News | Jul 11, 2018

Military labs are advancing battery technology faster than you might think

Department of Defense scientists have developed a number of inventions related to batteries – and they're available to industry.

via RawPixels

Quick charging, lighter, and longer lasting – that’s what everyone wants in a battery, especially the military.

We used to think that mobile technology was about the devices themselves. We were only partly correct. The devices are only as exceptional as the batteries that power them. Our mobile phones have literally tethered us to wall outlets. That’s part of the reason military laboratories are researching battery advancements, which is good news for businesses.

And technology transfer, the process allowing companies to receive the know-how and rights to manufacture government inventions, has never been easier. Last year, TechLink launched the “express licensing” option on hundreds of Department of Defense inventions, which speeds the process with pre-negotiated financial terms and licensing language.

It was good timing. Globally, the market for better batteries is growing fast. Electric vehicle batteries are forecast to become an $84 billion market by 2025, according to Allied Market Research.

Your company can plug into the market by licensing battery technologies, developed in DoD labs, that are available and waiting to become new products. The following is only a partial list of what’s available. Search our database for even more, and check out this suite of advanced battery technologies available from the Army Research Laboratory.

Smart battery charger

Navy researchers have invented a multiple-battery charging device, utilizing a common source, and capable of handling different battery sizes. The system incorporates a power controller with a programmable algorithm that controls the power reduction and the battery charging process. Perfect for powering different drone batteries and radios simultaneously.

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Lithium-Ion battery state-of-health monitor

The U.S. Navy has developed a fast, simple, and highly sensitive diagnostic to assess the health of individual cells within a lithium-ion battery pack. Damage to a single cell can be detected and the relative impairment level reported from minor to severe.

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Lithium carbon monofluoride-oxygen battery

Army researchers have prototyped an enclosed storage lithium carbon monofluoride-oxygen battery. It has high energy storage per unit weight and the battery has multifunctional structures that combine significant load-bearing support in addition to electrochemical energy storage. The kicker? It has an excellent shelf life.

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Li-ion battery cathodes

Many Li-ion batteries utilize a manganese dioxide (MnO2) cathode which has high-energy density and low material cost.

Unfortunately, MnO2 is subject to degradation, which causes capacity fading.

Army researchers have made excellent steps in an improvement of lithium manganese materials with a charge transfer catalyst coated and chlorine modified lithium manganese compound. The immediate benefits are improved rate capability, under-voltage tolerance, and high-rate durability.

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Electrolytes for Improved Lithium-Air Batteries

Scientists at the Army Research Laboratory’s Sensor and Electronic Devices Directorate have developed novel electrolytes for Li-Air batteries that will enable an increase in energy density, temperature range, and energy discharge rates.

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Headshot Image of Austin Leach, PhD, CLP

Is your business interested in one of these hot technologies?

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