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Firefly Energy Receives Additional $3.3 Million Army Contract for Further Enhancement of Microcell Lead Acid Technology

1 October 2009

Firefly Energy has signed a $3.3 million contract extension for continuing enhancement of its first two advanced battery technology designs. This funding comes in addition to more than $7 million the company has received to date under its original contract to adapt the company’s next-generation microcell foam battery technologies for military applications.

Firefly’s microcell battery technology delivering 4-6 times the lifetime energy compared with traditional Valve Regulated Lead Acid (“VRLA”) batteries. Building on Firefly Energy’s current technology design that enables military equipment to utilize batteries for extensive cycling and energy discharges, Firefly Energy will now significantly increase the power and further enhance the available energy in the military “6T” battery case; the 6T is the vehicular battery used across the US and NATO militaries.

This Army contract extension continues development support of Firefly’s “3D” and “3D2” technologies. The 3D technology replaces traditional lead acid battery negative lead metal electrodes with a three dimensional high surface area microcell foam negative electrode, that exploits the historically unrealized high power potential of lead acid chemistry.

Firefly’s second generation 3D2 battery technology replaces both negative and positive lead metal electrodes with the microcell foam material, providing the potential to match energy density numbers (energy per unit weight) at a delivered pack level that are currently only realized in less environmentally-friendly (and much more expensive) lithium and nickel chemistries, Firefly says. (Earlier post.)

Firefly is developing a portfolio of lead-acid battery technologies and products to enhance performance within major portions of the $30 billion worldwide battery marketplace. The company’s first applied technology is a microcell foam-based battery technology, which can deliver a combination of high performance, low weight and low cost, all within a battery that unleashes the full power potential of lead acid chemistry while overcoming its performance drawbacks.

Firefly is backed by companies such as Caterpillar, BAE Systems and Husqvarna. Additional investors include Chicago-area Venture Capital firm KB Partners, Quercus Trust, Khosla Ventures, Infield Capital, and the Illinois Finance Authority.

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How many Firefly batteries sold to date?

None that the public has tested.

"Firefly’s microcell battery technology delivering 4-6 times the lifetime energy compared with traditional Valve Regulated Lead Acid (“VRLA”) batteries." - of course no price listed.

After the years and "Additional investors include Chicago-area Venture Capital firm KB Partners, Quercus Trust, Khosla Ventures, Infield Capital, and the Illinois Finance Authority." - put some batteries on the market, unless it's a 'EEstor' type product.

Firefly first developed an armoured positive grid technology for longer life at high temperatures. There are batteries being tested in trucks. The Foam negative plates seem to be succesful. Many types of carbon foam are subject to being corroded by the high voltage on the positive plate. There is probably a big enough military market that no product will be available soon to the general public unless a large battery company buys the rights.

TZERO proved that ordinary lead can be used in relatively high performance cars.

CALCARS showed that it can be used in the Prius, And Ron Gremban invented a far better way to use it in the Prius for longer life.

Most people do not realize that the fluid in a lead battery has about seven times the volume as the active material and that the actual active material is a small part of the lead used. Firefly has attempted to use these facts to reduce the lead and to increase performance.

Atraverda and EFFPOWER have different but related approaches to using less lead and getting more power.

It is not likely that standard automobiles will stop using lead batteries any time soon. ..HG..

HG:

Lead batteries energy density (Wh/Kg) has imporved progressively during the last 100 years but it is quickly falling behind the lattest lithium Ion based units. The 1:2 ratio is getting closer to 1:8 ratio and may soon be over 1:10+ ration when Li-Tec, Electrovaya, Sion Power, Hitachi and others come out with batteries approaching 600 Wh/Kg.

Price wise, lead batteries may have the advantage for another decade or two.

Will the Forefly unit change that?

Correction:

Please change Forefly for Firefly.

HG, what you say is interesting, but Firefly was to be on the market last year & EV inquiries get nowhere.

If they can make a 150 year chemistry 4-6 times the lifetime energy with 1-2 times the price - fine. If they can't get to market - their useless, where the announcements.

Glad to see that Henry has commented. He's a long time firefly champion.

but Pb is still a dangerous toxin making recycling expensive.

But any E storage progress is welcome and should not be overlooked.

Cost is $450 per, according to CityLink in Peoria [http://www.pjstar.com/business/x73527594/CityLink-switching-to-Firefly-batteries-in-9-buses]. Value is recouped because the batteries can handle many charge/discharge cycles. It doesn't seem like the advantage is energy density.

Pb is a dangerous toxin but there is already extensive and well established recycling infrastructure for lead acid batteries. No such thing exists for Li-ion.

Why would Firefly respond to the inquiries of EV hobbyists anyway? EV tinkers may be excited about the technology but garage built EVs is not one of their early target markets. They are after government transpo and military contracts.

Every two years I spend about $1,800.00 on electric cart batteries for the ranch--$400/ battery would be great if I can get a thousand recharges compared to my current 100!! Just installed solar panels--same problem, need a set of battery good for 10 years!!
Lucky

You have now read of the demise of Firefly. They spent the invested monies for what? The investors or the Government were not monitoring what money was being spent on what development. Did the Oasis battery fail? What about the positive plate protection? They acted like a bunch of university professors expecting infinite years of grants, but hired too many researchers and kept promising that foam was working. Did they waste all of their money on positive plate foam research, but could have survived if it had been spent on production of batteries with the advantages of only negative foams. RIP ..HG..

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