Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 971640

Proposal Number: 19.02-1140

Project Title: Low Temperature Ultracapacitor for Planetary Exploration

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Ultracapacitors for low temperature (-100C) operation will be developed for use as power supplies in space and planetary exploration. These rechargeable power supplies are crucial for the deployment of exploration vehicles such as rovers, landers, and penetraters as well as for low temperature burst power communication. The sub-ambient conductivity and liquid range of present ultracapacitor electrolytes severely limit low temperature use. By extending our technology on imidazolium based electrolytes, we will develop a nonaqueous electrolyte for the low emperature

operation of ultracapacitors. In Phase I we will demonstrate a nonaqueous electrolyte with good low temperature conductivity (>5 mS/cm at -100C),electrochemical stability, and wide liquid range (m.p. <-100C). We will also measure the phase transitions of these electrolytes and determine the ultracapacitor performance from room temperature down to -80C. In Phase II of this development we will optimize our prismatic packaging technology for low temperature operation and optimize low temperature electrolyte formulations. The innovation will allow for a long cycle life (>10,000 cycles) rechargeable electrical energy storage device with excellent low temperature energy and power performance facilitating planetary probes.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

Success of this project will result in packaged nonaqueous electrochemical capacitors having increased energy density (>8 Wh/kg, >8 Wh/l) and power density (>0.5 kW/kg, >0.5kW/l) with a useful operational range down to -100C. Electrochemical capacitors based on the developed system have commercial application in electric vehicles, cellular communication, uninterruptible power supplies, memory backup, and consumer electronics. The specific low temperature developments of this project will facilitate the commercial use of these power supplies in sub-ambient and extreme conditions such as in space (e.g. satellites) and in the arctic.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Alan B. McEwen, Ph.D.

Covalent Associates, Inc.

10 State St.

Woburn , MA 01801

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Margaret E. Langmuir, Ph.D.

Covalent Associates, Inc.

10 State St.

Woburn , MA 01801