News release: November 8, 2016
International battery manufacturers seeking to extend flight times for airborne drones are keen to test battery-boosting innovations from Australian nanotechnology startup Nano-Nouvelle.
The Sunshine Coast-based company is developing world-leading nanotechnology that can boost the energy storage capacity of lithium ion batteries by as much as 50 per cent.
This year, Nano-Nouvelle has received inquiries from companies based in Israel, the US and Korea about how its technology can assist to improve batteries used in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly called “drones”.
While military uses of drone technology hog the headlines, a recent study by global consulting firm PwC reports that the drone revolution is disrupting industries ranging from agriculture to filmmaking.
PwC’s Clarity from Above report on the commercial applications of drone technology, which estimates an addressable global market of more than US$127 billion, states that battery weight is a major limitation on a drone’s ﬂight time, and thus a key challenge for manufacturers.
Nano-Nouvelle CEO Stephanie Moroz said the interest from drone battery manufacturers was a clear trend. “We had one company that enquired as an automotive battery manufacturer, but when we visited them in Israel, they really wanted to talk about drones,” she said.
“We’ve also had inquiries from companies in the US and Korea that are keen to learn if our technology can help them improve battery performance to provide drones with longer flight times.
“Drones are a big deal at the moment, with a lot of growth in that market. Limited battery life is a huge pain point that is seen as a major competitive advantage for whoever solves that problem.”
Nano-Nouvelle’s core technology, the Nanode, overcomes the current limitations of high energy and high power batteries. By using nanotechnology to create a conductive membrane with complex 3D surfaces, the company’s patent-protected technology pushes the boundaries of high performance battery electrodes, effectively laying the foundation for a new generation of high capacity batteries.
An important part of Nano-Nouvelle’s strategy involves working out how to implement its innovative nanotechnology into current manufacturing processes. Extra energy storage capacity and ease of adoption are two of the key reasons for the interest from manufacturers of batteries for drones.
Nano-Nouvelle is currently working with these companies to prove the efficacy of the electrode nanomaterials and to optimise the functional capabilities of the technology.