Astronauts aboard the International Space Station completed the installation of six new Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries to provide electric power to the station and crew during two extra-vehicular activities (EVAs). The four-year process of replacing the station’s outdated nickel hydrogen (Ni-H2) batteries with higher-efficiency Li-Ion batteries will be spread out over eight EVAs, four of which have been successfully completed.
Twenty-four Aerojet Rocketdyne Li-Ion batteries will replace all 48 existing Ni-H2 batteries and will be integrated into the Electrical Power System which powers the entire Space Station. Providing 15kW of power and designed to operate for at least 10 years, the Aerojet Rocketdyne Li-Ion batteries are a more efficient form of energy storage than Ni-H2 batteries. Li-Ion batteries have nearly 1.5 times more energy density and will result in nearly one-half of the launch mass compared to their Ni-H2 predecessors.
“Developing these critical power components for the Space Station and its inhabitants has been an invaluable opportunity to realize further potential applications for the technology,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “We are working to leverage the experience gained designing battery control and safety systems for human spaceflight, and apply it to future military and commercial applications.”
With 12 battery flight units now on-orbit and operational at the station, the remaining 12 will be launched and installed in subsequent missions slated for 2019 and 2020. Last year, Aerojet Rocketdyne delivered the last batch of Li-Ion battery Orbital Replacement Units (ORU) to Boeing, completing the contract 18 months ahead of schedule. Aerojet Rocketdyne designed and delivered 31 Li-Ion ORUs comprised of two engineering units, two qualification units and 27 flight units (24 replacement batteries and three additional spares).
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne
Date: Apr 1, 2019