The next generation battery technology company, OXIS Energy Ltd, has delivered the third phase of a research programme to improve its Lithium Sulfur cells for Lincad Ltd and the UK MOD. The project is part of a wider Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) research programme.
In Phase 3 OXIS has developed an advanced prototype cell and pioneering chemistry that provides a 60% increase in capacity over that delivered in Phase 2 in 2013, increasing the specific energy of a cell to just under 300 Wh/kg. Over the coming months, it expects to achieve a further 20% increase in capacity using enhanced materials in the OXIS cells.
Lightening the load on army patrol personnel who have to carry several kilos on their person is a priority issue for the MOD. Lithium Sulfur cells have the potential to significantly reduce the weight of batteries that are currently in service, thus reducing the weight burden on soldiers significantly.
Another major facet in OXIS’s development of Lithium Sulfur cells is the impressive safety levels they demonstrate. The cells can easily handle a wide variety of abuse conditions including extreme temperatures, short circuit, nail and even bullet penetration. Even when the cells are penetrated by metal nails, the cells continue to function, thus contributing further towards safeguarding the lives of British soldiers on operational duty.
OXIS’s Lithium Sulfur cells are also kinder to the environment as they do not contain any heavy metals or toxic components and the sulfur used is a recycled product. The cells have a long shelf life and do not require charging during prolonged periods of storage. This will reduce the annual operational costs for the MOD.
OXIS Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, Huw Hampson-Jones said, “The OXIS team has made considerable progress in developing the cell technology for use in mobile military communications systems. Phase 3 takes us a step closer towards rolling out the safe battery systems for use by our military personnel on active duty. The next stage is to make further improvements, so that the Ministry of Defence can phase in the technology and achieve significant costs savings, but more importantly, do so by safeguarding our soldiers.”