After 14 months of hard work, the ECLIPSE team has officially concluded its Mid-Term Review and is making steady progress in Li-S cell research and battery development. The team is continuing to improve all elements of the future Li-S battery, including the cathode, the anode, the electrolyte and the separator. Individual cell components have been characterised by OXIS. Concrete progress has been made specifically on increasing the cell cycle life, which is a critical prerequisite for the deployment of cells in geostationary or low-earth-orbit satellites. To be compatible with geostationary satellites the Li-S cells will need to endure 1500 cycles over many years in space.
Simultaneously, Airbus and SAFT are working to design the Li-S battery prototype by connecting 12 Li-S pouch cells in a parallel and serial configuration. In order to limit the voltage unbalance of the cells connected in series, an electronic balancing system is necessary at the battery level. SAFT has proposed a balancing system design that can prevent over- or undercharging of the individual battery cells. Initial simulations on this system show promising results.
First tests of the Li-S battery prototype will commence in June 2017.