Battery used in space to power vehicles
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.