News Article

CFDRC Receives Additional Funding for Thermal Battery Enhancements
Date: Jun 06, 2014
Source: Company Data ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: CFD Research Corporation of Huntsville, AL

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- June 6, 2014 -- CFD Research Corporation has been awarded additional funding under an SBIR Phase II enhancement to further develop their novel high capacity materials for thermal batteries. The project is being executed in collaboration with the U.S. Army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) in Huntsville, Alabama.

Thermal Batteries are unique in that they use a molten salt electrolyte, which is "frozen" at room temperature and thus allows a fully charged battery to have an extremely long shelf-life of 20+ years. When battery power is needed, the system is heated to >400⁰C in a matter of milliseconds via a pyrotechnic device to melt the electrolyte into its "molten" state and thus allow the battery to start delivering power. In the defense industry, thermal batteries are primarily used to power guidance and control systems on missiles. The range of existing missiles is currently limited by the capacity of existing thermal batteries.

Thermal Battery PerformanceIn this project CFRDRC is focusing on development of higher voltage and higher capacity cathode and electrolyte materials. The single cell operating voltage is being increased by 50% from 2.0V to greater than 3.0V. "The higher voltage allows for fewer cells to be stacked in series to achieve the target battery voltages of 24-56V," said Sameer Singhal, CFDRC vice-president of Bio and Energy Technologies. Additionally the energy density, or capacity, of a single cell has shown 3-5X increase. "The higher capacity will allow for longer run-time and range for missile systems or perhaps a smaller and lighter battery footprint for the same capacity and range."

CFDRC and AMRDEC have been working together since 2009 on developing thermal battery technologies, and CFDRC has established relationships with a leading thermal battery manufacturer and a leading developer of missiles in order to transition the technology to the field.