About the Small Business Vouchers Pilot

Sandia National Laboratories is a participating lab in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot, which matches clean energy small businesses with experts from the national labs and awards vouchers up to $50K to $300K that the business exchanges for national laboratory technical assistance. The three-round pilot can make available up to $20M provided as technical aid from the national labs to deliver solutions intended to drive the clean energy economy toward greater commercial success.

Technology Areas

SBV Round 3 is Open for Business

The program is now accepting applications for Round 3 and the deadline to submit is Nov. 10, 2016 (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time). DOE  strongly encourages small businesses that have little to no experience working with a DOE national laboratory to submit applications.

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Upcoming Webinars

  • Bioenergy Technologies Office Small Business Vouchers Program Overview
    October 18, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Small Business Vouchers Program Overview
    October 25, 2016, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time


David Kistin
David Kistin
Program Leader, Small Business Vouchers Pilot at Sandia National Laboratories
Phone: (505) 205 – 3598

Round One Award Highlights

Round One of the pilot culminated with 459 applications, and 33 vouchers awarded in 9 technical areas for a total of $6.7M. Of these, 7 were selected for projects at Sandia National Laboratories.

Fuel Cells


Altergy Systems

Folsom, California
Voucher Award, $150,000

Altergy Systems (Altergy) designs and manufactures the Freedom Power™ Series of fuel cell power systems. Altergy was first established in October 2000 and has since become one of the leading mission-critical stationary PEM fuel cell manufacturers in the world.

Sandia National Laboratories will work with Altergy to create a multi-physics model of the fuel cell system using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and then assess multiple design modifications. Ultimately, Altergy will use the results to manufacture optimized fuel cell systems at lower costs and thereby increase their market share.

Water Power


Columbia Power Technologies

Charlottesville, Virginia
Voucher Award, $200,000

Columbia Power Technologies, Inc., is developing a proprietary wave energy conversion system–the StingRAY–that converts ocean waves into clean, cost-competitive, utility-scale electricity. Sandia National Laboratories will work with Columbia Power to accelerate its commercialization timeline through (1) the development of advanced non-linear controls, and (2) through extreme load assessment.

Sandia has over 20 years of expertise and experience with linear and non-linear control systems design and has performed extreme-event load analysis for wave energy converters for the DOE Reference Model Project and the Extreme Conditions Modeling project.



FastCAP Systems

Boston, Massachusetts
Voucher Award: $200,000

FastCAP Systems has developed innovative technical solutions to power downhole tools operating at extreme high-temperatures (HT). The operating temperature limit of the developed system has been pushed as high as 250°C (in some cases up to 300°C). In order to advance the readiness level of this technology from TRL3 to TRL6, a programmed plan of laboratory tests and an integrative field demonstration is required.

Sandia National Laboratories will work with FastCAP to iteratively test and qualify HT energy storage devices (ultracapacitors) and electronic systems designed and manufactured by FastCAP Systems. Preliminary testing will focus on temperature and vibration/shock analysis.

Advanced Manufacturing


iBeam Materials, Inc.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Voucher Award: $225,000

iBeam Materials seeks to disrupt the Lighting, Display and Wearable Electronics industries by creating new game-changing LED products. Current InGaN LED devices suffer from the lack of a suitable epitemplate in order to achieve indium incorporation above 20% and thereby enable yellow to red wavelength emission. It is assumed that the lack of a good lattice match between InGaN and the template prevents more indium incorporation in InGaN and the LEDs are thereby limited to shorter wavelengths.

iBeam Materials will work with Sandia National Laboratories to develop lattice matched InGaN on the lattice-constant engineered templates generated at iBeam Materials. This research will impact red wavelength LED development in the group III nitrides. The ultimate goal of this engagement is to achieve 5% indium concentration InFaN templates on IBAD lattice matched metal foils and 10% indium concentration InGaN templates on IBAD lattice matched metal foils.

Wind Power


Micron Optics, Inc.

Atlanta, Georgia
Voucher Award: $300,000

The critical barrier to the development of wind plant controllers is the need for an accurate, reliable and cost-efficient approach to predicting the complex flow at each turbine with which controls decisions can be made. Micron Optics has been working for over a decade to develop a robust method to use the entire rotor as a sensor using embedded fiber optic instruments.

For this voucher, Sandia National Laboratories will assist Micron with product testing and validation. This work will demonstrate the potential benefit of using the rotor as a sensor. If successful, Micron Optics will use this work to eliminate market barriers for the seamless integration of fiber optic systems in commercial wind turbines.

Solar Power


Renewable Power Conversion

San Luis Obispo, California

RPC is developing a micro-macro modular inverter designed for PV system applications from 20kW to 20 MW. If successful, this product has the potential to become an industry standard. To this end, the company needs to address emerging grid support requirements and plan for the corresponding certification tests.

Sandia National Laboratories will work with RPC to validate the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) precision, compatibility with emerging grid compatibility requirements, and thermal performance. The proposed work will address areas for critical enhancements directly relevant to the commercialization of this technology.


SkySun, LLC

Solar Power
Bay Village, Ohio
Voucher Award: $275,000

Skysun, LLC, is working to develop a potentially disruptive solar collector composed of ganged heliostats with the potential to drastically reduce both component and installation costs. However, the company faces challenges modeling its technology with high-fidelity and evaluating the performance of its prototype system.

Sandia National Laboratories has experience and expertise in a variety of structural modeling techniques for systems with complex geometries, especially as they are related to solar applications, and has experience in evaluating CSP collectors. This voucher will be used to provide assistance to SkySun, LLC, in the evaluation, modeling, and optimization of the ganged heliostat prototype system.

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