Steel Mills

AK Steel Awarded $1.8 Million Grant from Dept. of Energy

Written by Sandy Williams

AK Steel has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new grade of energy efficient steel for electric motors.

Under the scope of the project AK Steel will explore different chemical compositions added in to the existing composition of standard electrical steels to increase the resistivity of electrical steels. The target is to realize a potential savings of 11.8 gigawatt hours per year (GWhr/yr).

“AK Steel is pleased to be considered for this collaborative agreement to develop innovative grades of electrical steel for use in electric motors,” said a spokesperson for AK Steel. “This work is consistent with our ongoing research and production of electrical steels for use in the electrical grid, and for other uses such as motors for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.”

The Department of Energy is providing nearly $25 million for 13 projects related to advancing technologies for energy-efficient electric motors. Among the recipients are American Superconductor Corp., Carnegie Mellon, Purdue University and the University of Houston.

Four topic areas were identified by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE):

  • Manufacturing of high performance thermal and electrical conductors
  • Manufacturing of low-loss silicon steel
  • High temperature superconducting wire manufacturing
  • Manufacturing of other enabling technologies to increase performance.

“Advancing these enabling technologies has the potential to boost the competitiveness of American manufacturers and take the development of more efficient electric machines a giant step further,” said Mark Johnson, director of the EERE Advanced Manufacturing Office.

The new technologies will also improve motor efficiency for the clean energy sector, including wind, solar, electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.

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