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SwRI receives DOE award for lithium-ion battery technology

For immediate release

San Antonio — Aug. 24, 2012 — Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been awarded a $712,500 contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to investigate the behavior of lithium-ion batteries during charge and discharge. The contract award is one of 19 projects that will receive $43 million in funding from the Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies.

"This contract will give us the opportunity to analyze the capacity and health of lithium-ion batteries over time," said Jeff Xu, a principal scientist in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division and a co-principal investigator of the project. "This early-stage development research is a new method for analyzing battery capacity and health that will help us improve lithium-ion battery life and recharge rates."

"The research will utilize SwRI's combined expertise in cell chemistry, cell testing and control system development to provide a positive contribution in the area of EV/HEV/PHEV safety," added Joe Steiber, co-principal investigator and a principal engineer, also in the Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division.

The two-year project, "Strain Estimation Technology for Lithium-Ion Batteries," will explore the potential of tracking physical expansion and contraction of lithium-ion batteries during charge and discharge cycles as a new method for analyzing battery capacity and health. The award was given through ARPA-E's Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) to focus on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid and provide important energy security benefits to America's armed forces.

For more information about this research at SwRI, please contact Xu by e-mail at jeff.xu@swri.org or by phone at (210) 522-5103, or Steiber at jsteiber@swri.org or (210) 522-2629.

For more information, contact Rob Leibold, (210) 522-2258, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.