The US Department of Defense has awarded EaglePicher, a company with a long history in the defense industry, $22 million in funding for Phase II of the Lithium-Ion Battery for Military Applications (LIMA) project. The programâ€™s goal is to assure the affordable production of items deemed essential for national defense.
â€œThis award assures EaglePicher will continue to be the leader in advanced lithium-ion technology for defense applications,â€ noted President Randy Moore. â€œCurrently, the government relies on lithium-ion cells that are produced outside the US.Â Most of our militaryâ€™s current rechargeable portable power requirements and some critical energy-dependent weapons being developed and fielded for the future use these cells.â€
During Phase I of the LIMA program, competitors were required to demonstrate cell technology capable of exceeding 250 watt-hours per kilogram at an elevated discharge rate.Â EaglePicher was selected as the sole contractor for Phase II, which provides financial assistance to establish a production facility supporting the manufacture of raw materials, cells, and batteries using this new high-energy-density formulation.
â€œThis is being viewed by the industry as the next big step in lithium-ion battery technology,â€ said VP John Bennett. â€œIn addition to the move to more rechargeable batteries for the soldier, micro-grids for forward-deployed troops will benefit from this technology.
EaglePicher plans to construct a 100,000-square-foot expansion at its existing manufacturing facility in Joplin, Missouri to accommodate the new production.
â€œOur current lithium-ion cell manufacturing focuses on medical and space applications,â€ said VP Ron Nowlin. â€œThis new capability will also help us better serve both military manned- and unmanned-aircraft applications.Â The improvements in battery energy density that we have created can truly be an enabling technology and allow for reduction of weight and extension of mission-critical applications.â€
Source: Green Car Congress