Firefly Energy is obtaining a $3.2 million appropriation from the 2008 defense bill for further development of “3D Advanced Battery Technology”. Firefly Energy is developing a version of its award-winning 3D Microcell carbon-foam lead-acid battery technology for the US Army.
Firefly Energy is slated to begin shipping prototypes of the 3D battery by mid-2008 for testing by the US Army for key applications including its “Silent Watch” program.
Using the batteries, electronic reconnaissance can be conducted from military ground vehicles while noisy engines are off, thus helping avoid detection while saving fuel. The goal of the program is to provide consistent power for four to 72 hours.
The carbon foam-based battery technology delivers a performance associated with NiMH but for one-fifth the cost, and can be both manufactured as well as recycled within the existing lead acid battery industry’s vast infrastructure.
The company recently announced that the first pre-production versions of the new BCI Group 31 carbon-foam lead-acid truck battery—to be marketed under the new name “Oasis”—will be available for review and testing during the first quarter of 2008. Initial availability of the Oasis battery will be in the summer of 2008, with full production scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2008. (Earlier post.)