COLUMBUS, OH (MAY 20, 2015) – NexTech Materials, Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has received a Phase II SBIR contract from the U.S. Navy for further development and field testing of its lithium ion battery off-gas sensing technology. In its Phase I project, NexTech leveraged its ceramic gas sensor technology platform to develop sensor devices aimed at battery health monitoring for Navy applications. Sensor formulations were established for rapidly detecting the VOC electrolytes emitted from degraded or damaged lithium ion battery cells and systems.
Successful development and demonstration of this sensor device will benefit a range of military and commercial applications, providing reliable detection of deteriorating or damaged batteries, and early warning of potential explosive or hazardous conditions. Batteries are critical to a number of existing and emerging power systems in naval vessels, including motive power for unmanned underwater vehicles, emergency back-up power in critical ship-service operations, directed energy weapons systems, and start-up and load-leveling when used in conjunction with high-efficiency fuel cell power systems.
“NexTech is excited that the Navy has selected our lithium ion battery off-gas sensing technology for further development. Lithium ion batteries are critical to a number of existing and emerging power systems in naval vehicles, and when over-charged, degraded or damaged, these batteries emit hazardous gases that can cause explosions if left unchecked. We are glad that we can leverage our gas sensor expertise to develop sensors devices to prevent against such explosions and provide a new level of safety for those in the U.S. Navy.” says Dr. Lora Thrun, NexTech’s Director of Operations.
The proposed sensor technology would enable early detection of battery deterioration. Such information could be used to trigger a range of responsive actions to protect the system from catastrophic failure, from routine maintenance to full system shutdown. Additionally, this product technology has immediate applicability in commercial markets for health and safety monitoring of both stationary and mobile lithium ion battery systems. Integration of the sensor with battery management systems will enable improved safety and reliability over current state of the art approaches.
For more information, call (614) 842-6606 or visit www.nextechmaterials.com.
About NexTech Materials, Ltd.
NexTech Materials, Ltd., located in Lewis Center, Ohio, is a leading developer and supplier of materials, components and services for the fuel cell and related industries and is dedicated to reducing the manufacturing and operating costs of fuel cells and other electrochemical devices. NexTech is developing technology used in fuel cell stacks for military and residential power applications, sensors for gas detection and control systems, catalysts for energy conversion systems, and coatings for high temperature metal protection. Founded as a privately held company in 1994, NexTech’s vision is to be a global leader in the development and manufacturing of innovative products for energy and environmental markets.