AFWERX ENERGY CAMPAIGN PHASE I
Nanoelectrofuel (NEF) Refueling POD
In this project Influit is designing a NEF charging/refueling pod that is designed to be compatible with the U.S. Air Force’s existing infrastructure, bypassing the need for costly modifications. While every branch of the military is dependent on oil, the Air Force is the largest consumer of crude oil in the Department of Defense, reaching two billion gallons of aviation fuel annually, making up 81 percent of the total Air Force energy budget. The U.S. Army, which owns 225,000 vehicles of all sizes, from Humvees to 70-ton tanks, has long eyed EV but has struggled to find a place for it despite the fact that fuel-dependent vehicles can cause grave danger. A damaged or destroyed Humvee can explode, proving deadly to military personnel. The military has been unable to identify an efficient, cost-effective alternative. The answers cannot be found in Li-ion powered EVs; military personnel responding to timely crises cannot wait hours for their vehicles to recharge. Li-ion batteries also do not eliminate the danger of combustion or explosion accidents. Lithium ion cells and batteries are more fragile as compared to other rechargeable technologies. They require protection from being over charged and discharged too far. They can overheat and become damaged at high voltage. They remain roughly one hundred times less energy dense than gasoline, and they need to have the current maintained within safe limits. They also suffer from ageing—whether or not they are in use—and begin to decline after a set number of charge cycles.
Influit’s disruptive technology targets resilience of infrastructure, efficient utilization of renewable energy sources, and local manufacturing. Unlike Li-ion batteries, other flow battery chemistries, and fossil fuels, NEF flow batteries prevent thermal runaway by offering a non-flammable, non-explosive, and inherently safe energy storage solution to be used in base operations, as well as battlefields. The earth abundant elements in NEF formulations enable low cost and secure energy value-supply chains with greater efficiency and longer “per charge” operations. Influit’s technology is easily transported by land, air, or sea, either by pallet or bladder. The refueling POD design will focus on a new feature enabling rapid refueling of the liquid NEF battery that will complement existing development of the NEF energy storage platform. The proposed conceptual design for the NEF refueling POD is intended for rapid refueling of vehicles and devices, using accumulated energy from renewable sources.