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Navitas Systems Announces Department of Energy Grant Award

WOODRIDGE, Ill., Sept. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Navitas Systems LLC (www.navitassys.com), a leading provider of energy-enabled system solutions, energy storage products, and power electronics for commercial, industrial and government/military customers, has been awarded its first Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant. The $1M SBIR Phase II award will support the development of innovative battery technology to reduce cost and extend range, overcoming two prominent challenges which limit electric vehicle adoption. Navitas is focused on removing these barriers.

With the promise of low cost and high capacity, silicon-based materials have emerged as having great potential to be the anode of the future for lithium ion batteries. Until now, commercial success has been hindered by limited cycle life, expensive precursors and non-scalable processes. The foundation for winning this larger Phase II Grant was based on Navitas successfully demonstrating in its Phase 1 SBIR program a practical and economical high capacity silicon-based anode material for lithium ion batteries. The key innovations demonstrated in Phase I were the use of low-cost raw materials, scalable processes, and electrode fabrication compatible with established high volume production.

As proposed in Phase II, Navitas will optimize performance, establish pilot kilogram scale production, and demonstrate the electrode in xEV-relevant prototype cells. Currently, silicon-based anodes are being commercialized in next generation lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics and, if successful, this project will reduce the cost and extend cycle life to enable adoption into the more cost- and life-sensitive electric vehicle market.

"Silicon-based anodes have the potential to double the anode charge storage capacity in lithium ion batteries versus the commercial state-of-the-art graphitic carbon anodes" stated Dr. Michael Wixom, Navitas Senior Director of Research and Development and point person driving the collaborative efforts between Navitas and the US Department of Energy Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (J-CESR). "What sets the Navitas technology apart is that we start with widely available low-cost precursors and use established industrially-scalable processes to produce the material. Avoiding the need for nano scale precursors or vapor deposition processes will reduce material and manufacturing costs, and vastly speed time-to-market," Wixom explained.

Over the past year, Navitas has become a thought leader in this sector, and the Phase II SBIR award has contributed to a successful first three quarters of 2014, which has seen Navitas increase its federal funding by 200%.
"We thank the Department of Energy for our sustained partnership. Our first SBIR Phase II award points to the hard work and success of our leadership and R &D teams" stated Les Alexander, Navitas Advanced Solutions Group General Manager. "We are confident that Phase II will result in new battery technology that will ultimately reduce the cost and extend the range of electric vehicles in an effort to help DOE exceed their stated goals and objectives," Alexander concluded.

About Navitas Systems, LLC

Navitas Systems is a leader in integrated design, technology development, and manufacturing of innovative energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers. Navitas Systems products range from customized energy storage solutions for motive, idle-reduction and defense related applications, along with custom renewable energy integrated power systems, to standard products like lithium based lead-acid replacement batteries. Our ruggedized lithium energy storage products are the perfect choice for any high-performance multi-cell battery application that requires lower weight, reduced volume, massively increased cycle life, higher efficiency, and environmental durability.

Navitas is headquartered in a state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot facility in Woodridge, Illinois. In early 2012, the company acquired the Government Solutions Group of lithium battery manufacturer A123 Systems. With this acquired major research facility located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with strong local and offshore partners and solid financial stability, Navitas is well positioned to continue serving the energy products and power electronics needs of major worldwide customers.
From advanced R &D, safe/high energy cell design, in-house electronics manufacturing and cable assemblies, to sophisticated battery pack assembly, Navitas Systems is your one-stop shop for comprehensive energy and power electronics solutions. For more information visit www.navitassys.com and follow @Navitas_Systems on Twitter.

CONTACT: Janice Tucker (630) 755-7920 Jtucker@navitassys.comSource: Navitas Systems