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Energy Storage for the Military

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army National Guard, Sta­ Sgt. Roby Di Giovine.

The ability to safely and easily store energy increases our national security by protecting electricity grid, transportation and defense systems.

The Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Sciences (ACCESS) solves energy-storage problems through laboratory-wide multidisciplinary research. 

Focusing on National Security

Unlike commercial applications, storage solutions for national security missions must provide reliable, energy-dense performance under extreme conditions. Through ACCESS, Argonne is:

  • Increasing the energy density of batteries, to meet the needs of the military in a more compact size
  • Identifying solutions for the nation’s energy grid to enhance national security by limiting the potential vulnerabilities from natural disasters or cyber-attacks
  • Improving batteries for renewable energy to enable more robust solutions for unattended monitoring systems used for nuclear nonproliferation safeguards

Collaborating for Results

Argonne, and ACCESS specifically, can develop next-generation energy storage technologies by bringing together world-renowned scientific talent and capabilities. This leading scientific expertise is further enhanced with a research center that understand the unique needs and demands of national security. The Center’s achievements are made possible through the collaborative work with Argonne’s resources, which include: 

  • Materials Engineering Research Facility
  • The Cell Analysis, Modeling and Prototyping Facility
  • The Electrochemical Analysis and Diagnostics Laboratory
  • The Post-Test Facility 
  • The Electrochemical Discovery Laboratory

These facilities, along with the Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source are essential for the national security achievements made by ACCESS.

Achieving Results

Satellite Energy Storage: Collaborative efforts at Argonne led to the development of a new electrolyte formulation for national security agencies. One of these focused on increasing the energy density of a satellite energy storage system. 

Electric Fuel Cells: Argonne developed a specific cathode material for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The coating was specifically developed to improve fuel cells for electric vehicles.