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Proceedings Paper

High specific energy and specific power aluminum/air battery for micro air vehicles
Author(s): A. Kindler; L. Matthies
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Paper Abstract

Micro air vehicles developed under the Army’s Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology program generally need a specific energy of 300 – 550 watt-hrs/kg and 300 -550 watts/kg to operate for about 1 hour. At present, no commercial cell can fulfill this need. The best available commercial technology is the Lithium-ion battery or its derivative, the Li- Polymer cell. This chemistry generally provides around 15 minutes flying time. One alternative to the State-of-the Art is the Al/air cell, a primary battery that is actually half fuel cell. It has a high energy battery like aluminum anode, and fuel cell like air electrode that can extract oxygen out of the ambient air rather than carrying it. Both of these features tend to contribute to a high specific energy (watt-hrs/kg). High specific power (watts/kg) is supported by high concentration KOH electrolyte, a high quality commercial air electrode, and forced air convection from the vehicles rotors. The performance of this cell with these attributes is projected to be 500 watt-hrs/kg and 500 watts/kg based on simple model. It is expected to support a flying time of approximately 1 hour in any vehicle in which the usual limit is 15 minutes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9083, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications VI, 90831V (4 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2051820
Show Author Affiliations
A. Kindler, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
L. Matthies, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9083:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications VI
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut K. Dutta, Editor(s)

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