Add another log to the rumors igniting around energy storage startup EEStor. According to a patent application with World Intellectual Property Organization that was recently published online (via bariumtitanate.blogspot.com), military-industrial giant Lockheed Martin is researching developing body armor and utility garments that could include using EEStor’s energy solution (page 7 of the application).
While Lockheed’s patent application references a more general rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery being used with the garment, the application not only specifically refers to possibly using EEStor’s technology, but calls the general energy storage technology an “electrical energy storage unit,” precisely what EEStor calls the energy storage device on which it is working. A garment with an energy storage layer could help soldiers power electronics like a radio, flashlight, or GPS for longer periods of time — soldiers often carry a significant amount of weight in extra batteries to power such devices.
As EEStor watchers know, the startup announced a contract back in January 2008 to integrate energy storage units into military applications. Craig Vanbebber of Lockheed Martin told us back then that Lockheed could be working with EEStor on anything from a wearable power source to powering soldier vehicles or command and control centers. Vanbebber also told us then that testing EEStor’s technology on the battlefield would be a major step for EEStor’s technology, explaining, “The challenges and logistics of taking power onto the battlefield are significant.”
Lockheed patent says that an energy storage layer of the garment could have a thickness of .5 centimeters to 2 centimeters, and there could be multiple layers of energy storage units. The garment would include electrical connectors, electrical ports and an energy management system. Specifically Toby Thomas and David Hoelscher are named as inventors of the device. See images below: