Safe, High Power Replacement Cells for Existing NAVSEA NiCd Batteries
Award last edited on: 11/14/2023

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Jeff Nelson

Company Information

ADA Technologies Inc

11149 Bradford Road
Littleton, CO 80127
   (303) 792-5615
Location: Single
Congr. District: 06
County: Jefferson

Phase I

Contract Number: HQ0147-15-C-8001
Start Date: 7/28/2015    Completed: 7/27/2016
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Manufacturing technologies for Li-ion batteries have not kept pace with the rapid innovation of high energy Li-ion chemistries, inhibiting battery performance and compromising safety. Recent studies have shown that one of the major reasons for Li-ion battery failure (self-discharge, catastrophic failure etc.) can be attributed to manufacturing defects caused by mechanical (metal) die cutters, which leave metal shards between the electrodes and separators. In addition, uneven, low tolerance edges, burrs, debris and low reliability lead to cell failure and less than optimal performance. Finally, dies represent life-time buy systems, leading to inflexible manufacturing and serious impediments to agile design modifications. To address this need, ADA Technologies, Inc., in partnership with Laser Marks Company, a laser systems integrator, proposes the design of a low-cost, automated, high-speed/high-throughput electrode pulsed laser cutter capable of producing high quality Li-ion electrodes in an additive manufacturing environment. Through the implementation of the latest in laser technology and scanning systems coupled with innovative design and automation, we envision the development of a low-cost, flexible, high quality laser cutter capable of eliminating sharp edges, burrs and debris to enable safe operation, minimizing the chances of cell failure and thermal runaway.

Phase II

Contract Number: SP4701-16-C-0084
Start Date: 9/30/2016    Completed: 9/29/2018
Phase II year
(last award dollars: 2022)
Phase II Amount

ADA Technologies, Inc. (ADA) in partnership with Laser Marks, a laser systems integrator, has designed, developed (Phase I) and will fabricate a low-cost, automated, high-speed/high-throughput Li-ion electrode cutter capable of producing high quality electrodes in an additive manufacturing environment. Utilizing the latest in laser technology and scanning systems coupled with innovative design and automation, we have designed our laser cutting system to be 10X lower cost than state-of-the-art (SOTA) laser cutter systems. The system will ensure high quality cuts with excellent tolerances, reliability, repeatability and minimum maintenance. The system has been designed as a fully automated system to deliver electrodes for both prismatic and cylindrical cells of virtually any size and shape. In addition, ADA/LMCO expect the system to be compact (bench top size), durable and robust, thereby enabling easy integration into a battery assembly/manufacturing line. A low cost (<$250k), high speed (4-5 m/s cutting, 10s of electrodes/min.), high precision, flexible (easily variable cutting speeds/geometry), durable electrode cutter with unsurpassed cutting quality is envisioned as the end product. ---------- Legacy batteries for many DoD battery systems are badly outdated and need replacement. Many batteries still contain NiCd cells, which are extremely toxic and increasing hard to find. Because of their toxicity, these cells are no longer manufactured in the US. Domestic-based integrators purchase the cells overseas and then package them into battery, but this is still far from satisfactory as the DoD needs a safer battery that is made in the US. Over fifty-one NiCd batteries are listed on the DLA Quick Search Assist website ( ADA Technologies, Inc. (ADA), a manufacturing company with an R&D division, has developed a safe, high power Li-ion cell that would make a superior replacement cell for these legacy battery packs. Our LTO-LMNO chemistry has higher power and energy density than NiCd. Another significant benefit to this chemistry is its safety. These cells can be discharged to near zero voltage (0V) and stored for significant time (>9 months) with little reduction in capacity and performance. While in the 0V state, the cells contain essentially no energy, making them almost impervious to the issues of thermal runaway and fires observed in standard lithium ion batteries. During this program, ADA will build and test cells designed to replace NiCd cells in four NAVSEA batteries. After cells tests have been completed, battery packs will be constructed using the ADA cells and further testing conducted. This program will bring the new, safer batteries to TRL 7 in preparation for specific application qualification.