Characterization of thermally activated solid electrolyte lithium anode primary reserve batteries
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The purpose of this research was to perform an initial characterization of the capabilities of thermal batteries. Thermal batteries have a very high theoretical specific energy. If they also have a suitably high specific power then they would be of interest as a power source for compact pulsed power systems. Thermal batteries are not extensively characterized outside their intended use and so the feasibility of their use in this way is unknown. Therefore a test stand was developed for characterizing the power output capabilities of a thermal battery. The initial parameters of the test stand were chosen based on what a compact pulsed power system may require and to allow a quick initial system build to test feasibility. The system was designed to allow easy upgrade of components for more rigorous testing to follow. The system was developed and tested using Lithium-ion Polymer batteries as an inexpensive and reusable alternative to the expensive one-time use thermal batteries. The test stand was shown to give results in line with other reported Li-poly testing. A specific thermal battery was chosen for testing as a candidate that would be readily available and could easily be modified by the manufacturer to allow greater power capability. Nine of these batteries were tested and the results indicate thermal batteries have potential as a prime power source for compact pulsed power systems.