Novel Fuel Cell Supercapacitor Hybrid Power System

Award Information
Department of Defense
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
DTRA 09-004
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (MER) Corp.
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Raouf Loutfy
(520) 574-1980
Business Contact:
James Withers
(520) 574-1980
Research Institution:
OBJECTIVE: Deliver a novel high endurance, reusable, safe and portable energy source for use in environments that preclude access to current common energy sources and/or make it logistically infeasible to utilize current portable energy source options. This energy source could provide a wide application to power a variety of WMD sensors/systems. DESCRIPTION: A myriad of applications for the dismounted soldier of the future will require portable energy, including communications, portable computers, chemical-biological-radiological sensors and other systems. These electronics are critical to soldier combat effectiveness. Primary batteries now provide the main energy source, but the acquisition, storage, distribution, and disposal of over a hundred different battery types poses an enormous logistical challenge on the battlefield. New technologies have at the same time increased the number and variety of power-driven functions that require soldier-portable power. Current batteries are often one-time use, such as traditional alkaline or lead acid types, that require a large logistical "footprint" to support or have adverse safety considerations and/or power capacity loss problems over multiple re-use, such as nickel-cadmium or lithium-type batteries. High energy density capacitors are needed for a variety of WMD technologies: new materials/manufacturing processes are needed to make these systems man portable. However, new power source technologies are beginning to appear in the early stages of technical development (i.e. fuel cells, smart hybrid batteries, etc). In addition, the need is present to make these new energy sources as small enough to power a backpack sized WMD sensor/system up to small vehicles, such as unmanned ground or aerial vehicles, which may be equipped with various WMD sensors/systems. PHASE I: Provide a lab demonstration of the potential capability of the novel energy source. PHASE II: 1. Build a portable prototype energy source that provides 20-W average power with 50-W peak and/or provides 100-W average with a 200-W peak for up to 1 week missions in the size configuration previously mentioned. 2. Adapt to provide power to up to two different sensors of choice or 3. Prototype high energy density capacitor with a minimum of 50 kJ stored energy. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: 1. New energy source could enable new uses for a wide variety of WMD and other sensors and technologies which could spur more commercial demand. 2. Enable new applications for portable sensors and technologies. REFERENCES: 1. Atwater, T.B., P.J. Cygan, and F.C. Leung. 2000. Man portable power needs of the 21st century. I. Applications for the Dismounted Soldier. II. Enhanced capabilities through the use of hybrid power sources. Journal of Power Sources 91: 27-36. 2. Fein, G.S. 2003. Manufacturers worked around-the-clock to replenish depleted stocks. National Defense Magazine, September. Available at Last accessed on January 15, 2004. 3. National Research Council. 1997. Energy-Efficient Technologies for the Dismounted Soldier. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 4. National Research Council. 2004. Meeting the Energy Needs of Future Warriors. Washington, DC.: National Academy Press. 5. Developing Science and Technologies List.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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