Government programs provide funds to purchase energy-efficient lasers

Fiber lasers are well suited for the new financial assistance programs that promote the deployment of energy efficient technologies. One such program is the Clean Energy and Industrial Efficiency Program of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The DOER is now accepting applications for proven commercially available technologies with a minimum efficiency improement of 25% into the industrial sector. The DOER program is based on the United States Department of Energy's Funding Opportunity Announcement for $156 million in awards to deploy energy efficient technologies under the terms of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. There is no cap on the amount of funding per applicant.

Fiber lasers, a proven commercially available technology, convert electrical energy to optical energy 2 to 3 times more eficiently than diode-pumped YAG lasers, 3 times more efficiently than CO2 lasers, and 15 to 30 times more efficiently than lamp-pumped YAG lasers. Because fiber lasers are more energy efficient and place lower levels of thermal stress on their internal components, they have substantially less electrical requirements than compared to conventional lasers.

"Due to the high energy efficiency of our fiber lasers, one customer has already received 50% funding in Florida by switching to fiber lasers for its materials processing application," states Bill Shiner, vice president -- industrial markets for IPG Photonics. "Sometimes the capital cost of new equipment is a roadblock for utilizing more efficient equipment like fiber lasers. With new incentives available from the government and utilities, customers can deploy IPG's proven industrial lasers that provide great improvement in energy efficiency in addition to lower maintenance."

The DOER program has an application deadline of June 30, 2009. Similar programs are offered by other states and Canadian provinces.

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