High-Power Battery Systems for Future Shipboard Laser Weapons and Radar

Date: Apr 10, 2019

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Navy shipboard power experts are looking to IntraMicron Inc. in Auburn, Ala., to develop specialized high-power energy-storage battery systems to help power next-generation maritime radar, high-energy laser weapons, rail guns, aircraft carrier electric catapults, and ship propulsion.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division in Philadelphia, have announced their intention to award a sole-source contract to IntraMicron to develop prototype 1,000-volt battery cabinets and thermal management systems using microfibrous media with phase change materials (MFM-PCM) to help meet the Navy’s future needs for shipboard pulse power.

The upcoming Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) phase-three contract will be a follow-on to earlier phases of development. The value of the upcoming contract has not yet been released.

Future naval capabilities will require a 1,000-volt DC to add energy storage capacity needed for future weapons and shipboard systems, Navy experts say. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia’s Machinery Research and Silencing Division is responsible for research into high-energy power distribution systems aboard ship for laser weapons and other power-hungry systems.

IntraMicron engineers will develop a prototype 1,000-volt DC battery by combining a newly developed and patented battery cooling technology developed by Auburn University and IntraMicron, with lithium ion batteries from K2 Energy Solutions in Henderson, Nev.

Experts from IntraMicron and Auburn University have developed bench-level battery pack prototypes that can operate safely at discharge rates nearly four times greater than those currently available to the Navy, officials say.

IntraMicron and Auburn University also have developed and patented MFM-PCM-based battery cooling technology to enable packs of lithium-ion batteries to operate for extremely high pulse power applications. K2 Energy, meanwhile, has developed suitable mid-form power cells.

MFM-PCM technology involves a porous, sintered, nonwoven support structure that traps catalysts, sorbents, and other desirable materials in a fixed-fluidized bed configuration.

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