Hybrid ultracapacitor power supplies enable high power density well beyond traditional capabilities of bulk Li-Ion battery storage. The targeted application that this proposal will focus on is a high power (> 100W) HPS for integration into CubeSats. The CubeSat platform was chosen for its inherent size and weight restrictions and as a relatively low cost and standardized platform for this new technology. Future development of ultracapacitor based HPS systems will leverage the size, weight, and performance benefits demonstrated on the CubeSat platform for expansion into larger more powerful systems. Beyond cube satellites, hybrid power systems have applications in which there are high peak power but relatively low average power demands. Such systems include microsatellites, motor actuation, stage separation, burst radar and communication systems, and pulsed laser systems. The multifunctional structural technology included in the ultracapacitor cell and module design have numerous NASA applications. Multifunctional energy storage design seeks to improve overall energy and power density by incorporating energy storage into devices that traditionally serve a different function. The cell under development is a structural cell that may be incorporated into structures such as airplane housings for light electric aircraft, satellite frames, actuator casings, and many more. With a high temperature chemistry, the cell may also be used for heat sinking and back-up power storage.
The cube satellite platform is a fast growing market both in academia and industry. Many companies are also growing to develop larger microsatellites as the technology and business is proven on cube satellites. This technology is easily translated to all cube satellite and microsatellite developers. Beyond satellites, the multifunctional structural technology has garnered a significant amount of interest by other government groups and companies for a wide range of application. The structural technology is able to conform to custom shapes to provide high efficiency, long life cycle energy storage in areas where it was impractical to do so previously. For example, the cell may be shaped to conform to void spaces in small aircraft such as drones and ordinance missiles. With FastCap's high temperature electrode and electrolyte, the same technology can be used as heat sinks for power loss back up supplies on memory and computation boards. With the progression of light aircraft and electric automobiles, the structural cell is being considered to drastically improve system level energy and power density. Additionally, long lifetime and ultra-high reliability system such as smart weaponry and land mines are beginning to realize the benefits of a ruggedized structural cell for pulse communication, actuation, and ignition. FastCap is aggressively pursuing all of these opportunities with Phase II funding a critical element in achieving their technological goals.