Nano-Engineered Supercapacitor for Space-Based Applications

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
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Small Business Information
89 Rumford Avenue, Newton, MA, 02466
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Senior Engineer
(781) 529-0527
Business Contact:
(781) 529-0501
Research Institute:
The United States Air Force has identified the need for an advanced and reliable ultracapacitor for space mission applications. Based on the requirements of the Air Force, Giner, Inc. proposes the development of an innovative Electrochemical Double-Layer Capacitor (EDLC) device that has low overall Equivalent Series Resistance, high capacitance (up to 20,000 farads) and high power density to meet the demands of the Air Force. The innovative concept is to combine high-surface-area (up to 3000 m2/g) nano-porous carbon aerogel powders with organic electrolytes and improved current collector/electrode material interface conductivity for a high-capacitance and high-power and energy density device. The proposed innovative concept will 1) optimize nano-porous carbon synthesis parameters to result in powder material with large fraction of its pore volume in pores of diameter 1-5 nm to be fully accessible to the organic electrolyte, 2) modify the carbon surfaces with nitrogen for improved specific capacitance, and 3) improve the conductivity of the current collector/ultracapacitor active material interface resulting in high capacitance and power density. The proposed novel EDLC will operate in the temperature range of -40oC to +80oC and will be capable of operating through greater than 500,000 charge-discharge cycles and will deliver greater than 8.0 kW/kg power. BENEFIT: ANTICIPATED BENEFITS - The proposed novel EDLC energy storage device will have a significant impact on the supercapacitor market and energy storage industry as a whole. Energy storage has a number of major application areas, which differ by their power and energy requirements. Short-term, high-power storage provides reliability and power quality for the economy as a whole and in particular to the digital economy where outages of few cycles can lead to costly downtime. Therefore, high-energy EDLCs are considered vital components of many high-tech operations because downtime translates into costly equipment damage and equipment and network repair time. Supercapacitors are also prime candidates for use as load-leveling power sources in electric and hybrid vehicles, premium power systems and battery-powered electronics, because they can be charged and discharged far faster than batteries, and can be cycled many thousand of times without degradation. POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS - There are three major markets where EDLCs are needed, each having its own specific requirements. These are industrial power management, automotive and consumer electronics. The automotive market has a need to use EDLCs as load-leveling devices with batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles. By far the highest-value target for EDLC technology is the global automobile industry. The consumer electronics market needs small, high-frequency devices in order to reduce battery size. The industrial power market needs EDLCs that could interface with the power grid. EDLCs are also prime candidates for use in the military for applications, such as the electric gun, kinetic-energy weapons and active sonar pulses as well as the satellite application.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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