The U.S. Army is promoting development of conformal wearable batteries that will give soldiers an all-in-one power source for mission-critical equipment. The goal is to replace item-specific batteries of different shapes and sizes with a single streamlined power source designed to conform to the body with a thin, flexible construction. To help meet this need, power supply developer Amprius Technologies will integrate new cells into next-generation wearable battery packs to equip dismounted soldiers with a rapidly available energy solution on the battlefield without requiring additional support from stations and generators.

Dismounted soldiers wearing battery packs. Source: Amprius TechnologiesDismounted soldiers wearing battery packs. Source: Amprius Technologies

The California-based company will combine its proprietary SiMaxx cells into the battery packs, doubling the density of previous iterations and extending operational timelines for warfighters. These cells offer an energy density as high as 500 Wh/kg by weight and 1,300 Wh/l by volume, capabilities afforded by switching out the traditional graphite anode for silicon in a nanowire structure. The silicon holds up to 10 times more lithium ions for better energy capacity, while the nanowire configuration better accommodates the volume expansion and contraction involved with the movement of ions to prevent silicon degradation.

This superior energy density will enable the SiMaxx cells to double the energy carried compared to existing military battery solutions without an accompanying increase in pack weight or size. That will then empower soldiers to run longer missions without having to stop to charge.

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