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NEWS | Oct. 12, 2023

Carderock Inventors Awarded US Patent for Lithium-ion Battery Storage

By NSWC Carderock Division Public Affairs

WEST BETHESDA, Md. – Seven Carderock engineers were listed as inventors of a multi-compartment lithium-ion battery container that earned them a U.S. patent in August. This new technology is suitable for transporting, charging and storing man-portable Li-ion batteries safely aboard U.S. aircraft and other Department of Defense (DoD) platforms.

Thomas Hays, Jessica Schwartz, Earl Armstrong, Adam Dolezal, Evan Rule, Dennis Thompson and Kevin Lin worked with a contractors Gerald Back, Peter Disimile and Ian Therrien to develop this technology, which has been transitioned to the U.S. Navy Battery Engineering Safety and Testing (BEST) Program Office, and was recently the subject of a Request for Proposal sent to industry for initial production.

The battery storage container features charging equipment, battery failure and fire sensors, means for applying firefighting agents to individual compartments, and components that prevent the propagation of failure to other batteries stored in the container. The container also shields personnel, adjacent equipment, and the platform from the effects of Li-ion battery fires (evolved gas, smoke, flames). 

Immediate return on investment will emerge from man-hours saved in handling, discharging and charging Li-ion batteries. The Army, Air Force, Navy and U.S. Marine Corps all use Li-ion batteries that could present a hazard to platforms and personnel in the case of a fire. This invention offers a much safer process for transport, storage and charging of these batteries while being intuitive to use by service members, causing minimal disruption to logistic activities.

“A safe means to transport, store and charge lithium-ion batteries is critical for preventing catastrophic failure, and to enhance operational readiness for the warfighter,” Jessica Schwartz, a chemical engineer in Carderock’s Battery Certification and Integration Branch, said.

While this will not be the final lithium battery container effort in the Navy, it provides a patented solution for the DoD enterprise to use as a stepping stone toward a final solution set for supporting the safe transportation and charging of the large number and type of li-ion batteries that support our state-of-the-art military systems.