Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely (BREAKERS)

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L.


as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L.

111-358) to:
“(A) to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in— (i) reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources; (ii) reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and (iii) improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and (B) to ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.” ARPA-E issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under the programmatic authorizing statute codified at 42 U.S.C.

§ 1653 8. The FOA and any awards made under this FOA are subject to 2 C.F.R.

Part 200 as amended by 2 C.F.R.

Part 91 0. ARPA-E funds research on and the development of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.

The agency focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early-stage technology.

For the latest news and information about ARPA-E, its programs and the research projects currently supported, see:

Programmatic Overview:
The BREAKERS program will support the development of MVDC circuit breakers, and is agnostic to the type of circuit breaker design (e.g., MCB, SSCB, HCB, other types).

Research efforts for DC circuit breakers can be loosely categorized into two groups:
improvements to the normal operation branch of the HCB which consists of the load commutation switch and mechanical switch; and improvements to the main breaker, which could apply to a HCB, SSCB, or result in a new type of circuit breaker design.

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support development of new circuit breakers for MVDC applications.

Performers will be expected to demonstrate prototype tools that help enable a path towards economical MVDC circuit breakers.

Projects should target new MVDC market opportunities in the 1 kV – 100 kV range, including but not limited to DC distribution (e.g., grid, storage, and oil & gas exploration/production), wind energy collection, solar energy conversion, and electric transportation (e.g., all-electric ships, aerospace, automotive, including hybrid variants of these).

To apply to this FOA, Applicants must register with ARPA-E eXCHANGE (

Full Applications and Replies to Reviewer Comments must be submitted through ARPA-E eXCHANGE (

ARPA-E will not review or consider applications submitted through other means (e.g., fax, hand delivery, email, postal mail).

For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the “ARPA-E eXCHANGE Applicant Guide” (

Agency: Department of Energy

Office: Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy

Estimated Funding: $15,000,000

Who's Eligible

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
ARPA-E Exchange

Additional Information of Eligibility:
See FOA, Section III.

A for information on eligibility requirements.

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Agency Email Description:

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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