Nuclear battery (atomic) is a new generation of power-generating devices, based on the concept of producing electrical power from radio isotopic fuel sources. Technological advancements in material technologies in electricity production, nuclear isotope held devices (batteries) are feasible to generate electrical power in an efficient manner. These batteries are able to produce power in multi watt levels and with negligible heat emission in its daily operation. These nuclear batteries can be scaled to reach levels of power up to thousands of watts, if required. This new technology has been made viable to be used with/compatible with almost all kinds of electronic devices.
Nuclear batteries use high amount of energy released by the tiny bits of radioactive material without any fission or fusion taking place inside the battery. These devices use thin radioactive films that encompasses the energy at a very high densities as compared to regular chemical fuel batteries. These nuclear batteries are very small in size as compared to conventional chemical fuel battery. Their small size is due to its high energy density.
Chemical batteries are often known for their short and unpredictable lifespan. Regular replacements are a must to keep them running in humming condition. For a few hundred kilo watt (kW) power generation large amounts of chemical fuel are required for a significant period of time. The maintenance, efficient logistical requirements for chemical fuels in order to keep the batteries running for continuous power generation have been overcome with the advent of nuclear batteries. Nuclear batteries are a lot lighter in weight as compared to heavy and bulky chemical fuel battery used for high voltage power output. This is advantageous for its prominent market presence. Solar and fuel cell batteries are often not considered due to their high operational expenditure (opex). The high opex, and a large area requirement can be a worrying factor in case where the application require low and modest power. Nuclear batteries require less space. They require low maintenance as compared to renewable sources such as solar and fuel cell and do not require continuous medium such as sunlight throughout the day for their proper and efficient functioning.
The nuclear batteries are small, compact, reliable, lightweight, and self-contained rugged to provide power to electrical power to applications such as electric automobiles, residential and commercial spaces, industrial, agricultural, recreational, remote monitoring systems, spacecraft and deep-sea probes, and others (military, among others). Radar systems, advanced communication satellites, and high technology weapons such as nuclear weapons require high and continuous power for their operations. Nuclear batteries are capable to deliver such high power requirements. These batteries are also used in nuclear power reactors. Based on type of nuclear battery, the nuclear battery market is segmented into junction type battery and self-reciprocating cantilever.
In terms of region, the nuclear battery market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific accounted for a major share of the nuclear battery market due to rapid expansion of end-use industries in the region. The region is followed by North America and Europe regions.
Key players operating in the nuclear battery market are Exide Technologies, TESLA Energy, GEV Attenfall American Elements, Curtiss Wright Nuclear, Comsoll Inc., and Thermo PV.