Johnson Controls, Inc. has developed a multiple cell CPV Nickel Hydrogen battery that offers significant weight, volume and cost advantages for aerospace applications. The baseline design was successfully demonstrated through the testing of a 26-cell prototype, which completed over 7,000 44% depth-of-discharge LEO cycles at COMSAT Laboratories. Prototype designs using both nominal 5″ and 10″ diameter vessels are currently being developed for a variety of space and aircraft applications.
Nickel Hydrogen batteries are well established as an energy storage subsystem for commercial communication satellites. The standard design has been the Individual Pressure Vessel (IPV), which provides an independent vessel for each cell of the battery. The comparative advantages of a Common Pressure Vessel (CPV) design configuration, in which many series connected cells are contained in a single vessel, are widely recognized. These include higher specific energy, higher system energy density, simplified interfacing, and reduced cost as compared to the IPV. However, historical concerns related to electrolyte and thermal management had previously prevented the introduction of a reliable CPV design.