Advanced Non-Electrochemical Energy Storage
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-133
ONR - Ms. Lore-Anne Ponirakis -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Advanced Non-Electrochemical Energy Storage


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Materials/Processes, Sensors




OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative non-electrochemical rechargeable energy storage cell capable of achieving 2x or greater the energy density with same or greater power output as current state-of-the-art battery cells. This technology must be inherently safe (no thermal runaway, safely stored at no voltage for extended periods (1 year), and environmentally neutral), and able to operate across a broad spectrum of environmental conditions (i.e., temperature range of between -40°C to 105°C, at both sub-atmospheric and high-pressure environments or as defined under MIL-STD-810G). Cell-level technology should be electronically scalable and integration-capable.


DESCRIPTION: Navy systems often require energy storage that provides both high peak power and high energy density in support of naval operations. These two requirements are often difficult to achieve within the same battery technology. The naval surface and undersea battlespace magnifies the importance of energy density (reduced mass and reduced volume), safety (fire risk, environmental risks, operating risks), and performance across a range of external environments (temperature, pressure). Consideration is given to technologies that provide new approaches to energy storage and provide experimental data in support of an extensible model and future development path.

Modeled results need to demonstrate at a minimum: an ability to achieve energy density greater than current state- of-the-art lithium-ion; inherent safety to the environment and operators; and manageability across a range of performance characteristics such as energy density (by weight and volume), cell voltage/voltage stability, peak current, self-discharge, recharge time, cost, and reliability. Cell-level technology should be scalable utilizing customary electronic means and integration-capable (plug-and-play) across a range of uses from larger stationary implementations to more highly customized, conformal and mobile electronic systems. Scaling of identically sized/constructed cells via a configurable geometric array and connected in series and/or parallel is acceptable.


Increasing the safety of energy storage is a primary objective. Thermal runaway and fire risks associated with certain battery technologies are not acceptable in constrained environments such as those described under MIL- STD-810G, which are typically required of naval operations. Safety also encompasses full product lifecycle environmental considerations including sourcing of materials, manufacturing, warehousing risks, operator exposure during use or destruction/damage, and end-of-life disposal. Consideration is given to technologies whose implicit safety profile enables additional operating efficiencies to be achieved. For example, an ability to warehouse an energy storage device at low to no-voltage will eliminate the need for a Battery Management System (BMS) to manage the batteries’ power while stored; will save the time and cost associated with current requirements for safe maintenance and storage facilities; and could eliminate the cooling/energy requirements for storing batteries.

Technologies proposed under this SBIR topic should rely on abundant domestically sourced materials and not contain precious or hazardous materials, nor require significant deviation from a typical battery system design. Cells

placed in a configurable geometric array and connected in series and/or parallel are acceptable.


PHASE I: Prove feasibility of a laboratory cell-level energy storage device that: 1) demonstrates a new rechargeable energy storage mechanism; 2) stores energy at a level greater than current state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries (i.e.,

>250 Wh/kg – cell level); 3) does not exhibit thermal runaway characteristics (during aggressive charge or catastrophic discharge scenarios); 4) is comprised of clean, safe, domestically sourced component materials; and 5) provides an indication of an ability to operate over a range of environmental conditions (temperature, pressure).

Cells and other demonstrations of components of the technology to provide confirmation of or points in support of extensible, modeled projections of performance capabilities are required. Develop a Phase II plan.


PHASE II: Develop and deliver a minimum of five prototypes to the Navy for evaluation to determine their capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II SOW and the Navy requirements for long cycle and shelf life, and high power, energy dense storage capable of supporting constant or varying loads that can also be safely stored in a fully discharged state (~0V) for extended periods. Demonstrate system performance through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Use evaluation results to refine the prototype into a design that will meet Navy requirements as cited in the Phase II SOW. Conduct performance integration and risk assessments, and develop a cost benefit analysis and cost estimate for a naval shipboard unit. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy and potential commercial use.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in evaluating the modules delivered in Phase II. Based on analysis performed during Phase II, recommend test fixtures and methodologies to support environmental, shock, and vibration testing and qualification. Jointly with the Navy. determine appropriate systems for replacement of current battery cells with the cells developed under this SBIR topic for operational evaluation, including required safety testing and certification. Working with the Navy and applicable Industry partners, demonstrate the battery application as an extra power bank on a relevant shipboard system. Provide detailed drawings and specifications, perform an Electrical Safety Device evaluation, and document the final product in a material safety data sheet.

Transition opportunities for this technology include battery systems that power marine sensors, propulsion systems, electronics, and back-up power systems. Private sector commercial potential includes consumer electronics (cell phone, laptop, radios), vehicles, renewable energy systems, utilities, and back-up systems or power conditioning systems.



1.   Abraham, K.M. “Prospects and Limits of Energy Storage in Batteries.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2015, 6 (5), pp. 830-844, DOI: 10.1021/jz5026273


2.   Yan, Yan, Li, Shu-Hua, Guo, Li-Ping, Dong, Xiao-Ling, Chen, Zhi-Yuan, and Li, Wen-Cui. “Hard@Soft Integrated Morning Glory-like Porous Carbon as Cathode for High Energy Lithium-ion Capacitor.”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b17340 (


3.   Manjón-Sanz , Alicia María and Dolgos, Michelle R. “Applications of Piezoelectrics: Old and New.”, Chemistry of Materials, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b03296


4.   Park, Seong Hyeon, Kaur, Manpreet, Yun, Dongwon, and Kim, Woo Soo Kim. “Hierarchically Designed Electron Paths in 3D Printed Energy Storage Devices.”, Langmuir 2018, 34 (37), pp. 10897-10904, DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b02404


KEYWORDS: Safety; High Energy Density; Energy Storage; Thermal Runaway; Clean Organic Materials



Mike Wardlaw




Fletcher Blackmon




These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.2 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.2 BAA SBIR pre-release on May 2, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on May 31, 2019, and closes July 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

Between May 2, 2019 and May 30, 2019 you may communicate directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. During these dates, their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed starting May 31, 2019
when DoD begins accepting proposals for this BAA.

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