A high cycle life and high energy density rechargeable battery would address an important need for a reliable power source that offers significant weight reductions in several NASA mission and program applications including energy storage devices for extravehicular activities (EVA), satellites, robots, and spacecraft vehicles. Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are promising next-generation energy storage devices for NASA missions because of their high theoretical gravimetric energy density of 2500 Wh/kg, which is up to 5 times higher than today’s commercial lithium-ion batteries. However, their use has been limited by poor cycle life caused by dissolution of polysulfide species from the cathode into the electrolyte during cell operation. In Phase I, Giner will develop a novel coating approach that blocks polysulfide shuttling to realize a Li-S battery with improved cycle life.
The developed technology will enable the use of high energy density Li-S batteries with increased cycle life for various NASA missions and programs such as: EVA applications (including life support, communications, power tools, glove heaters, lights and other devices); satellites; and other spacecraft and vehicles such as JUNO and the planned new Mars rover.
The developed coating technology enables commercialization of high energy density Li-S batteries with increased cycle life and lower cost. This improvement makes Li-S batteries more practical for electric vehicle applications. Additional markets include power for: persistent unmanned aerial vehicles for internet connectivity in remote regions, aerospace vehicles/satellites for military communication, large-scale grid energy storage, and consumer portable electronics and communication devices.