PhosEnergy to develop nuclear space batteries

Adelaide-based green-energy technology company PhosEnergy and the University of Adelaide are developing next-generation nuclear batteries for space and defence industries.

PhosEnergy, which develops technology for recovering useful energy resources and chemicals from wastes, have been awarded a grant of more than $2.4 million to support the project under the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centre’s Projects (CRC-P) scheme .

The company will use the funds to further develop their long-life, reliable, maintenance and fuel-free nuclear battery technology for space and defence industries.

The University of Adelaide’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anton Middelberg said: “This funding will help our defence forces have access to cutting-edge technology that will help to ensure the safety of our nation and that of our trusted allies.

“A long-life, reliable, maintenance and fuel-free power system for low-Earth orbit, lunar and deep-space applications is critical for enabling the next phases of space exploration.”

The GenX technology was invented by PhosEnergy’s managing director Bryn Jones and chief scientist Dr Julian Kelly.

Jones said: “The burgeoning space industry and increasingly sophisticated remote defence sites where power-hungry technology is located are creating enormous demand for long-life, fuel-free power sources.

“The global market for power generation in space is already estimated to be worth US $2.8 billion a year and is forecast to continue double-digit growth for the foreseeable future, with the focus on extended missions and long-term habitation and sustainable resource recovery on the Moon.”

The project partnership includes The University of Adelaide, PhosEnergy as well as DEWC Systems, Duromer Products, the University of South Australia and the University of Western Australia.

Picture: NASA/NASA’s PhoneSat 1.0 nanosatellite

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