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$9M Cooperative Agreement Funds From Military Support Next-Gen Battery Research

By Katie Holland

A $9 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Defense will fund efforts by the University of Maryland’s Center for Research in Extreme Batteries (CREB) to improve military battery technology to support the U.S. Army’s complex project to transform itself into the fighting force of the future.

CREB is a partnership that includes UMD, the Army Research Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory (ARL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. UMD will receive $8.55 million, with the balance to Argonne and Brookhaven National Labs.

U.S. Army operations require that batteries not only have high energy density, but also can endure extreme temperatures and thermal and mechanical stresses—all while remaining safe for users.

"The army has unique battery requirements in terms of extreme energy density, charge/discharge rates, temperature and safety. The Center for Research in Extreme Batteries is the only center focused on addressing all of these," said Eric Wachsman, director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute and one of three research leads funded by the agreement.

The projects funded under the cooperative agreement include a combination of breakthrough battery material development efforts for next-generation battery cells, as well as rigorous materials evaluations using some of the best instrumentation available worldwide for battery assessments, said Wesley Henderson, the ARL’s lead for CREB.

“This is the tip of the spear for fundamental research for higher-energy, longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer energy storage that will greatly enhance both warfighter capabilities and a broad range of commercial applications," he said.

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