CHARGED: Commercialization of Highly Accelerated Reliable Grid-Networked Energy Delivery

Imagen Energy will use software- and network-enabled smart charging solutions to scale up and pilot deployment of high-power density, efficient, cost-effective, and convenient U.S.-manufactured electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment. This project will remove barriers to EV charging and infrastructure investment by providing products to improve space utilization, reduce installation costs, and provide a foundation for the DC fast charging demands of the future, thereby accelerating EV adoption. The project will also employ planning and infrastructure management to (1) improve decisions on charger locations, including increased deployment in underserved communities; (2) optimize EV charging with grid capacity; (3) increase charging and network security and reliability; and (4) support solutions for EV drivers to find convenient and affordable charging outlets.

Compact 1MW Electric Drive and Motor System for Water Treatment High-Speed Turbo Blowers

Imagen Energy is transforming the field of power electronics for a wide range of applications such as electric drives, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging. Since our founding in 2015, Imagen has continued to push the technological boundary to achieve the most efficient and power-dense converters in the market. Imagen is a pioneer of high-speed controls, high-frequency magnetics, and advanced thermal management. The Imagen 100kW air-cooled energy storage inverter, which manages and connects a battery to the grid, is 3-5 times smaller than state-of-the-art technology available in the market. Imagen’s 100kW EV fast DC charger is 7-10 times more compact than our closest competitor’s product. Both products are scheduled for market release in 2021. Perhaps Imagen’s most compact power converter yet is the IM-1500, which is a high-performance motor driver developed under the ARPA-E CIRCUITS program. To complement our technological innovation side, Imagen has brought together a strong team that is able to take the technology to scale and commercialization. The SCALEUP team for an initial target applications comprises of a high-speed and high-power motor developer, a motor manufacturer and Service Company, University partner, and a wastewater treatment blower company.


Imagen Energy has developed a compact and high power electric drive under the CIRCUITS program for high-speed applications. The drive uses advance silicon carbide MOSFETs and has a double conversion for grid end and motor connection with each stage rated at 500kW. The input grid AC voltage is rated at 480V-1000V enabling high voltage for the motor to achieve a higher power rating. The output base frequency can be up to 2 kHz suitable for direct drive of high-speed motors. The IM-1500 has achieved unparalleled power density of 21.6kW/kg and 19.2 kW/L.

One illustration of the IM-1500 product application is the joint venture between Imagen Energy and APG-Neuros Inc. We are teaming up for a major new commercialization opportunity to drive compact high-speed fans within a wastewater management system. EPA regulations and energy efficiency demands require retrofits, upgrades, and new constructions, which will provide a continuing opportunity for IM-1500 sales. APG-Neuros is the undisputed market leader in this sector with 60% of the market share. Conservative estimates are 100 units per year to replace old technology in addition to another 100 units for new construction for an approximate total annual sale of $50M for Imagen. In this venture, Imagen will use two IM-1500 units in parallel to drive a six-phase, 1000VAC motor. A motor designer and Electric Motor & Contracting will lead the motor development and testing. Imagen is also exploring additional opportunities in aerospace, Wind turbine, and marine applications.

Seeking Partners

Imagen Energy is actively seeking financial and commercialization partners for this compact, high speed, and high power motor/drive system. Additional application that benefit from the IM1500 innovation includes aerospace, traction, propulsion and wind turbine. Finally, Imagen Energy is actively seeking an additional motor partner with capability and interest to develop a 0.5MW -1.5MW, multi-phase high speed, and permanent magnet motor.

Contact Information:

Mr. Ezana Mekonnen
VP of Technology & Co-Founder
Imagen Energy

ARPA-E 2018 Award Winner (Phase I and II)

ARPA-E 2018 Award Winner, Phase I and Phase II - for Advance New Class of High-Performance Power Converters. SiC-Based Extremely Compact, Inverter for High Speed Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machine (PMSM) Imagen and its project team will develop a SiC-based compact motor drive system to efficiently control high power, high performance permanent magnet electric motors operating at extremely high speed. Imagen Energy’s design seeks to address a major roadblock in operating electric motors at high speed, namely overcoming large back electromotive forces (BEMF).

2017 SBIR Award Winner (Phase I and II)

2017 SBIR Award Winner Phase I and Phase II - Advanced Technology to Reduce Size and Cost of Energy Storage  System.The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to enable vast deployment of energy storage to increase installation of renewable energy for reduced pollution and greenhouse gases, to improve energy security, and to improve energy efficiency and safety. The project will realize a dramatic reduction in cost and size of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that will allow penetration of ESS into markets served by fossil fuels. One key market is grid ancillary services which includes Frequency Regulation (FR) that regulates grid frequency and stability.

2018 Solar Prize Winner (Phase I and II)

2019 DOE Solar Prize Winner: Phase I and Phase II - A three-port integrated and electrically isolated solar PV and battery storage system connected to utility grid.

2017 SBIR Award Winner!

2018, 2019, and 2021 SBIR Award Winner - For 100kW, 100kWh energy storage system and 100kW fast DC EV charging system.