Choosing the correct battery for a satellite is an essential consideration for manufacturers and operators. Manufacturers consider factors such as flight heritage, battery technology, and manufacturer. They also ensure that batteries are made using approved procedures and do not have any deviations from standard practices. Once the battery is selected, it must undergo rigorous quality testing before being launched into orbit. This process can take up to five years; if the battery fails, it can’t be repaired.
Batteries for satellites have to be robust and able to withstand extreme temperatures and radiation. 18650 Moreover, they must be able to function in a vacuum without leaking. Fortunately, there are many different types of satellite batteries available. But the right one should be able to withstand the harsh environment and operate at maximum efficiency for the mission.
Satellite makers typically look for suppliers with identical electrochemical cells and a track record of working in space. Nickel-Cd batteries were the mainstay of satellites during the 1960s, and they are still widely used in LEO satellites. NiCd batteries are known for their low self-discharge and reliable operation.
Secondary batteries store solar energy so satellites can continue their missions even during eclipses or when the sun is too far away. These batteries are rechargeable and can also be used in hybrid systems. In addition, Lithium-based batteries are often used in satellites, and the UN has issued safety guidelines for their use. The correct COTS battery for a satellite depends on the mission’s orbit, which may change during different seasons.
Typically, a satellite will spend about 5,000 hours orbiting the earth. This orbit will result in an eclipse approximately 170 times a year, and these eclipses will last about 80 minutes on average. During these times, the satellite must operate with 1.5kW of power. This means that batteries are essential for satellite operations. The batteries used in spacecraft will need to endure approximately 5,000 cycles per year. They must also last for at least fifteen years before needing replacement.
ESA’s Energy Storage section is focused on developing a range of battery technologies for space applications. In addition to increasing specific energy, the research group is also looking at how to make batteries more reliable and efficient. Furthermore, they seek to improve battery mass and volume. By combining these factors, the aim is to deliver the best possible performance for a spacecraft.
A battery must be carefully packaged to keep it safe for use on a satellite. In such circumstances, the batteries must be screened to remove defects prone to thermal runaway. A faulty cell can also cause damage to neighboring cells.