US-based Electro Energy a developer and manufacturer of patented high-powered, rechargeable bipolar nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries, has won a $731,000 contract from the US Department of Energy to further develop and evaluate a Ni-MH battery for utility applications.
The program, a 12-month follow-on effort managed and contracted through Sandia National Laboratories, includes the design and fabrication of two energy storage systems for evaluation. The first of these will be a long-term, low energy discharge system and the second, a short-term, high energy discharge system.
Electro Energy’s bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery design, for which seven US patents and three foreign patents have been issued and for which three additional patent applications are in process, represents a departure from conventional battery configurations.
Although the batteries employ nickel-metal hydride chemistry, they use a cell design and electrode fabrication technology that is simpler and less expensive than conventional cylindrical and prismatic battery technologies. Electro Energy’s battery is constructed from flat wafer cells that are stacked one on top of another to make a multi-cell battery.
Each cell consists of one positive electrode, separator layers and one negative electrode contained in face sheets that also serve as the cell contacts. Multi-cell batteries are constructed by stacking identical cells so that the positive contact of one cell contacts the negative contact of the adjacent cell.
Electro Energy claims that products based on the design offer a number of significant advantages, including providing an ability to discharge efficiently at exceptionally high rates, compact packaging, and lower manufacturing costs.