Battery and associated systems provider Electro Energy Inc. recently announced a new contract award from A&D manufacturer Lockheed Martin the development of Very High Specific Energy Battery Cells for use in the High Altitude Airship (HAA) program.

Lockheed Martin's Defense and Surveillance Systems business, based in Akron, OH, contracted Electro Energy to develop an advanced, light-weight, rechargeable lithium ion battery to help power the HAA, an unmanned, lighter-than-air vehicle that will operate in a geostationary position to provide an array of communication and navigation services for both civilian and military purposes. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the HAA.

The contract, for which Electro Energy is collaborating with Rutgers University's Energy Storage Research Group (ESRG), will incorporate advanced materials into EEEI's proprietary bipolar wafer cell technology with the objective to achieve improved battery "specific energy" -- or energy per unit mass. The goal is to achieve significantly higher specific energy than current state-of-the-art batteries in support of this next-generation airship.

"Very high specific energy rechargeable storage technology is a key to enabling stratospheric airships like HAA to stay aloft for many months at a time," said Stavros Androulakakis, Lockheed Martin's HAA program and technical manager. "Electro Energy's advanced rechargeable lithium-ion battery is an example of what is possible with recent developments in the practical application of nanotechnology."

The EEEI proprietary bipolar wafer cell lithium ion design provides high energy capability with reduced volume and weight. The benefit of the bipolar wafer cell design compared with conventional batteries is lower cost, increased energy density, longer life and improved reliability. In addition, the unique bipolar wafer cell design allows the battery to be configured in multiple geometries to fit into small areas and conform to other specialized design requirements.


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