ARPA-E Awards Tibbar Plasma Technologies Of Los Alamos $3.5M For Transformational Energy Technology

Tibbar Plasma Technologies owner Richard Nebel and colleague Bill Gibson standing next to ‘the machine.’ Courtesy photo


Los Alamos based company, Tibbar Plasma Technologies Inc, announced today that it was awarded $3.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

The funding will be used to develop plasma-based AC-DC electrical transformers for High Voltage DC Electrical Transmission.

“Plasma-based electrical transformers have the potential to reduce the cost of transforming power by a factor of 2x-10x. This is a disruptive technology that will make long distance transmission of electricity a lot more affordable. This is particularly important for states like New Mexico that are developing renewable energy to export to more populous states,” said Rick Nebel, owner of Tibbar Plasma Technologies Inc.

Tibbar Plasma Technologies is a company dedicated to developing plasma technologies for commercial applications. Its staff is composed of plasma theorists, plasma experimentalists, engineers and technicians. Many of its employees are retirees or former employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Tibbar Plasma Technologies received this competitive award from ARPA-E’s OPEN 2015 program, which serves as an open call to scientists and engineers for transformational technologies outside the scope of ARPA-E’s existing focused programs. Through both open and focused solicitations, ARPA-E funds technologies that display technical promise and commercial impact but are too early for private-sector investment.

Tibbar Technologies will develop an AC-DC transformer that uses no capacitors or semiconductor switches. The device will rely on helical coils that induce output current and voltage through electrodes at the ends of plasma. The resulting devices have the potential to be half the cost and yield power densities 10x higher than state-of-the-art transformers, potentially providing an innovative new enabling technology for HVDC transmission.

For additional information about ARPA-E, visit