Bat­tery used in space to power ve­hi­cles

Alive - - De­vel­op­ment -

Giv­ing thrust to the Cen­tre’s am­bi­tious green ve­hi­cle project, In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) has ap­proved com­mer­cial use of its in­dige­nously de­vel­oped lithium-ion bat­tery.

The space agency has agreed to trans­fer the so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy, which is orig­i­nally meant for space ap­pli­ca­tions, at a cost to in­dus­tries for mass pro­duc­tion of eve­hi­cles. The use of ISRO’s indige­nous bat­tery tech­nol­ogy is bound to re­duce the cost of e-ve­hi­cles, which cur­rently de­pend on costly im­ported parts for their man­u­fac­ture.

The highly ef­fi­cient bat­tery was de­vel­oped by ISRO’s Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram-based Vikram Sarab­hai Space Cen­tre (VSSC), and it is cur­rently used in satel­lites and launch ve­hi­cles like GSLV and PSLV. VSSC di­rec­tor Dr K Si­van said, “It’s a high-en­ergy bat­tery that has a long cy­cle of charg­ing and recharg­ing. Be­cause of its high-en­ergy den­sity char­ac­ter­is­tics, th­ese lithium bat­ter­ies are used in satel­lites as a source of power for 10-15 years (dur­ing the life cy­cle of a satel­lite). The bat­ter­ies pro­vide power to a satel­lite in space through mul­ti­ple recharges (1,500 cy­cles of recharg­ing). In rock­ets, the bat­tery is used to power the elec­tri­cal sys­tem till a ve­hi­cle launches a satel­lite in or­bit.”

“VSSC has de­vel­oped four types of cells — 1.5Ah, 5Ah, 50Ah and 100Ah. Out of the four cells, ISRO has al­lowed Au­to­mo­tive Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (an in­dus­trial au­to­mo­bile re­search as­so­ci­a­tion) to use 50Ah and 100Ah cells for de­vel­op­ing pro­to­types of an e-scooter and an e-car, re­spec­tively,” Dr Si­van added.

The first of the lithium bat­tery pro­to­type was in­stalled on an elec­tric two-wheeler and un­veiled at ARAI in Pune early this year. The com­mer­cial use of cost-ef­fec­tive bat­ter­ies will def­i­nitely bring down the cost of pro­duc­tion of e-ve­hi­cles and help the gov­ern­ment check the use of fuel-run ve­hi­cles and bring down air pol­lu­tion in ci­ties.

“The gov­ern­ment is cur­rently work­ing on modal­i­ties, in­clud­ing pric­ing, for trans­fer­ring ISRO’s bat­tery tech­nol­ogy to in­dus­tries so as to fa­cil­i­tate the mass pro­duc­tion of the green ve­hi­cle project,” Dr Si­van said.

In another step to in­volve in­dus­try in space projects, ISRO will soon sign a MoU with Bharat Heavy Elec­tri­cals Ltd (BHEL) for tech­nol­ogy trans­fer so that the pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ing can start mass pro­duc­tion of th­ese bat­ter­ies only for space ap­pli­ca­tions.

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