High Temperature Battery for Space Applications 2006-01-3025
The Exploration of Venus and the atmospheres of the giant planets is a part of NASA's program for Solar System Exploration which seeks to answer fundamental questions about the Solar System. The development of high specific energy supplies which can function at high temperature and high pressure is critical to the successful execution of this exploration. A primary need is power supplies that can function within the environment of the atmospheres of these planets and provide power to in situ measurement and imagery equipment. This includes instruments that can move on the surface or within the atmosphere to evaluate more than just point locations.
An example of the conditions which may be encountered is provided in an analysis of the atmosphere of Venus which features an atmosphere of dense carbon dioxide covered with clouds of sulfuric acid aerosols, a surface temperature of 486°̠C and a surface pressure of 90 atmospheres.
Mobile Energy Products Inc. (MEPI) is developing such a battery based on molten salt battery technology which has been developed for military applications. MEPI has developed molten salt battery technology for various commercial and military applications which is relevant to the development of a battery that can operate at these extreme temperature and pressure environments. In addition MEPI has developed bipolar battery technology and battery manufacturing processes which will enable the development of a reliable lightweight battery.
This paper will present experimental data that will characterize the potential of the technology to provide power at high temperature. The data will include information about specific energy, rate of discharge, voltage attributes and operational life at temperature.