Navitas proposes a Phase I program to develop and demonstrate a long cycle life cathode for lithium sulfur batteries. The cathode is based on a novel engineered pore structure host material that will deliver advanced performance through the following features: (1) Hierarchical pore structure with pore volume to accommodate high sulfur/polysulfide loading; (2) Electronic conductivity to enable high utilization of sulfur; and (3) High affinity to both sulfur and polysulfides to minimize sulfur dissolution. Phase I will demonstrate a lithium-sulfur cell with a cathode design able to reach >500 cycles with projected specific energy >400 Wh/kg. Phase II will develop >6Ah prismatic pouch cells to TRL 6 with >1000 cycle life (80% capacity) and demonstrated specific energy >400 Wh/g. If successful, the proposed technology will at least double the cycle life of lithium sulfur batteries and advance beyond state of the art (<200 cycles) to address the key limitation for space applications.
With improved cycle life, lithium sulfur batteries will meet multi-use/cross platform space energy storage application requirements. Successful deployment would result in significant mass and volume savings and operational flexibility. Potential applications include long duration energy storage for lunar surface operations such as landers, habitats and rovers. The weight savings and safety of lithium sulfur batteries will be beneficial in large surface energy storage systems which may range from 500 kWh on Mars to 14 MWh on the moon.
The Navitas lithium sulfur battery will provide an advantage to end users through improved battery energy density/cost and by reducing the battery size/price vs. established lithium ion batteries. Early adopters are small unmanned aerial systems, electric & hybrid-electric aircraft propulsion, and consumer electronics manufacturers. Ultimately a share of the electric vehicle battery market also.