SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  A10-046 (Army)
Title:  High Rate High Energy Storage Devices
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles, Electronics

Acquisition Program:  PM Future Combat Systems Brigade Combat Team
  Objective:  The objective of this project is to develop new energy storage materials capable of absorbing and delivering large amounts of energy in short periods of time. Phase 1 will investigate the feasibility of various materials, study the ability to absorb energy at very high rates and also deliver large amounts of power to electrical loads. Furthermore, the feasibility studies would provide options for developing and prototyping classes of rechargeable energy storage materials that could be used in munitions power sources to provide the capability of multiple uses in a volumetric efficient format for high power delivery in small and lightweight packages that would meet all military requirements. Progress has been made in the search for materials and devices that have both a very high power density as well as a very high energy density. Such devices effectively would combine the power density of a capacitor and the energy density of a battery to create the ultimate energy storage medium for portable electronics in general and gun fired munitions in particular. This technology could allow the dumping of a large amount of energy in very short time periods and would allow the simplification of munition power sources from a combination of batteries and capacitors to a single device capable of satisfying the entire power budget. For munitions applications, such a device could be charged completely during the initialization sequence of the round to provide power throughout the entire munition power budget, which would typically last for a few seconds. The energy stored would need to be on the order of 10s of kJs for the intended applications with typical runtimes maxing out on the order of several minutes. Devices capable of meeting these requirements as well as the standard munition environmental requirements would have widespread use among munitions applications.
  Description:  Power sources for munitions have relatively strict requirements, and consequently are limited to a narrow selection of conventional solutions. These conventional solutions are expensive, large, and will not generally support a significant amount of commercial attractiveness. Reserve batteries are typically utilized in order to meet the 20-year shelf life, but they suffer from reduced power and energy densities because of the separation of electrolyte from the cell, and/or suffer from a limited run time, or power capability depending on the application. It would be desirable to have a device, which could store a large amount of energy over the time period of a few seconds and satisfy the complete munition power budget. Combining the multiple power sources within some munitions maximizes the volumetric efficiency of the munition power source, allowing for high power delivery in small and lightweight package that would meet all military requirements. This has advantages in munitions since it provides significant flexibility in power system design. Currently, there may be up to three energy storage components in munitions The replacement of these three elements with a single energy storage component would reduce weight and volume and provide system flexibility and would require a rechargeable high power battery with characteristics similar to a high power capacitor but with an energy storage capability of a battery. Identification and production of a suitable high power rechargeable electrochemical power source is the objective of this program. In addition there are operational and military operational temperature requirements (–40 to +145 degrees F), a required shelf life of 20 years and a manufacturability for these power sources. Voltage outputs should extend from a few volts to 2 Kilovolts. There is a lack of suitable solutions to meet the Army munitions needs for rechargeable high power batteries with capacitor-like power delivery capabilities.

  PHASE I: Feasibility evaluation of proposed high power high energy storage power will include identification of electrochemical power source materials and suitable engineering architectures to deliver high power and acquire energy at rates similar to high power capacitors. In addition to power delivery performance, capabilities to operate under military conditions – e.g. over wide temperature ranges, and to retain their storage characteristics over a period of 20 years will also be included in the search for suitable chemistries and engineering. The selection will then down select to candidate prototypes for transition to Phase II. The energy storage component will also offer high safety throughout a range of environmental and operational conditions.
  PHASE II: Build full-scale rechargeable high power and high energy storage prototypes and test in relevant environments. Demonstrate that prototypes can survive in operational environments while providing voltages from a few volts to up to 2000 volts with the capability of integration into munitions power systems to.

  PHASE III: Develop a manufacturing plan for transition from prototypes to low rate initial production. Possibility for application not limited to the realm of munitions. Examples include electric vehicle transportation, high power tools, medical devices, communications and entertainment.

  References:   1. Encyclopedia of Electrochemical Power Sources, Elsevier, 2009, Ed C. K. Dyer, et al

Keywords:  rechargeable battery, high power delivery, capacitor characteristics, shelf life, survivability, safety

Questions and Answers:
Q: Would a a non "electro-chemical" capacitor with battery like energy density be considered under this topic?
A: Relevant technologies should be responsive to all of the requirements laid out in the topic.
Q: We have an opportunity to partner with an industrial company in Canada for commercialization of our energy storage technology. Are there any ITAR restrictions that need to be considered?
A: This could be an issue, but there is typically a way to work with it. It all depends on the details.

Q: Electromechanical batteries are very good for short duration events such as those described here. The solicitation states "10s of kJs for the intended applications with typical runtimes maxing out on the order of several minutes." But a 20 year shelf life is also mentioned. Is it anticipated that the device will store the energy for 20 years?
A: Electrochemical and dielectric solutions need to tactical, meaning meeting military requirements.

Q: I do not understand your previous answer to Posting/question 3 -- "Electrochemical and dielectric solutions need to tactical, meaning meeting military requirements."
It is not a sentence.
Q: Is the verb "be" missing after to? Would an electromechanical flywheel meeting the 10s of kJs meet your requirement? It would satisfy the 20 year shelf life, but store no energy during that longer time.
A: Relevant technologies should be responsive to all of the requirements laid out in the topic. If you would like to propose an electromechanical flywheel as a munition power source then please do so.
Q: Are there any special voltage requirements? We are developing solid-state devices that have supercap characteristics but much higher energy density (up to 100 Wh/kg possible) and can operate at voltages of ~100V vs. ~3V for electrochemical devices.
A: The voltage ranges are on the topic, the example that you cite looks interesting, but please note that potential power sources need to have the ability to provide pulsed power as well as steady state energy to various loads.
Q: The duration of discharge of a few seconds is the ideal timeframe for supercapacitors, which will exceed any battery in both, power and energy density at this discharge time. 1. Does it mean that an advanced high-power supercapacitor with the power of an electrolytic capacitor and energy density of EDLC will satisfy the requirements?

On the other hand, while supercapacitors can deliver about 3V/cell, hundreds of cells (leading to significantly increased resistive losses) will be needed to reach 2 kV.
2. Is high-voltage performance critical?

Finally, a 10 kJ supercapacitor will have the weight of about 800 g.
3. Is this acceptable?
4. Any size/weight restrictions?
A: Remember, the topic states that we are looking for the energy density of a battery to create an energy storage medium for portable electronics. The discharge time is not strictly limited to a period on the order of seconds.

Q1. Does it mean that an advanced high-power supercapacitor with the power of an electrolytic capacitor and energy density of EDLC will satisfy the requirements?
A: Relevant technologies should be responsive to all of the requirements laid out in the topic.

Q2. Is high-voltage performance critical?
A: Relevant technologies should be responsive to all of the requirements laid out in the topic.

Q3/4. Any size/weight restrictions?
A: The size/weight should not restrict gun fired munition power sources as an application.
Q: Would a solid state crystal exhibiting a multi-fold exponential increase in capacitor permittivity and dielectric constant and an ability to operate up to 195C qualify for investigation and development of new energy storage materials under this topic?
A: Relavent technologies should be responsive to all of the requirements laid out in the topic.

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