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NYS bets on transportation-themed clean energy ideas

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Clarkson University is working on a project to reduce aerodynamic drag on big rig trucks to make them more fuel efficient. That’s just one of 17 projects NYSERDA is investing in.

NYSERDA announced today that it's spending nearly $5 million on research efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The money will be divvied up between 17 companies working on transportation-related projects all over New York State.

According to a press release, the companies have to chip in some cash too:

The NYSERDA funding will leverage $7.5 million of private sector investment to bring total funding for these projects to $12.7 million. Each company is required to match NYSERDA’s funding with their own investments, and funds will be awarded following development of a final contract.

Check out the full roster of upstate award winners after the jump.


Hudson Valley:

  • Lower Hudson-Long Island Resource Conservation & Development Council Inc. (Highland), with NYC Soil & Water Conservation District (New York), is working on a plan to transport energy-efficient truck trailers - carrying produce grown in upstate New York - on barges traveling the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. The idea would reduce truck traffic and save on fuel consumption and diesel emissions. NYSERDA funding: $50,000
  • Taconic Energy Inc. (Salt Point) is working on a diesel additive that would increase fuel efficiency by reducing engine friction. NYSERDA funding: $500,000

Capital Region:

  • Ecovative Design LLC (Green Island) seeks to combine mushrooms with farm castoffs like rice or buckwheat hulls into a rigid foam used for automobile interior trim parts and cushions. The product is biodegradable, reducing landfill waste, and uses farm refuse normally thrown away. NYSERDA funding: $441,000
  • Folsom Technologies International (East Greenbush) is developing a continuously-variable transmission that allows an engine to operate at more efficient speed-torque combinations, and that also provides a regenerative braking feature that captures and reuses energy otherwise lost during braking. NYSERDA funding: $500,000
  • Donald J. Geisel & Associates Inc. (Clifton Park) seeks to develop the HydroTracker, a sensor device that detects moisture intrusion into concrete bridge decks, and that is faster, simpler and less costly than traditional methods used to spot areas needing repair. The product replaces the need for expensive and time-consuming core sampling of bridge concrete. NYSERDA funding: $149,000

North Country:

  • Clarkson University (Potsdam) is developing active and passive systems to reduce aerodynamic drag on big rig trucks, which accounts for up to 65 percent of fuel consumption when traveling at highway speeds. NYSERDA funding: $50,000

Central New York:

  • Syracuse University (with BorgWarner of Ithaca) is working on a diesel engine fuel injection system that would create a “supercritical” mixture of fuel and carbon dioxide for a more efficient, less polluting engine. NYSERDA funding: $260,000
  • Sensis Corporation (E. Syracuse) is working on software that enables more efficient sequencing of aircraft movements at airports so that planes spend less time idling on the tarmac, making for shorter wait times for passengers. NYSERDA funding: $208,000
  • PAR Logistics Management Systems (New Hartford) seeks to commercialize a system that enables a tractor-trailer operator to monitor the tire pressure in all 18 wheels without leaving the driver’s seat. Underinflated tires can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent and are a safety problem. NYSERDA funding: $200,000

Rochester area:

  • American Aerogel Corp. (Rochester) wants to use a high-tech material to insulate refrigerated trailers, reducing the energy needed to keep the interior cold while also increasing cargo space and extending the life of the trailer. NYSERDA funding: $331,000
  • Environmental Energy Technologies Inc. (Rochester), with Blue Lake Associates (Rochester) are working on a device that could reduce pollution from a diesel engine by generating an ionic field to oxidize particulate matter in the exhaust, breaking down complex pollutants and making engines more environmentally friendly. NYSERDA funding: $270,000
Innovation Trail alumnus Ryan Morden is originally from Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in journalism, minoring in political science and Scandinavian studies. Morden was Morning Edition producer and reporter at WRVO before moving over to the Innovation Trail project. Before landing at WRVO, Morden covered the Washington State legislature as a correspondent for Northwest News Network (N3), a group of nine NPR affiliates in the northwest.
WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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