The US Army has awarded a contract to Firefly Energy to adapt the company’s future-generation microcell foam battery technologies for military applications.

The contract is to develop an alternative to conventional valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries, which often fail prematurely due to incremental energy requirements of high-tech military vehicles, and other factors such as extreme vibrations and temperatures.

By comparison Firefly’s microcell battery technology delivers four to six times the lifetime energy of a VRLA battery. Under the contract, Firefly will now be looking to significantly increase the power of the military 6T battery case, which is currently used across US and Nato military vehicles.

In addition, Firefly will continue development support of its 3D and 3D2 technologies under a $3.3m follow-on contract.

The 3D technology replaces traditional lead acid battery negative lead metal electrodes with a 3D high surface area microcell foam negative electrode.

Replacing both negative and positive lead metal electrodes with microcell foam material provides the same energy density in a deliverable pack as environmentally unstable lithium and nickel chemistry batteries.