ecovative Design, Green Island, which manufactures insulation and packing foam made from mushroom by-products, offers an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil-fuel-derived plastic resins. The company will continue product development of bio-based car insulation foam.
  • Reducing aerodynamic drag on trucks ($500,000) – Actasys, a start-up at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Flow Physics and Control, is working with DPR Consultants, Albany, Golub Corp. (Price Chopper Supermarkets), Schenectady, and other partners to develop small air-jet actuators that would be installed on tractor-trailer trucks to reduce aerodynamic drag, reducing fuel use by as much as 10 percent. These devices are to be tested on Price Chopper Supermarket trucks.
  • Electric bikes with wireless charging ($325,000) – Alta Planning + Design, Saratoga Springs, with Alta Bicycle Share and Julien Bouget, GreenPCS - Albany, plans to offer electric bikes as an alternative to traditional bike-share programs, which are limited by user fitness and comfort level with longer rides. The project would design and deploy bikes with a wireless recharging system, ensuring that bikes charge automatically when docked. Alta Bicycle Share currently operates systems in Washington D.C., New York City, Boston and other locations using solar-powered wireless bike-share stations.

North Country

  • Reducing cost of hybrid bus motors ($75,000) -- LC Drives Corp., Potsdam, which designs wind-turbine generators, is working with Unique Technical Services LLC, Smithtown, to expand this technology for use in hybrid-electric buses. The companies will work to improve motor design to cut in half the cost of bus motor systems.

Mohawk Valley

  • Standardizing power supply equipment for hybrid refrigerator trucks ($98,000) – New West Technologies LLC, an advanced energy technology consulting firm in Yorkville, and Auburn Armature Inc., an electrical products manufacturer and distributor in Auburn, seek to develop national standards for power supply equipment for plug-in hybrid-electric truck refrigeration units. These systems allow refrigeration units to use grid power while parked, reduce diesel fuel consumption and pollution, and comply with anti-idling rules in many areas.

Central New York

  • Avoiding airport gridlock ($226,000) – Saab Sensis Corp., East Syracuse, will continue developing its airport surface management system, Aerobahn. The product is currently used at JFK and other major U.S. airports to reduce flight delays and to improve gate-to-gate on-time performance. The new work would integrate a modeling program into this software to look at methods to avoiding delays and gridlock in the near future, based on plane activity in the present.
  • Radar to find fuel-efficient routes for airplanes ($495,000 in three phases) – C Speed LLC, Liverpool, will continue to develop its lightwave radar, which negates radar "clutter" caused by wind farms and other ground obstructions, allowing air traffic controllers to select more-direct and fuel-efficient routes for aircraft approaching and departing airports.

Finger Lakes

  • High-speed, high temperature vehicle motors ($422,000) – Arnold Magnetic Technologies, Rochester, a major manufacturer of highly-engineered magnetic components used in electric motors, plans to expand its product offerings to include high-speed, high-temperature electric motors for use in both electric and conventional vehicles.
  • Diesel emission control system ($121,000) – Airflow Catalyst Systems, Rochester, is working with AppliedLogix LLC, Fairport, to pursue a new diesel emission control system design for niche market needs such as mining, marine and rail.
  • Improving electric vehicle batteries ($75,000) – NOHMs Technologies Inc., Rochester, a manufacturer of materials for lithium-ion batteries, is seeking to commercialize electrolytes that will improve performance of batteries under development for electric vehicles.
  • Harvesting energy from tire-flexing ($455,000) – MicroGen Systems Inc., West Henrietta, has micro-scale products that convert vibration from industrial and building equipment into usable electrical power for wireless sensors. The company seeks to commercialize a new micro-power product that harvests energy from the repeated flexing of vehicle tires to power tire-pressure monitoring systems. The product would help save fuel and increase operator safety by maintaining proper tire inflation and would negate the need for periodic battery replacement, significantly reducing waste.

Long Island

  • Energy storage for Long Island Rail Road ($110,000) – Electrical Power Worx Corp, Alfred, New York, is developing a two-megawatt ultracapacitor energy storage system to be demonstrated in conjunction with the Long Island Rail Road. The purpose is to absorb the braking energy from a decelerating train, capture that power and make it available for later train use, reducing electrical demand from the grid.