The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) has awarded a $550,000 joint grant to battery materials company NanoGraf and South 8 Technologies, developers of a novel liquefied gas electrolyte (LiGas). The companies will pair NanoGraf’s 3.8 Ah 18650 cell with South 8’s electrolyte for cold temperature and safety testing.
The DoD award will fund a six-month project to demonstrate that batteries with NanoGraf and South 8’s technology can reduce or eliminate catastrophic failure when exposed to extreme temperatures or nail penetration. Successful completion of the testing will validate the cell’s existing capacity and cycle life, and its ability to operate in a temperature range of -60° +60° C. NanoGraf’s M38 18650 cell can currently operate down to -30° C.
Soldiers may carry as much as 25 pounds of batteries during missions, and some batteries perform poorly in harsh weather conditions or after being physically damaged.
Poor low temperature capacity and the danger of thermal runaway after physical damage are two major drawbacks of current Li-ion cells, so a successful demonstration of the NanoGraf cell’s temperature and safety performance could add valuable feathers to both companies’ corporate caps.
“This recent grant provides even more performance differentiation for our Department of Defense customer,” said Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf. “Adding the safety and cold temperature test with South 8 further extends NanoGraf’s performance profile from other commercial cells.”