mPhase is developing a “smart” reserve battery, the Smart NanoBattery, which is a primary battery typically designed for a special purpose such as emergency or military use.
The electrolyte is kept separate from the solid electrodes by a nanostructured membrane, preventing battery activation until power is needed. When the battery is activated, the electrolyte passes through the membrane and contacts the electrodes, initiating the electrochemical reaction.
mPhase is developing its Smart NanoBattery as part of a Phase II STTR Grant that was awarded by the United States Army in 2008. As a multiple cell battery with a shelf life of at least 20 years, the Smart NanoBattery can potentially be integrated with emergency functionality in commercial electric and hybrid electric vehicles to supplement the main power supply, for powering some of the critical electronic components of the vehicle, according to the company.
The company has concentrated so far on zinc chloride and lithium batteries, but the Smart NanoBattery can accommodate any chemistry using a liquid electrolyte, depending on requirements.
A rechargeable version of the Smart NanoBattery can be designed with lithium- ion chemistry for a wide range of applications, according to mPhase.
Eligibility for the $2 billion in competitive grants to support manufacturing advanced vehicle batteries and components is to be determined by the Department of Energy (DOE), with a final decision made by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).