Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Altair gears up for 1MW battery-based energy storage demonstrator

Altair Nanotechnologies has completed the 500th full depth cycle of a lithium titanate battery developed for the US Navy.

The company termed the development as a significant milestone, as it stated that by getting associated with a large-scale operation like a Navy destroyer, Altair’s battery technology is proving its worth. Plus, this collaboration also paves the way for a “safe, less costly, and environmentally sustainable substitute for turbines that use increasingly costly imported oil.”

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. It is anticipated that early next year, Altair will deliver a 1MW battery-based energy storage demonstrator.

Referring to the launch of a new battery backup system, Terry M. Copeland, chief executive officer, Altair said: “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.”

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.

Altair’s $2.5 million contract is funded as part of a $3.5 million United States Navy programme that includes independent product testing by the Navy. Additional funding of $5 million has been approved by Congress for FY 2008.

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