Nickel Hydrogen Batteries
Source: Ergenics Inc.
Date: 12/18/95    Record No.: 10274
Contact: Phil Burghart 201-962-4480

Nickel Hydrogen Batteries
Nickel Hydrogen Batteries have been used in space for decades and are known for extreme reliability. Ergenics Inc. has basic patents for a "segmented Ni H battery" concept that should make it practical for terrestrial uses. They're building a prototype for ARPA for a military hybrid vehicle, and can make them as small as a laptop computer battery.

- It uses metal hydride to store the hydrogen outside the battery cell, thus eliminating self-discharge, most if not all safety concerns, and heat transfer issues. Most important, it's low pressure, unlike usual Ni H batteries, which require a high pressure tank. A key advantage over Ni metal-hydride batteries is long life because the hydride is isolated from corrosion producing chemicals of the battery cell. Also, the hydrides materials are cheaper. Overall, costs should be competitive, especially on a life-cycle basis.
- The company is also developing hydride-based heat pumps, auto air conditioners, and an instant heater for auto emissions catalyst. They need capital, and haven't yet focused on applications in UPS and utility storage systems. This may turn out to be quite competitive with the other forms of storage that everyone is working so hard on, and it could be an opportunity for a strategic technology edge. Call me for more info.