Safe High Density Undersea Power Source

Period of Performance: 07/20/2016 - 01/16/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

OpenWater Power
28 Dane St Array
Somerville, MA 02143
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Open Water Power proposes to develop a long-life, inherently safe power system based on its proprietary aluminum-seawater electrochemical technology. The primary objective of Phase I is to investigate the feasibility of developing fully functional, drop-in replacement battery modules for the SWSS array. These systems are anticipated to operate seamlessly with existing SWSS designs but provide multiples times more energy while being safer and easier to handle. A Phase II effort would involve developing and testing both bench-top and in-water prototypes. Open Water's Al-H2O system leverages the base-mediated oxidation of a depassivated, corrosion-resistant alloy (e.g. Al99.76Ga.12In.14), with seawater taken from the ocean environment serving as an oxidizer. This chemistry has been demonstrated in a 30W power stack with direct-seawater injection and a passive Al(OH)3 flush. To date, an energy density superior to that of lithium-thionyl chloride cells has been demonstrated by Open Waters architecture on a cell level.