PEORIA, Ill., 6 March 2007. The federal government has executed a $5 million contract with Peoria, Ill.-based Firefly Energy to fund prototype development of its 3D and 3D2 advanced battery technologies to assist the nation's military defense efforts.
The U.S. Army will assess Firefly Energy's carbon-graphite foam prototype batteries in a Silent Watch program, which allows the military to perform reconnaissance in ground combat vehicles without being detected by the enemy.
The goal of the Silent Watch program is to have enough electricity stored in a vehicle that it can run on silent watch from four to 72 hours, while providing continuous power to operate equipment without rapidly degrading the life span for the battery, and leaving enough battery power to re-start the vehicle.
The carbon-graphite foam enables the battery to perform at cooler temperatures -- a key feature considering that lead batteries lose as much as 50 percent of their useful life for every 15 degrees the temperature rises above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Firefly Energy will initiate the prototype battery development program at its facilities in Peoria, Ill.
In addition to using the funds to develop the carbon-graphite foam 3D advanced battery technology, Firefly will also start development of its second-generation carbon-graphite battery, coined the 3D2 (3D-squared) battery, which will be used in future military applications.