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Office of Naval Research Awards Altair Nanotechnologies $3.8M Contract for Second Phase of Shipboard UPS System

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. was awarded a $3.8 million contract award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). This award is for the continued research and design of Altairnano’s large-scale nano lithium titanate energy-storage systems for possible use as a 500 kW uninterruptible power supply (UPS) on Navy ships.

On Navy vessels today, two gas-turbine generators are kept online to guarantee power availability. An Altairnano battery solution provides the ability to run only one turbine at a more efficient capacity. If there is a problem with the primary generator, the Altairnano UPS would provide enough power to allow a second generator to be started and put online, avoiding the cost of keeping two generators running continuously. It is estimated the fuel cost savings alone would near $1 million per vessel for a six-month cruise.

This contract, the continuation of an earlier award announced in 2008, is for the additional engineering, design, and testing of Altairnano's advanced battery systems for use on Navy ships. The second phase of this contract includes construction and delivery of a 500 kW energy-storage unit for operational testing by ONR. During this phase Altairnano will produce this unit for performance testing, smaller-scale modules for safety testing and conduct other cell, safety and ship integration studies. The engagement starts immediately with contract completion anticipated by 1 July 2010.

To date, total funds appropriated by Congress for Altairnano's battery program total $12.5 million. Funds for the third phase of Altairnano’s ongoing engagement are expected to be awarded in 2010.


Henry Gibson

General Electric has announced that it will produce Sodium-Nickel-Chloride batteries for hybrid locomotives, and battery versions, invented in the UK and made by MES-DEA, have already been tested and sold by Rolls-Royce for use in Navy ships and would be far more reliable in this situation as they only require a simple cooling system and are fireproof. Such batteries are being used for a submarine rescue vehicle. There is no question but that ZEBRA batteries should be used in Naval vessels for the reduction of cost of operation and higher reliability. ..HG..

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