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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Battery Management and Energetic Device Technology

Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices The Pivotal Role of Portable Power and COIN How Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices are Changing The Way Forward: New Trends in Technology The Impact of Next Generation Battery Technologies on Soldier Modernisation Plans and the Future

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Published by Global Business Media


Next Generation Technology


SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Battery Management and Energetic Device Technology

SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

Contents

Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices The Pivotal Role of Portable Power and COIN How Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices are Changing The Way Forward: New Trends in Technology The Impact of Next Generation Battery Technologies on Soldier Modernisation Plans and the Future

Foreword

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Mary Dub, Editor

Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices 3 EaglePicher Technologies, LLC

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Lithium Ion Power Systems – Advantages and Drawbacks EaglePicher’s Battery Management System Direct Hardware Monitoring – the Key to Safety Energetic Devices – a Wide Range of Applications Protecting the Environment EaglePicher Contacts

The Pivotal Role of Portable Power and COIN

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Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

The Warrior “Blind and Deaf To All But His Immediate Environment” The Imperative to Lighten the Load A Medical Perspective on Load Carrying Incremental Reforms in an Age of Austerity

How Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices are Changing

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Industry Meets the Challenge for Higher Specifications Smart Grids for Military Bases

The Way Forward: New Trends in Technology

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Meredith LLewelyn, Lead Contributor

The US Navy Leads by Example But the Devil is in the Detail Fujitsu Intrigues with Energy Harvesting Plan Larger Batteries for Telecommunications

The Impact of Next Generation Battery Technologies on Soldier Modernisation Plans and the Future 11 Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

COMFUT Moves Forward Further Weight and Volume Reduction Still Needed on Batteries but Progress on Fuel Cell Technology Peering Into the Future Vision of the Future from ‘Down Uunder’: Australian Developments of Interest

References

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

Foreword T

HE ESSENTIAL world of portable power and

insurgency operations dependent on power to

energetic device technology is the focus of this

render him capable to fight, but burdened to the

Special Report. In an era of the networked soldier,

point of injury with the weight of kit and batteries.

supported by digital technology and missile fire with

The third piece provides a glimpse of the way

joint action from the air and the sea, the capacity to

battery management systems are changing to

deliver lethal power is dependent on the effective

deliver the war fighter’s needs. The ingenuity of

use of single-use and re-chargeable batteries and

industry to integrate diverse new technological

effective means of delivering sustained energy to

developments is impressive.

remote bases located wherever conflict or disaster requires armed force support.

The question – What is the trend line in portable power and energetic devices? – is the subject of

The rate of adoption of new technology to enhance

the fourth article. Strategic answers to that question

the war fighter has been faster than the capability of

are leading the US Department of Defense towards

industry to deliver lighter batteries that offer energy

greener and more sustainable solutions on the

away from vehicle or base.

grounds that energy in the future may be denied to

The Report opens with an article looking at

the United States through access or price, therefore

Battery Management Systems and Energetic

compromising national security. However, while

Devices. It describes the advantages of Lithium

sustainability is a useful goal, in an age of budget

Ion power systems and highlights, also, the

austerity, incremental changes to improve power

real safety issues associated with these

provision are making headway.

systems. An answer is a Battery Management

The consequences of hopefully, temporary

System, which monitors and protects systems

stagnation in Europe and the United States have

so that the possibility of cell failure becomes

slowed the procurement of new systems for soldier

extremely unlikely. The article looks also at

modernisation. But it is important to be aware that

Energetic Devices, which produce a controlled

Australasia and the BRIC countries are modernising

pyrotechnic reaction and perform work on

their forces and generating ideas and moving

a one-time basis. The choice of materials is

technology forward. This is covered in the final

now limited by government constraints so every

article in the report.

effort is being made to develop new ‘green’ energetic formulations. The second article presents a snapshot of where we stand now, with the digital warrior on counter

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager. Focused by a Masters in War Studies from King’s College, London, she annotates and highlights the interplay of armies, governments and industry.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices

Next Generation

EaglePicher Technologies, LLC

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AGLEPICHER TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, is an American based and owned company with a long history of developing cutting edge products for defense and aerospace industries. While best known for producing extreme performance products such as satellite batteries and molten electrolyte thermal batteries, this 160+ year old company has many other product lines that are equally important for modern defense and aerospace devices. Two of these are battery management systems (BMS) and energetic devices (ED).

Lithium Ion Power Systems – Advantages and Drawbacks Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) power systems are increasingly becoming the choice for many applications because of Li-Ion’s higher specific energy density and lighter weight than the core technologies of the previous decade such as nickel cadmium and lead acid batteries. Li-Ion technology has higher voltage output per cell than many other systems. Therefore, fewer cells are needed for a given battery voltage. This can result in a reduced battery footprint for new applications, reduced weight for retrofit applications and overall power and capacity increase to enable new platform technologies (i.e. telemetry, control and extended mission durations). However, all Li-Ion battery chemistries do have significant safety concerns. The potential for fires has become a notable issue in many commercial applications. Catastrophic battery failures in laptops, cargo aircraft and hybrid automobiles have brought this concern into the national spotlight. To date there are still no cell designs or material options available that can guarantee prevention of a catastrophic event.

EaglePicher’s Battery Management System EaglePicher’s non-intrusive Battery Management System (BMS) is a lightweight, robust and highly reliable autonomous system. The design goal of EaglePicher’s BMS is to provide sufficient

cell oversight and system protection such that the possibility of cell failure becomes extremely unlikely. Functional control of cell charge, battery discharge, cell heater activation and general communication with other subsystems is performed by the BMS. The BMS uses an embedded microcontroller set to monitor the various battery and cell parameters and to optimize capacity utilization of the cell stack through individual cell balance charging, while providing oversight for the safe operation of the lithium cells. EaglePicher’s high power lithium ion battery developed for Aircraft applications incorporating state of the art Battery Management System (BMS) Electronics is shown in Figure 1.

AIRCRAFT BATTERY WITH INTEGRAL BMS

EaglePicher’s Battery Management System (BMS) is comprised of 4 Major sub-systems: • BMS – primary oversight, charge control, protections • RPB – independent monitoring and dissimilar protections • PSB – vehicle specific I/O, communications and fault composition • Protection Switches – solid-state relays to inhibit charge and/or discharge A simplified functional block diagram of a BMS used on an aircraft battery application can be seen in Figure 2. Most of the functions and features will be similar to the system shown. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

The design goal of EaglePicher’s BMS is to provide sufficient cell oversight and system protection such that the possibility of cell failure becomes SIMPLIFIED FUNCTIONAL BLOCK DIAGRAM

extremely unlikely.

Direct Hardware Monitoring – the Key to Safety Safety is a major concern when charging Lithium Ion cells. EaglePicher’s BMS provides the ability to differentiate in-rush currents (such as engine start) from short-circuit currents. Direct hardware monitoring ensures a quick response to short-circuit or over-current conditions as witnessed by the main battery shunt. While initially a recoverable fault, this condition can progress to an unrecoverable fault and then render the battery inoperable. Providing proper charge control for the battery system mitigates safety concerns and extends battery life. Safeguards are provided to terminate the charging or discharging process in case of the following potentially dangerous fault conditions: • Cell over-charge protection • Cell over-discharge protection • Cell temperature detection • Cell over-current protection • Recharge ratio imbalance • Charge duration cutoff Perhaps the most important operational characteristic of EaglePicher’s Li-Ion BMS is the ability to safely protect the battery system at the basic cell level. Protection of Li-Ion power systems is absolutely necessary, regardless of the chemistry; this is intrinsic to all Li-Ion cell chemistries. EaglePicher is currently developing algorithms that will allow the BMS to identify normal aging and performance trends versus those that are non-typical. Maximum safety will be achieved by monitoring cell

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performance and comparing it to expected ranges from cycle to cycle. In the case where an abnormal trend is identified, the BMS will take appropriate action to either inform the end users of the situation or alter the operation of the cell in an effort to increase safety. In extreme cases, the cell could also be isolated from the battery string, and its internal energy could be slowly dissipated to bring it to a safe mode until the battery mission is complete.

Energetic Devices – a Wide Range of Applications In addition to its well known specialized battery and electronic systems capabilities, EaglePicher Technologies is also experiencing significant growth in its Energetic Devices business unit. This division of EaglePicher has over 30 years of experience with research, development and application of multiple pyrotechnic and explosives devices that can be individually customized to meet customer specifications.

EAGLEPICHER ENERGETIC DEVICES


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

During the development process EaglePicher employs state-of-the-art modeling platforms to

Next Generation

predict material performance characteristics. Model results are balanced against previous industry studies and further validated with live scientific testing. This modeling capability enhances rapid prototype capability and enables improved reliability.

Energetic devices utilize discreet amounts of mechanical or electrical energy to initiate a controlled pyrotechnic reaction and perform work on a one-time basis. Whether engineered as an igniter, a switch, a cutter, or actuator, energetic devices have been developed to perform a multiple variety of tasks within bombs, missiles, emergency oxygen systems, as well as Cartridge and Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD). EaglePicher energetic devices have supported nearly every major defense program and have consistently proven themselves under the most intense life-critical situations. Our engineers and scientists are continuously advancing materials science, concepts and applications to meet increasingly stringent performance requirements.

Protecting the Environment Key device performance attributes are controlled by the choice of energetic materials. Historically, the pyrotechnics industry has utilized lead and barium-based energetics to yield desired output characteristics, yet today the defined field of energetics finds itself facing constraints associated with environmental considerations and new looming government regulations. Restrictions on the use of lead, barium, and chromate-based materials have placed increased pressure upon the military, government, and industry to develop green options in the field of energetics. Working with government and industry partners, EaglePicher is undertaking efforts to address these issues and ensure energetic devices remain a viable option to deliver small, compact, low energy applications to end devices within multiple settings. EaglePicher is also undertaking efforts to develop its own “green� energetic formulations. The EaglePicher team has been analyzing elements and compounds for their environmentally adaptable applications that are able to provide valid qualitative and quantitative results that are advancing the field of energetics. These green derivatives will improve safety and performance on the battlefield as well as utilize more environmentally friendly compounds. EaglePicher understands that lead, barium, and chromate-based energetics will continue

Energetic devices utilize discreet amounts of mechanical or electrical energy to initiate a controlled pyrotechnic reaction and perform work on a one-time basis. to decline within the industry and therefore, will continue to promote green technology throughout established and emerging venues via applied sciences and new products.

EaglePicher Contacts The portfolio of EaglePicher battery products offer total power solutions for applications spanning across diverse markets, always ensuring the right power at the right time. For specific information on products discussed in this article, contact Rebecca Jarrett (Rebecca.jarrett@eaglepicher. com) for Battery Management Systems, or Edward Hattery (edward.hattery@eaglepicher. com) for Energetic Devices. Additional contacts for EaglePicher’s many other battery related products including lithium-ion batteries, lithium primary batteries, thermal batteries, silver zinc batteries, and commercial products, can be found by visiting www.eaglepicher.com. Whether it is in cutting-edge battery technology research or in mission critical applications, EaglePicher continues a proud heritage of high reliability power systems. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

The Pivotal Role of Portable Power and COIN Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

“In World War II, a soldier only needed a gallon of fuel per day. Today, it’s 22 gallons. An infantry platoon of about 30 soldiers for a 72-hour mission carries 400 pounds of batteries.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey 18 October 2011 at a Pentagon forum1

The heavy load of batteries to facilitate situational awareness on patrol away from base is having a toll on operational effectiveness. The weight of load that soldiers are being asked to carry is slowing them down and creating weightrelated injuries.

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ELIVERING PORTABLE power in Afghanistan comes at a high price, a price that as General Martin Dempsey points out is paid by the soldier on the ground. The problem of “sustainment” of a force fighting in plains or mountains in extreme temperatures away from base is significant. “The challenges of delivering water and fuel are the hardest,” Army Col. Peter Newell, director of the Rapid Equipping Force, said at the Pentagon forum. “And the burden falls on the soldiers themselves.”… “The same soldiers who are there to fight Taliban insurgents also have to help secure the supply routes so they can receive fuel and water. In many cases delivering those resources to those units c omes at the detriment of force protection and operations.”

The Warrior “Blind and Deaf To All But His Immediate Environment” A senior research officer at Britain’s dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) puts the challenge very succinctly: “To the soldier, loss of portable power might place his life at risk. Without power for communications, GPS, thermal imagers and other portable surveillance equipment, he is left blind and deaf to all but his immediate environment, cut off from the wider network and consequently vulnerable. In terms of logistic support to front line troops, the supply of batteries is almost as important as the supply of water and ammunition. The soldier is also likely to have less ready-access to a mains power infrastructure, with mission requirements compelling him to have the capacity to go for up to 48 hours or longer without resupply or recharge facilities. All this has to be accomplished without overburdening the infantryman with the weight of extra portable power sources to the extent that it

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EAGLEPICHER PORTABLE POWER BATTERIES

impairs his operational capability. In this context, enhancing operational capability is directly related to improving energy efficiency.”2

The Imperative to Lighten the Load The heavy load of batteries to facilitate situational awareness on patrol away from base is having a toll on operational effectiveness. The weight of load that soldiers are being asked to carry is slowing them down and creating weight-related injuries. Brigadier General Peter Fuller, Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, is involved in the procurement of virtually everything the US Army soldier wears or carries: “We are seeing lot of issues associated with stress fractures and issues associated with their lower back. We are overloading soldiers.” In the transition from Iraq to Afghanistan, soldiers have had to adapt to a step change in style of soldiering requiring much more time away from base. “The [Land Warrior] Stryker brigade operated completely differently in


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

Next Generation

EAGLEPICHER MEDICAL BATTERIES

Afghanistan to how it was operated in Iraq. Power is a challenge because they are not operating from a FOB via a vehicle to an operation, then back to a FOB in their vehicles. [In Afghanistan] they are leaving their FOB, they are leaving their vehicles and they are operating dismounted for several days. Carrying kit for Land Warrior for several days requires power; whether they be night vision devices, laser aiming devices or whatever it might be. The resupply of power is a challenge so we are focusing on how do we lighten the load and do this rapidly.”3

A Medical Perspective on Load Carrying In a recent commentary on Army doctrine on load carrying, two medical doctors, Knapik and Reynolds, note that the doctrine subdivides load carrying into ‘a fighting load’ and ‘an approach march load’. “’The fighting load’ was carried when enemy contact was expected or stealth was necessary. It consisted of the soldier’s clothing, loadbearing equipment, helmet, weapon, rations, bayonet, and ammunition. ‘The approach march load’ was carried in more prolonged operations… current US Army doctrine recommends 22 kg (or 30% body weight) for the fighting load and 33 kg (or 45% body weight) for the approach march load.” This percentage is now considered too high and more efficient and energy dense solutions to the battery problem are being researched urgently.

Incremental Reforms in an Age of Austerity Manufacturers and the Department of Defense in the United States and within ISAF coalition countries are working on the problem of increasing the energy density of batteries and working on more efficient methods of recharging. In Sept 2011, National Defense Magazine was reporting: “Army and Marine Corps troops collectively have shed hundreds of pounds of batteries from their rucksacks and are using solar chargers to power their computers and radios.” And “At Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, an electricity microgrid was used to replace 22 generators with just four.”

But there are impediments to moving forward. “Combat is inherently inefficient,” said retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, former commander of U.S. European Command and currently a consultant at Deloitte LLP. “Military weapon systems, by design, are fuel hogs.” “If you have a technology that doesn’t use fuel, let me know.”4 An enduring issue is obtaining funding through Congress for long term goals like lightening the load or improving energy efficiency. Some say Congress generally supports what the Army is doing in trying to become less energy dependent, as long as it is described in terms of “mission critical” goals, as opposed to discussing energy in a philosophical or ideological way, he said. “That is when people start taking sides.”

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

How Battery Management Systems and Energetic Devices are Changing Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

While work progresses on meeting the complex needs of the land warrior, the power supplies for many other aspects of warfare are also changing.

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HE BRITISH Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) presented their requirements to industry for an improved and lighter portable power supply for the land warrior. In their view the next generation digital soldier needs power for personal role radio (data), radio, GPS, navigation system, situational awareness computer, image intensifying sight, thermal sight, head-up display and, in the medium term, for chemical/biological agent sensors. Longterm possibilities are power for microclimate control systems and energy weapons. Their military requirements for counter insurgency are complex; they must be sufficiently rugged to cope with extremes of temperature, dust and cold mountainous conditions. The power sources must be used in weight and spaceconstrained conditions, delivering longer endurance, higher power, and lower weight/ volume. The list goes on: safer, more reliable, more rugged, low maintenance, stealthy and integrated into soldier systems. Current usage is mainly AA batteries and rechargeable systems. The wish list includes fuel cells operable on military fuels, for example sulphurtolerant materials, improved energy harvesting materials, higher ZT thermo electrics, and stiff and light electrode materials.5

Industry Meets the Challenge for Higher Specifications EAGLEPICHER THERMAL BATTERY FAMILY

In the United States, Lockheed Martin is working with the Department of Defense to meet similar requirements. Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) autonomous vehicle will demonstrate its rugged maneuverability while meeting Soldiers’ needs to recharge batteries in Portable Power Excursion (PPE) tests next month at Fort Riley, KS. The Portable Power Excursion test is part of the larger Nett Warrior program, which will use the PPE tests to collect data and form a strategy to help alleviate a Soldier’s weight burden, while still providing long-lasting, reliable power critical to today’s missions.

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“Soldiers deserve the best possible situational awareness, communications, optics, sensors and protection, and the SMSS will help power it all and relieve their burden,” said Jim Gribschaw, Director of Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “SMSS represents much more than a portable charging station; it can carry more than half a ton of the Warfighters’ supplies and can autonomously follow the squad, allowing the Soldier to put down the remote control and focus on the fight.”6

Smart Grids for Military Bases While work progresses on meeting the complex needs of the land warrior, the power supplies for many other aspects of warfare are also changing. As of 16 January 2012, the US Department of Defense has set a goal to provide 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Some of the largest Defense Department suppliers have already responded to the drive for green technology by aiming to develop electric “smart grids” to be used on military bases. “Besides smart grids, another facet of ‘green tech’ in which the Defense Department has expressed interest is the next generation of solar cell technology,” says Dr. Ashok Sood, President and CEO of Magnolia Solar, a company developing and commercializing high-efficiency, nanostructured thin-film solar cells. “As the advantages of thin-film solar cells become more widely known, their potential military applications will become clearer as well.” As a further example of interest in the uses of solar technology, Magnolia Solar Corporation announced in November of 2011, that its wholly owned subsidiary, Magnolia Solar, Inc., recently received a $750,000 Phase II award from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory as part of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. The award will fund a two-year project to develop flexible, lightweight, ultra-high efficiency multi-junction solar cells for space power applications.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

The Way Forward: New Trends in Technology

Next Generation

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

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ELIVERING SUBSTITUTES for finite and expensive hydrocarbon energy reserves and delivering portable power for land warriors, missiles, shipping, and space is a wide, active and fruitful field of technology advance. It is also an increasingly urgent one. In a report for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) on ‘Fueling the Future Force Preparing the Department of Defense for a Post-Petroleum Era’, Parthemore and Nagl, the co-authors, point out that, given the 30/40/50 year life span of many of the military’s systems: “the petroleum needed to operate DOD assets may not remain affordable, or even reliably available, for the lifespans of these systems.” Indeed, they see industry’s response to the challenge to innovate as an opportunity to enhance mission effectiveness. “Transitioning away from petroleum dependence by 2040 will be enormously difficult, but fortunately the U.S. defense sector has made several energy transitions successfully in its history. In particular, it moved from coal to petroleum to nuclear power in its ships. In a similarly seismic shift, DOD rapidly increased its reliance on electronics, space assets and computer systems in modern warfare in ways that enhanced mission effectiveness.”7

The US Navy Leads by Example Parthemore and Nagl give the example of the US Navy delivering on green goals of new fuels for heritage systems with low budgets: “the Navy will demonstrate in local operations by 2012 a Green Strike Group composed of nuclear vessels and ships powered by biofuel. And by 2016, we will sail that Strike Group as a Great Green Fleet composed of nuclear ships, surface combatants equipped with hybrid electric alternative power systems running biofuel, and aircraft flying only biofuels – and we will deploy it.”8

But the Devil is in the Detail While the think tanks can deliver on strategic insight, industry and technologists have to

deliver on the fine detail: cost effective developments on energy density, power, range and life, enhancing safety while analyzing thermal management systems, and complex developments to improve battery life at reduced cost. It is perhaps in the combination of the recent developments in materials science, nano technology and other fields that have produced some of the most frequently quoted new trends in development. Nanosolar has developed a way to produce: “rolls of thin-film solar cells that are printed directly on the substrate material with ink made up of tiny nanoparticles containing the proper ratio of elements required to make the cells absorb solar energy. This technique has required innovations in seven different areas to dramatically improve the cost-efficiency, yield, and throughput of thin-film solar cell production: nanostructured components, printable semiconductors, printable electrodes, rapid thermal processing, lowcost substrates, roll-to-roll processing, and fast assembly. These contributions would not have been possible with earlier solar power technologies: first generation siliconwafer solar cells, or the second generation commercial thin-film solar cells.” This work was Joint Collaboration with the US Army as well as the US Marines to define requirements for military applications. In addition, Nanosolar worked with the US Air Force through an Air Force Research Lab sponsorship of an earlier DARPA program on flexible photo voltaics. In separate developments Nanosolar is working with Lockheed Martin to provide portable power for high-altitude airship technology.9

Fujitsu Intrigues with Energy Harvesting Plan At a meeting of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE) in San Francisco, Fujitsu unveiled its recent work on new hybrid energy harvesting WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

It is perhaps in the combination of the recent developments in materials science, nano technology and other fields that have produced some of the most frequently quoted new trends in development. EAGLEPICHER LI-ION BATTERIES

from either heat or light. They claim with this single device: “…it is possible to derive energy from two separate sources which previously could only be handled by combining individual devices. Furthermore, because the cost of the hybrid device is economical, this technology paves the way to the widespread use of highly efficient energy harvesting devices… Since there is no need for electrical wiring or battery replacements, this development could enable the use of sensors in previously unserved applications and regions.”10

Larger Batteries for Telecommunications The lure of the very small and portable can distract from a parallel need for an improvement in technology for larger batteries, for example for military telecommunication uses. As Hopp and Miller note: “in uncontrolled environments, valve-regulated lead–acid (VRLA) batteries often suffer premature and/or sudden capacity losses and have been known to go into thermal runaway.” 10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

But there is also a downside of lithiumpowered batteries: “There are many lithium-based battery technologies in the world today, each with its own unique characteristics. Many of these chemistries and formats are not suitable for large capacity applications as required in the telecommunications industry. Lack of electronic controls is also an issue. Sophisticated electronic battery management systems (BMS) are a prerequisite to ensure system reliability, safety and longevity of the battery in a wide range of operating conditions.” However, Lithium batteries can deliver a host of advantages: “Lithiumbased battery technologies offer a costeffective solution given their higher energy densities, longer life and low maintenance costs. In addition, the performance characteristics of some lithium-based batteries are very attractive, offering high rate of discharge capabilities, a relatively flat discharge curve, no Coupde-Fouet voltage drop and no venting of dangerous gases.”11


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

The Impact of Next Generation Battery Technologies on Soldier Modernisation Plans and the Future

Next Generation

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

and vehicle. The system is configured in such a way that the individual soldier can operate dismounted and always be linked to the vehicle. To support vehicle applications, the ComFut system will be using a new ITT power amplifier (PA) for SpearNet radios within the Company. Angel Perez Martin-Nieto, from New Technologies Global Systems (NTGS), consultant to Oficina de Programma Combatiente Futuro said, “We asked for the PA because we need more range from the vehicle. ComFut is not aimed just at light infantry, it is aimed at mechanised infantry too which requires longer distances. By the end of November we will have two amplifiers sets to test the overall ComFut capability on vehicles.” The Power Supply subsystem covers both power source and power conditioning unit, which is being supplied by Amopack using battery technology that has been provided by Saft. EAGLEPICHER NICKEL HYDROGEN BATTERIES

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HE LOW rate of GDP growth and military budgets facing harsh cutbacks on personnel and procurement has led to a slow down if not stagnation in advances in soldier modernisation programmes for many of the ISAF coalition partners. However, Brazil, India, China and South Africa (the ‘BRICS’) are all still adding to and enhancing their soldier modernisation plans. But small incremental steps are being taken by European countries to integrate their power sources for all their land warrior systems; COMFUT (Combatiente Futuro or Future Warfighter) in Spain is a good example.

COMFUT Moves Forward “The C4I we are implementing in the system, is the same for the single soldier, Squad leader

Further Weight and Volume Reduction Still Needed on Batteries but Progress on Fuel Cell Technology Batteries will provide the main power source, although Martin-Nieto commented, that there was still some work to be done to reduce the weight and volume of the batteries. On the issue of fuel-cell technology Martin-Nieto explained, “We have used specific prototypes, but not as the main source of power; only as an alternative source. Every single soldier will have fuel cells to recharge their own batteries, or to directly feed the system in case of need, for instance. The main power source are batteries but what happens if you are in the desert for ten days? You can then disconnect your batteries and replace them with fuel cells as an alternative.”12

Peering Into the Future While Western Europe and North America battle WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

While Western Europe and North America battle with defense cuts and tight procurement budgets, the pressure is on industry to innovate at little cost to produce high value, low cost solutions to deliver ubiquitous power at high energy, low density and little bulk or weight.

EAGLEPICHER SILVER ZINC BATTERY FAMILY

with defense cuts and tight procurement budgets, the pressure is on industry to innovate at little cost to produce high value, low cost solutions to deliver ubiquitous power at high energy, low density and little bulk or weight. Meanwhile, public expectations are being managed for future troop withdrawals from Afghanistan before 2014. So the prospect of demands described as “mission critical” for troops on the frontline is mitigated. Yet change is taking place – two examples serve as illustration. Protonex Technology Corp. has teamed with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) TechSolutions Program and the Naval Surface Warfare Center. In response, to a request from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 2 (EODTU 2) Protonex Technology Corp has developed a one-pound Soldier Power Manager (SPM) unit and smart cables. The kit includes some common military rechargeable batteries, a solar-powered blanket, and smart cables to carry electrical power to EOD gear being recharged. “The PMK gives the war fighter a very significant weight reduction in batteries, chargers and adapters, while also increasing real-time awareness of power usage and availability,” said Phil Robinson, Protonex vice president. Merely providing a new cable can support new additions to the equipment. This unit is still on trial.13

Vision of the Future from ‘Down Uunder’: Australian Developments of Interest While DARPA in the United States still leads on military technology research leaving others

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like UK’s dstl in a subsidiary role, there are developments elsewhere that add to the forward movement of technology. For example, Dr Adam Best, Research Scientist in Energy Technology for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has been working on advanced portable power solutions for infantry in the Australian Defence Force. He recently announced a key breakthrough with the discovery of a novel group of Room Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTILs). These are environmentally friendly, organic ionic salts that, when applied to energy storage devices, deliver a range of improvements, for example, improved safety compared with conventional electrolytes, zero volatility, as well as being non-toxic and non-flammable, thermal and electrochemical stability, and reliable functionality over a wide temperature range, from zero to 200 degrees Celsius. Dr Best sees potential applications like standby and backup power and electricity generation peak shaving. As “Ionic liquid electrolytes have significantly lower vapour pressure and better thermal stability than standard lithium ion battery electrolytes, there is a significantly reduced risk of fire and explosion.” This would have strong advantages for hybrid vehicles and remote area power supply. “Ionic liquid electrolytes have significantly lower vapour pressure and better thermal stability than standard lithium ion battery electrolytes, significantly reducing the risk of fire and explosion.”14


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION BATTERY MANAGEMENT AND ENERGETIC DEVICE TECHNOLOGY

References: 1

National Defense Magazine http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=7c996cd7%2Dcbb4%2D4018%2Dbaf8%2D8825eada7aa2&ID=562

2

The Battery Free Soldier (dstl) http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/iemrc/documents/EventsDocuments/EPSRC/BFSoldier.pdf

3

Soldier Modernisation 2010 http://www.soldiermod.com/volume-5/peo.html

4

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2011/September/Pages/DefenseEnergySmall,IncrementalStepsDoBetterThanweepingRefor ms.aspx Defense Energy: Small, Incremental Steps Do Better Than Sweeping Reforms: September 2011

5

Dstl: Portable power parameters: 16 October 2008 Kevin Pointon & Robert Reeve

6

Lockheed Martin website

7

Center for a New American Security (CNAS) “Fueling the Future Force Preparing the Department of Defense for a Post-Petroleum Era”: by Christine Parthemore and John Nagl, Sept 2010 CNAS

8

Center for a New American Security (CNAS) “Fueling the Future Force Preparing the Department of Defense for a Post-Petroleum Era”: by Christine Parthemore and John Nagl, Sept 2010 CNAS

9

DARPA Nanostructured Thin-Film Solar Cell Production

10

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/news/pr/archives/month/2010/20101209-01.html

11

NEXT GENERATION LITHIUM ION BATTERY FOR TELECOMMUNCIATION DISTRIBUTED POWER SYSTEMS Richard Hopp, VP Corporate Development and Dave Miller, Chief Technology Officer International Telecom Power (Canada) Mountain Power Inc. http://www.battcon.com/ PapersFinal2007/HoppPaper2007.pdf

12

13

http://www.soldiermod.com/volume-6/comfut.html Empowering Combatants: written by Bill Murray August 2011 http://www.special-operations-technology.com/sotech-home/340-sotech-2011-volume-9-issue-6-august/4578-empowering-combatants.html

14

Dr Adam Best Research Scientist And Project Leader, Energy Technology Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation http://www.iqpc.com/Event.aspx?id=559550

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Special Report – Next Generation Battery Management and Energetic Device Technology  

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