High-Density Environmentally-Friendly DC Power Source

Period of Performance: 06/22/2005 - 12/22/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Schafer Corp.
321 Billerica Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Principal Investigator


The Navy is advancing its underwater surveillance capabilities by developing leave-behind communications and sonar devices. Current power supply designs contain batteries that are very harmful to the environment. Schafer proposes a hybrid power supply that incorporates three major components: a NiMH battery that acts as the energy and power source for constant current components; a double-layer capacitor that provides high-current for pulse power loads; and a integrated power electronic DC/DC converter that provides battery/capacitor isolation and capacitor recharging. Schafer has been involved in the development of double-layer capacitors for last five years and has developed an approach that combines novel capacitor materials into an integrated design that can be made in various conformal shapes. Utilization of double layer capacitors permits very high current discharges with very high cycle life (capacitors can handle cycles in the hundreds of thousands) in shapes to fit specific applications. The energy capacity of this new design is estimated to provide 5 times the amount currently found in the NiCad based BRT-6 power supply. The use of environmentally friendly materials and the elimination of heavy metal materials within the design provide a significant improvement in environmental friendliness over existing technology