Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., a leading provider of advanced nanomaterials technology used in power and energy systems and other applications, today announced that it has completed the 500th full depth cycle of a unique lithium titanate battery developed for the U.S. Navy. Altair's $2.5 million contract is funded as part of a $3.5 million United States Navy program that includes independent product testing by the Navy. Additional funding of $5 million has been approved by Congress for FY 2008.
The Mark 0, Characterization Module allows the Navy to test and better understand the unique properties of Altair batteries. For example, capacity tests show that the battery has lost only about one percent of total capacity—a remarkable result, and highlights one of the benefits (long life) of the technology. It is anticipated that early next year Altair will deliver a 1MW battery-based energy storage demonstrator.
"This is an important milestone in our battery development," said Terry M. Copeland, Altair's chief executive officer. "Proving out our unprecedented battery technology for a large-scale operation like a Navy destroyer paves the way for a safe, less costly, and environmentally sustainable substitute for turbines that use increasingly costly imported oil.
"We are proud to be working with the U.S. Navy and assisting in the launch of a new battery backup system," continued Copeland. "Given the number of ships to which Altair's technology could be applied, this electrical storage and rapid power delivery system could reduce the Navy's consumption of fuel by tens of millions of gallons each year. Once proven, our technology could be used by, not only the U.S. Navy, but commercial and foreign buyers," added Copeland.
With an Altair battery installed as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), a vessel could avoid the cost of keeping the backup generator online. If there is a problem with the primary generator, the battery would provide enough power to get a second unit up and online.