Engineered Nanoscale Materials for use in Thermal Batteries

Period of Performance: 06/21/2012 - 12/18/2012

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEI Corp.
201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08873
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Thermal batteries are considered as low maintenance reserve batteries that can provide power and energy to electronics systems that operate under harsh conditions. Despite these unique capabilities, state-of-the-art thermal batteries have limitations, which include low energy density, limited pulse current and short run time. There is an opportunity to enhance the energy and power densities by using nanoscale materials in place of the micron-sized particles currently used in the different components of a cell. We propose to demonstrate in Phase I the feasibility of using engineered nanoscale particles to (i) enhance the energy and current densities, and (ii) extend the run time by maintaining the heat in the cell for an extended period of time. In Phase I, which is a collaboration with a leading manufacturer of thermal batteries, we will synthesize and test stabilized nano-sized cathode materials. The proof of concept will be demonstrated on small prototype cells. In the Phase I Option program, we will extend the use of nanoscale particles to the electrolyte system, with the intent to enhance the operating time of the battery. The Phase II program will involve scaling up the nanoscale synthesis process. Further, a systems approach will be adopted in Phase II to implement the new materials in large format thermal batteries.