Friday, August 30, 2013

U.S. Military Needs: Energy Density, How Long the Battery Lasts

Army scientists max out battery power to save soldiers' lives
August 30, 2013 - U.S. soldiers carry an average of almost 100 pounds of equipment in the field, including between 19-and-30 pounds of batteries. At the Army Research Lab in Adelphi, Md., scientists are trying to lighten that load -- as well as the military's carbon footprint.

"Energy density, how long the battery lasts, is a direct function of the voltage," said Cynthia Lundgren, chief of the lab's electrochemistry branch. Noting that typical state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries produce 3.8 to 4.2 volts, she continued, "If we could get a 5-volt battery, then we could increase density by 30 percent, and lighten the load of the soldier by that much."

Despite the odds, they've done it.

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