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Talk-24: Safe, Long-Endurance Energy Storage: The Aluminum-Water Power System

Thomas B. Milnes Ph.D., Open Water Power, Inc.

Open Water's aluminum-water power system technology harnesses the significant electrochemical energy inherent in aluminum metal. While a variety of mechanical and materials-based hurdles have traditionally made this energy difficult to access, this technology, developed at MIT, overcomes these issues to deliver a power system with 10x the energy density of competing lithium-ion systems.

In addition to improved energy densities, this aluminum-water fuel cell technology is inherently safer and more stable than many other battery and fuel cell chemistries. Prior to activation the system components are chemically inert, with no risk of explosion and a virtually unlimited shelf life. Once activated with water, their safety profile is similar to that of household alkaline batteries. The Naval Surface Warfare Center at Carderock recently conducted preliminary safety testing of some of Open Water's aluminum-water cells and found them to be inert over a range of abusive conditions that would typically cause lithium-ion and even silver-zinc batteries to fail dangerously.

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