DOE Glass Half Full – 48C Program

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DOE Glass Half Full – 48C Program

I was perusing the internet, as I often do, and I came across an article published on This particular article revolved around the newly announced Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program (48C Program), which provides millions of dollars worth of tax incentives in an attempt to promote the manufacturing of more efficient technologies. Examples that stuck out from the article are an “eco-friendly gas furnace” and “high-flow hydro electric turbines.”


While all of these innovations are beneficial and a step in the right direction, I couldn’t help but notice that they all ignore something that one would think is extremely important. Much of the electricity that is necessary in order to manufacture these products in the first place is lost. So essentially, while striving to be “greener” and towards “clean energy,” the issues that continue to make much of our energy “unclean” remain unsolved.


It’s THOSE issues, you would imagine, that should be the focus of much of our attention. The electricity inside of the facilities that are manufacturing the turbines, for example, as well as the electricity that those turbines will eventually be generating, exhibit several forms of electrical contamination, contamination in the form of power factor (PF), total harmonic distortion (THD), and phase imbalance. These issues plague all electrical usage right now, over 60% of which is lost as heat and vibrations. This comes to somewhere around $700 billion dollars of wasted electricity in the United States. That constitutes 26.6 quads of electricity, and just put that into perspective, 1 quad powers the city of Chicago for a year.


The technology is available to alleviate this “greenless” pain that our country is enduring. 3DFS Power Controllers, using software and electronics, are able to rule out power quality as one of the barriers that are preventing us from conserving energy. With 3DFS, electricity that is generated is utilized to its full extent, meaning all of the electricity that is currently wasted doesn’t have to be produced in the first place. The amount of resources necessary to generate electricity (e.g. coal, gas, etc.) would be significantly reduced as would all of the pollution associated with producing that electricity. So, while “eco-friendly furnaces” are no doubt nice to cuddle near, following down that track in order to conserve energy will take a few lifetimes.


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  • Bryan Walters
    Posted at 4:09 pm, January 20, 2014

    I absolutely love your blog… many of your post’s are precisely what I’m looking for. Can you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write about, Again, awesome weblog!

  • Ed Hapke
    Posted at 3:20 am, January 21, 2014

    Henry, I am very familiar with this program, and good job covering it.

    I would like to add that in 2009 when this program was first introduced the overall budget was somewhere around $2.3 Billion (with a B) the new program is based only on $150 million from the money not used by the previous awardees. So although this is great, to me seems like the DoE found some cash laying around, they wrapped it into a new “hooray for clean energy” program and released it and in a few years from now they will repackage the remainder in some other program that apparently are not used all that much (as money is left over).

    In retrospect you guys (3DFS) are doing some very amazing things that will actually shape energy policy in the next few years…

  • Paul Bouley
    Posted at 2:42 am, January 22, 2014

    This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Many thanks!

  • James
    Posted at 1:53 am, January 25, 2014

    Slightly late, but good info 🙂

  • robyn
    Posted at 8:03 am, January 26, 2014

    Hi, thank you for writing this – hopefully see you at a clean-tech event soon.

  • Gust Stevens
    Posted at 9:10 am, April 13, 2015

    Great article, The utilities and our grid really needs your technology !

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