power generation and storage
Image from NASA photo library
Solid-State Lithium-Sulfur Battery Tech Portfolio
The SABERS innovators developed novel lithium-sulfur designs, including sulfur-selenium on graphene cathodes, and lightweight bipolar plate stacking and packaging designs. SABERS is unique in several aspects: it deploys graphene-based manufacturing processes for the cathode and bipolar plates, and it uses a solid-state electrolyte in place of the liquid electrolyte found in other lithium-sulfur battery designs. The team has achieved energy densities over 500 W-hr/kg, and further improvements are expected. SABERS can meet the high-power requirements needed for aircraft take-off. SABERS is lightweight, safe, robust, and reliable. Furthermore, its manufacturing processes are scalable and environmentally friendly. Coin cell and pouch prototypes have been demonstrated to date. Development efforts continue and new portfolio innovations are expected. Major component technologies in SABERS include the following (as listed here and shown in the figure below). <ul><li>S/Se Cathode Sulfur/Selenium on graphene scaffold (LAR-19556-1, LEW-20228-1) <li>Solid Electrolyte Solid-state electrolyte composites (LEW-20445-1) <li>Bipolar Stack Graphene plates (LAR-20257-1) <li>Li-Metal Anode (Proprietary, under development) <li>Packaging (Proprietary, under development)</ul> Robust computational models have been developed to support the battery materials design and are available to licensees to evaluate and optimize different materials combinations and performance targets.
power generation and storage
Front Image
Novel Dielectric Ceramic by Spark Plasma Sintering
Barium titanate ceramics have been used as a capacitor material for many years and are the mainstay for millions of chip capacitors used in systems today. The research behind the NASA Spark Plasma Sintered Dielectric Technology focused on optimizing the ferroelectric characteristics of barium titanate to expand its capabilities as an energy storage/device material. Initial research efforts resulted in a prior closely related NASA innovation, Solid-State Ultracapacitor for Improved Energy Storage (MFS-33115), whereby the NASA innovators developed a technology for close control of the polycrystalline microstructure and grain boundary composition of the novel barium titanate material. The current innovation builds on that work with the demonstration of the use of SPS as an additional component to providing a novel and unique composition and nano-scale microstructure. This current work began as a collaborative effort with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to evaluate SPS as an alternate method to densify the green nanopowder compact. Tests of the spark plasma sintered barium titanate materials have demonstrated gigantic permittivities, some of the highest ever reported, and very low dielectric losses. The NASA innovators continue to optimize the materials and processes to further understand and improve energy-storage density of the material.
power generation and storage
NEW CFC Front Image
Cryogenic Flux Capacitor
Storage and transfer of fluid commodities such as oxygen, hydrogen, natural gas, nitrogen, argon, etc. is an absolute necessity in virtually every industry on Earth. These fluids are typically contained in one of two ways; as low pressure, cryogenic liquids, or as a high pressure gases. Energy storage is not useful unless the energy can be practically obtained ("un-stored") as needed. Here the goal is to store as many fluid molecules as possible in the smallest, lightest weight volume possible; and to supply ("un-store") those molecules on demand as needed in the end-use application. The CFC concept addresses this dual storage/usage problem with an elegant charging/discharging design approach. The CFC's packaging is ingeniously designed, tightly packing aerogel composite materials within a container allows for a greater amount of storage media to be packed densely and strategically. An integrated conductive membrane also acts as a highly effective heat exchanger that easily distributes heat through the entire container to discharge the CFC quickly, it can also be interfaced to a cooling source for convenient system charging; this feature also allows the fluid to easily saturate the container for fast charging. Additionally, the unit can be charged either with cryogenic liquid or from an ambient temperature gas supply, depending on the desired manner of refrigeration. Finally, the heater integration system offers two promising methods, both of which have been fabricated and tested, to evenly distribute heat throughout the entire core, both axially and radially.
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