Power Electronics

Large-format Li-ion Batteries to Power Military Vehicles

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), a certified U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national lab, has adopted Saphion Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from Valence Technology to power a small fleet of Remotec Andros military vehicles. Saphion technology is a commercially available, safe, large-format Li-ion rechargeable battery technology.

SRNL is using standard and customized K-Charge Power Systems. Valence’s batteries have enabled a five-fold increase in the runtime and range of the Andros Mark V-A1 robot, which normally uses lead-acid batteries. In addition, the built-in communications capabilities of the K-Charge Power Systems enable Andros operators to monitor the temperature, voltage and state-of-charge of the batteries. This is critical, especially as travel distances may change during the course of a mission and operators need current data on the vehicle’s range capability.

“Savannah River National Laboratory is a leading lab with the ability to turn advanced science into practical technology solutions. With their Andros project, they are proving the benefits of using phosphate lithium-ion batteries in rugged environments, such as those encountered by military vehicles,” said Dr. James Akridge, president and CEO of Valence Technology Inc. “SRNL selected our Saphion batteries for a number of reasons, including exceptional energy density, built-in communications capabilities and form-factor. These features were key in helping SRNL to achieve their design goals efficiently and cost-effectively.”

The advantages of traditional Li-ion, coupled with the safety features of phosphates, make Saphion batteries optimal for a wide variety of motive applications. The phosphate cathode material in Saphion technology is fundamentally safer and more environmentally friendly than metal-oxide cathode materials. And, when compared to older battery technologies, such as lead-acid, Valence’s batteries offer the best combination of performance, safety, cost and reliability characteristics.

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