CRG named finalist in Army xTechSearch 8 competition for groundbreaking battery technology


Military soldiers in winter camo, carrying weapons in deep snow.
CRG’s li-metal battery cell chemistry will ensure uninterrupted functionality of equipment for soldiers operating in demanding conditions.

Cornerstone Research Group is one of 50 finalists in the Army xTechSearch 8 competition. The recognition comes in light of CRG’s groundbreaking pitch titled “Ultra-Low Temperature Rechargeable Li-Metal Battery,” showcasing the company’s innovative advancements in battery technology.

The core of CRG’s submission lies its cutting-edge lithium metal (Li-metal) battery cell chemistry, specifically engineered for high energy and low-temperature applications. With cells capable of generating an energy density exceeding 300 Wh/kg, capacity retention at discharge rates up to 9C, and functioning in temperatures as low as -60°C, CRG’s Li-metal technology stands out for its potential to power mission-critical equipment in the harshest of environments.

The competitive advantage of CRG’s technology stems from a unique cell design and chemistry, featuring a thin lithium metal (Li-metal) anode, an energy-dense cathode, and a custom nonflammable electrolyte. Designed to enhance the electrochemical kinetics for low-temperature and high-power applications, CRG also prioritized maximizing the energy density of the cell to extend mission run time.

Demonstrating its commitment to meeting the Department of Defense’s needs, CRG is actively working to transition this groundbreaking technology into soldier-portable battery packs. This initiative aims to ensure uninterrupted functionality of equipment for soldiers operating in demanding conditions.

“Soldiers rely on wearable/portable batteries to power mission-critical devices,” explained John Hondred, a team lead and research engineer at CRG. “As mission run times increase and as more devices are leveraged for longer operating times, there is an increasing demand of higher energy-density batteries operating at wider temperature ranges.”

Modern batteries relying on lithium ion (Li-ion) cells are unable to provide the necessary output at extremely low temperatures. For Li-ion cells to function under these conditions, integrated heaters are required to maintain temperatures above -20°C. According to Hondred, CRG’s new Li-metal cell can effectively discharge with high power and high energy even under the harshest of military environments, enabling the continued use of critical equipment and devices.

CRG’s advanced Li-metal cell chemistry has far-reaching potential. Applications requiring high energy, high power, and/or wide operating temperatures could significantly benefit from adopting this technology. For the Army xTechSearch, CRG concentrated on powering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), electric vehicle take-off and landing (eVTOL), ground and maritime vehicles, directed energy weapons (DEW), and a variety of stationary equipment and microgrids.

The Army xTechSearch competition serves as a platform for CRG and other pioneers to integrate with the Army’s Science and Technology ecosystem, aligning technological solutions with real user requirements. Being named a finalist underscores CRG’s dedication to innovation and service, reinforcing the company’s position as a key player in advancing military capabilities.

“CRG extends its gratitude to the xTechSearch team for this recognition,” said Brian Henslee, vice president of power systems at CRG. “We look forward to further collaboration and advancement in the field of battery technology.”

For more information about this and other new technology at CRG, please visit