It is not by chance that the Department of Defense takes a particular interest in energy storage technologies, especially in solutions providing high peak power in short time intervals. The ability to generate powerful impulses of electricity is critical barrier for deployment of high energy laser systems and railguns. In July 2014 the U.S. Navy awarded an $81 million contract to K2 Energy Solutions: “K2 Energy Solutions, Inc., Henderson, Nevada, is being awarded a ceiling-priced $81,400,000 firm-fixed price/cost-plus fixed-fee, basic ordering agreement for the fully self-contained battery intermediate energy store system required to power a large modular capacitor bank for the electromagnetic railgun. Work will be performed in Henderson, Nevada, and is expected to be completed by December 2016.”
Coming mass deployments of military high energy lasers and electromagnetic guns will likely boost DoD investments in energy storage technologies. The ability of existing Navy ship designs to support high energy systems in terms of having sufficient electrical power and accumulating capacity will be critically assessed to meet technical challenges of new tactical and strategic imperatives. USS New York, shown at the photo below, has a crew of 360 and can carry up to 700 Marines whose lives may be dependent on ship’s ability to accommodate high energy laser system providing close range defense.
There are plenty niches for technology companies to pursue in technology ecosystem segments, resolving challenges in customization of energy storage systems to ship design, energy capacitor systems, control systems and integration.