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Electronics & Test

Design Decisions: Finding an Alternative Military Battery

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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Possible muse?
Beth Stackpole   3/7/2012 7:03:28 AM
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I know this battery technology isn't the same as the lithium ion batteries that the automotive industry is consumed with trying to find the best solution for EV vehicles. However, the thought occurs to me that there has to be synergies/best practices each side could bring to each other to advance innovation and future battery development. I'm wondering if there are open source communities or standards bodies promoting cross-pollination of ideas or research. Clearly advancing the cause of alternative battery design has huge implications, not just for the EV set.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Possible muse?
Ann R. Thryft   3/13/2012 3:43:19 PM
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I had the same thought as Beth: there might be some crossover apps possible from military uses to civilian uses, since there are a lot of parallels. Battery technologies have lagged for so many years, if not decades. It's great to see the military spearheading efforts to take a crack at improvements. It's also interesting to see thermal storage battery techniques--I just read something about thermal storage applied to solar energy.


Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Possible muse?
Jack Rupert, PE   3/18/2012 2:40:16 PM
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Does anybody know what the technical reasons are for the the differences between military and cilivian uses?  Obviously, there are the harsh environment considerations, but I never realized there was such an underlying difference in basic technology.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Possible muse?
Ann R. Thryft   3/19/2012 1:05:24 PM
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Jack, military everything has to be more rugged and last longer--a lot longer. It also has to be fixable on the spot if at all possible. (That last probably doesn't apply to batteries.) Military vehicles now carry a ton of electronics and other stuff that needs to be powered, as mentioned in the first paragraph: advanced product designs for avionics, navigation systems, ordinance fuses, missile systems, GPS tracking and emergency/safety devices, shipboard, and oceanographic devices.

What I'd like to know is how "single-use" is defined as applied to batteries.


Stephen
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Gold
Re: Possible muse?
Stephen   4/5/2012 10:02:10 AM
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On single use & military vs. civilian: Military applications cited appear to require shelf life of years to decades (presumabily in severe environmental conditons followed by total lifetimes of minutes to hours, possibily at extreme pulse currents and/or physical contitions, with extremely high reliability.

Civilian uses tend to have somewhat less severe storage life requirements, e.g. less that 1 decade, and longer duration (hours to years), less severe discharge requirements for primary (i.e. non-rechargable) battery systems, in far less severe environmental conditions.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Possible muse?
Ann R. Thryft   4/5/2012 4:08:33 PM
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Stephen, thanks for the definitions. I understand the contrasts between the military and consumer usage scenarios you mention, but how they apply to batteries wasn't clear; now it is. So it sounds like batteries have to stand up to this extreme "wait and hurry up" model.


Charles Murray
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Sensor networks
Charles Murray   3/7/2012 8:38:52 PM
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It's worth mentioning that we have written about Tadiran's lithium thionyl chloride coin cells previously for use in sensor networks.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=230198

Mydesign
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Platinum
High durable cells
Mydesign   3/8/2012 1:35:34 AM
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I think such military technologies have to go for mass production in sake of public. We all are experienced energy crunch in our daily life at different instances in portable devices like Smartphone, Camera, laptops etc. So such long durability cells can yield more power for a long duration. By sharing such technologies to the public, I don't think there may be any security issues.

ChasChas
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Gold
Specialty Batteries
ChasChas   3/8/2012 10:18:36 AM
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I knew the millitary used a lot of specialty items and why yes - batteries too. Remember when a rose was a rose. Great article!

Greg M. Jung
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Platinum
Advantages of Each Technology
Greg M. Jung   4/16/2012 9:17:29 PM
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From the article, I didn't get a good appreciation for the Silver-Zinc batteries.  It seemed like only the limitations prevailed.  I'm wondering about the advantages of this technology and what specific application it should be used in.

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