Li-ion supplier K2 Energy receives first order against $81.4M contract for Navy railgun energy storage system
K2 Energy Solutions has received the first order against an initial $81,400,000 contract to provide an intermediate energy storage battery system for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) electromagnetic rail gun. The awarding of the contract was originally announced in July 2014.
|How the railgun works|
|The railgun has two parallel rails; the projectile has a U-shaped back end. A strong electromagnetic current flows from one rail, through the U-shape of the projectile, and into the other parallel rail.|
|This generates three magnetic fields: two parallel fields around each rail, and a perpendicular one around the projectile. Squeezed forward by the magnetic fields, the projectile accelerates rapidly along the rails and is launched forward, breaking the circuit.|
The railgun technology uses high power electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to propel a projectile farther and faster than any preceding gun. At full capability, the railgun will be able to fire a 23 lb (10.5 kg) projectile at 32-megajoules (MJ) more than 110 nautical miles at a muzzle velocity of Mach 7 (5,374 mph or 8,649 km/h). The projectile will impact its target at Mach 5 (3,839 mph or 6,178 km/h).
In contrast, the current Navy MK 45 five-inch gun has a range of nearly 20 miles. The railgun high-velocity projectile will destroy its targets due to its kinetic energy rather than with conventional explosives.
The Electromagnetic Railgun Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) was initiated in 2005. The Phase I goal of 32 MJ muzzle energy proof-of-concept demonstration has been achieved. Phase I was focused on the development of launcher technology with adequate service life, development of reliable pulsed power technology and component risk reduction for the projectile.
Phase II, which started in 2012, is advancing the technology for transition to an acquisition program. Phase II technology efforts are concentrating on demonstrating a 10-rounds-per-minute firing rate. Thermal management techniques required for sustained firing rates are being developed for both the launcher system and the pulsed power system.
The initial $81,400,000 contract lists K2 Energy Solutions as the sole source battery provider for the electromagnetic rail gun and will include design, engineering and associated support for the energy storage system required to power the application. This advanced energy storage system is a major component in the Navy’s electromagnetic rail gun, powering capacitor bank modules capable of launching the projectile.
The ONR program’s goal is to demonstrate a full capability, integrated railgun prototype by 2016-2018.
|A test shot fires from the Office of Naval Research-funded Electromagnetic Railgun prototype launcher located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in 2012. This prototype, developed by BAE, was the first of two industry-built launchers.|
K2 Energy Solutions Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of proprietary K2 Lithium Iron Phosphate battery technology in both high energy and high power cells. T