Altair Nanotechnologies develops battery for US Navy

September 8, 2008: Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., a provider of advanced nanomaterials technology used in power and energy systems and other applications, said it has completed the 500th full depth cycle of a lithium titanate battery developed for the US Navy. Altair’s $2.5 million contract is funded as part of a $3.5 million US 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 1% of total capacity, highlighting 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 CEO, in a statement. “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.”

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.

“We are proud to be working with the US 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 US Navy, but commercial and foreign buyers.”

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