Satellite batteries – for CubeSats, nanosats, and other form factors

Roundup

Energy generation and management is an important aspect of electrical power sub-systems. Secondary batteries store the generated electrical energy from solar energy, and power the satellite when the sun is eclipsed, or too far away during the mission to give enough direct power.

Secondary (rechargeable) batteries are the focus of this article, with well-known examples being Lithium-ion or Lithium-based batteries adapted in space applications.

This article gives a brief overview of satellite battery technology and shares details of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) battery products from around the world. If you are familiar with the technology and would like to skip straight to the product listings, please click here.


What are space-graded batteries?

The primary source of energy in a microsatellite (satellites with deployed mass up to 100 kg) power system is solar/photovoltaic panels, which convert solar energy to electrical energy, while batteries are the secondary source.

Batteries convert electrical energy to chemical energy during charging, and perform the opposite process during discharge. A typical battery contains a negative and positive electrode immersed in an electrolyte, separated by an insulator.

Primary and secondary batteries are two types of power storage systems that are used in satellite power systems, classified based on their electrochemistry.

For short missions primary batteries are used, as they are not rechargeable. For repeated cycles of usage, as in the case of eclipsed seasons, secondary (rechargeable) batteries are preferred.

Typically, nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel-hydrogen (NiH2), lithium polymer (LiPo), and lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells are used as secondary batteries in space applications.

For any object to be space-graded, it has to withstand severe vibration during the launch, vacuum pressure once it reaches the designated orbit, and extreme temperature, and solar radiations at different stages.

Every satellite sub-system has to be designed and tested for such extreme environmental conditions. Despite such challenges, it is also expected in the modern industry that every component should have increasingly longer lifetimes, higher efficiencies, and, more importantly, is available at a comparatively lower cost.


The challenges of the space environment

To be able to reliably use satellite batteries on-board space systems, environmental conditions become even more important to be considered in design, as it can be possible for battery systems to leak, or even explode.

Some of the important parameters to consider for selecting the right set of batteries include; depth of discharge (DOD), shelf-life, ability to recharge, power capacity (in Ah), weight, operating temperature range, resistance to shock and vibration, power management schemes, charge cycles, specific energy, cost, and ruggedness. More information on such criteria is given below.

Another of the common issues with satellite battery technology is overcharging. It should also be considered during the design and testing phase to avoid the risk of overheating once the maximum voltage is reached. Overheating may lead to explosion or fire, which would likely be catastrophic to a mission.

Finally, other undesirable conditions for a battery would include short circuiting, an operating temperature higher or lower than the designed range, exceeding the preset limits of the DOD, a build up of pressure inside the cell due to the chemical reactions, and excessive current developing.

As you can see, developing a battery to work in space is no easy task, particularly as they play such an important role. And the core of any battery system, which needs to meet these challenges, is the fundamental chemistry of the energy-storing cells.


The types of batteries used in space

The reliability of a battery depends mainly on the choice of the electrochemical system it is based on. Among the many different types, the most widely used batteries are Nickel–Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel–Hydrogen (NiH2), and Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These are described in more detail below:

Ni-Cd

Although NiH2 and Lithium-based batteries are sometimes thought to be replacing Ni-Cd batteries in newer systems, this format has served as an effective storage system for decades, with an adequate lifetime and fair capacity, satisfying the requirements for space missions in the past. The cathode (positive electrode) of these batteries is nickel and the anode (negative electrode) is cadmium, and potassium hydroxide is used as the electrolyte. These batteries have been in use on LEO and GEO satellites.

Ni-Cd battery technology is mature. The systems are lightweight and inexpensive, but usually not as energy-dense compared to other forms. Their ability to deliver the full capacity with a high discharge rate is one of the significant advantages of the batteries.

Notable flaws in such batteries are that the high charging rate can cause overcharging and overheating causing damages to the battery. Prolonged usage of these batteries may also cause holes in the insulator material where crystalline “shorts” are grown. When this occurs, the cell can charge only if these crystallines are opened by high pulse current.

Nickel–Hydrogen (NiH2)

Nickel-Hydrogen secondary batteries are designed exclusively for space applications. They are an example of a hybrid between fuel cells and battery technology. The electrodes of the cells are made of positive nickel hydroxide and negative platinum catalyst. The cell case serves as the pressure vessel for holding the negative hydrogen gas.

The main advantage of Nickel-Hydrogen batteries is that they do not pose a safety issue while overcharging or overdischarging. They also provide a higher specific energy compared to Ni-Cd batteries. The main shortcomings are that they have a high self discharge rate, low volumetric energy density, and require high pressure storage to hold the hydrogen gas generated during charging.

A classic example is the Nickel-Hydrogen batteries powering the Hubble Telescope in LEO, which were in operation from its launch in 1990 to 2009, and were thenthen replaced by improved versions of the same type of system.

Li-ion

Lithiumi-ion batteries are known for their dense energy, longer lifetime, and rechargeable capacity. Since Li-ion batteries became commercially viable products in 1991, they have been adapted in multiple industrial applications, including the space industry.

The highlights of Li-ion battery characteristics include a wide range of operating temperatures, and a prominent working cycle. The systems are also capable of delivering short and high energy peaks without affecting the cell. The Li-ion cell characteristics differ based on the cathode material, while the anode is typically a carbon-based material.

Lithium manganese oxide (LMO) and Lithium manganese nickel (NMC) cells are low cost and have reasonable safety ratings among Li-ion cells. LMO cells have low specific energy and high discharge rate capability, while NMC cells have high specific energy, low resistance and low discharge rate capability.

Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) cells have the highest cycle life and specific energy among the Li-ion cells with a low discharge rate capability and decent safety. Lithium nickel cobalt oxide (NCO) cells are rarely used. Lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cells are expensive, characterized by low specific energy, poor safety and lower discharge rate capability. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells are characterized by their low specific energy, and high discharge rate capability with, good safety ratings.

Li-ion cells develop internal resistance rapidly at low temperatures posing a limitation to the discharge. Capacitors are used with Li-ion batteries as a hybrid system to improve their performance at low temperatures. Li-ion batteries are considered to be in class 9 of dangerous goods by the United Nations (UN), and so specific regulations of safety should be followed when in use of this product.


Batteries requirements by orbit

The mission’s orbit is a critical parameter to be considered for choosing a COTS battery. The required battery cycles change with the season and duration of the eclipses experienced by the satellites in different orbits.

Depending on the mission orbit (GEO or MEO or LEO), the specific energy of the battery also varies. In this section, an outline of eclipse seasons are provided to highlight the significant differences in the requirements of the stored power in the batteries.

LEO – a satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) experiences a range of 5,000 – 5,500 cycles of eclipses over a year with a duration of 30 – 40 minutes each. These eclipses happen approximately every 90 minutes, as the satellites in LEO are positioned comparatively lower and complete a revolution faster.

GEO – a satellite in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) is positioned on the equatorial plane, focussing on the same geographical location by rotating at the same orbit speed as earth. It experiences a range of 90 – 100 cycles of eclipses in total, with two 45-day sessions over a year. The maximum duration of battery usage during this season is 72 minutes per day.

MEO – satellites positioned in the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) face 170 cycles of eclipses per year. Typically, the eclipse duration ranges from 0-80 minutes. There are two seasons of eclipse spanning for a period of 40 – 60 days, per year.

Orbit is very important to consider, but is just one of the criteria that need to be weighed up when selecting the right satellite battery for your mission.


Understanding your requirements

We recommend a simple four-step approach for the preliminary selection of any new piece of hardware or software for a satellite or other space system.

Note that this is just a basic guide based on what we’ve learned helping hundreds of buyers select products within our marketplace and get rapid responses from suppliers.

It is just meant to help engineers make an initial assessment and shouldn’t replace formalised systems engineering approaches such as the INCOSE Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) CubeSat frameworks.

  1. Specify your currently known mission parameters,
  2. Record all currently known overall design specifications of the system,
  3. Consider the range of technology that will be used in the satellite and in ancillary sub-systems, and
  4. Take into account the key performance criteria of the kind of product you wish to procure.

These criteria are explained in more detail below.


Mission parameters

The first step is to fully understand the currently known mission parameters, including both the critical applications and desirable, but not necessarily essential, objectives.

Typically the more precise mission parameters will only be established later in the process – usually iterated upon in a number of loops by considering the “system of systems.”

But having an idea of what functions your selected technology is likely to need to perform, and on what schedule and duration, will make selecting the most suitable model much easier.

Also consider the launch stresses, testing processes and regulatory compliance that the product will need to go through in order to make it into orbit, as well as any obsolescence procedures once the mission is complete.


Overall design specifications

Next, keep to hand all currently known design information about the entire unit.

This can include the volume, weight, primary structural material and more basic things such as the location, storage and transport arrangements of the major components.

You will need to make sure that the new piece of technology you choose will be suitable for these parameters.


Full range of technology

Once you are clear on exactly what tasks the new product will need to perform and the design characteristics of the satellite or other unit that it will work within, the next consideration is the full range of technology that will sit alongside the product to make sure that everything is compatible.

You may not yet know the entire range of accompanying technology (and you might need to first choose the product model you are interested in in order to make decisions on other components), but make sure you have access to all available technical specifications of sub-systems and structural components that are most likely to be used, as per the current mission plans.

It is important to understand how different sub-systems and components will interface with each other to create a high-performing satellite.

Balancing the available mass, power and volume budgets is also important, which can only be done with a clear plan of which components will be used.

Also consider how the product will work with the planned or existing ground segment to ensure effective data transfer and communication stability.

Now that you have a clear idea of what sort of product is needed for your mission, system, and existing platform setup, the next step is to compare the commercially-available products that meet these criteria according to the most relevant performance metrics.


Key performance criteria for satellite batteries

The following criteria are some of the main technical attributes to consider when selecting a battery for a mission or service.

Battery capacity – capacity is defined as the charge stored by the battery and is determined by the mass of active material contained in the battery. Measured in Ampere-hour, Ah.

Battery voltage – the difference in electric potential between the positive and negative terminals of a battery. Measured in V.

Battery Power – the amount of energy stored in the battery. Measured in Watt-hour, Wh.

Battery cell configuration – the physical arrangement of cells, for example:

  • Series arrangement: to obtain the required voltage at the bus and is denoted as ‘s’. The higher the required voltage, higher is the number of cells required in series.
  • Parallel arrangement: to obtain the necessary capacity.
  • S–P topology: the battery cells are assembled in series and then connected in parallel.
  • P-S topology: the battery cells are assembled in parallel as a module to provide the required battery capacity and then connected in series to meet the required voltage range.

Type of battery – as outlined in the previous section, the chemical composition of the batteries define their type.

Physical mass – the weight of the battery pack. Measured in grams or kilograms.

Depth of discharge (DoD) – the percentage of the discharged capacity as compared to the nominal capacity.


Satellite batteries on the global market

In the section below you can find a variety of commercially-available satellite batteries on the global market. We have also published an overview of satellite Electrical Power Systems (EPS) on the global market.

These listings will be amended when new products are added to the global marketplace, or existing systems are upgraded, so please check back for more, or sign up for our mailing list for all the updates.

Click on any of the links below to find out more about the satellite batteries. You can also submit a request for a quote, documentation or further information on each of the products listed, or send us a more general query to discuss your specific needs, and we will use our global networks of suppliers to find a system to meet your specifications.

14V Modular SmallSat Battery

DATASHEET
CAD
USER MANUAL
ICD

A 45 or 90 Whr satellite battery designed with overvoltage, undervoltage, and overcurrent protections. The system features radiation tolerant battery interface electronics (BIE) and an integrated heater and thermistor. The battery has an operating cell temperature of 40 to 10 C and a heater power at 16V operation of 8 W.

mass

< 375 g

battery capacity

45 Wh
90 Wh (two-module assembly)

battery pack voltage

13.2 to 16.8 V

battery type

Li-ion

Ibeos' 135-Watt-hour, 28-Volt lithium-ion battery module is a radiation tolerant, fault-protected energy storage system. The aluminum and PEEK packaging is rigid, thermally conductive, and enables flexible mechanical and thermal spacecraft interfacing. The system provides 10 A sustained discharge, and a 2.5 A sustained charge current in a Cubesat-compatible form factor.

mass

< 815 g

battery capacity

135 Wh (BOL)

battery pack voltage

22 to 33.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

Ibeos’ 1000-Watt-hour, 50-Volt lithium-ion battery module is a radiation tolerant, fault tolerant energy storage system. It has a maximum discharge rate of 50 A and an operating cell temperature of 0 to 45 °C. The system also features 2 thermistors and 4 polyimide thermofoil heaters, integrated for thermal control.

mass

< 7.5 kg

battery capacity

1000 Wh

battery pack voltage

36 to 50.4 V

battery type

Li-ion

A radiation- and fault-tolerant lithium-ion battery module with a capacity of 1100 Wh and a mass of less than 8 kg. The system features Kapton thermofoil heaters and external aluminum surfaces treated with MIL-DTL-5541 Type II, Class 3 chem film. It has an operating voltage of 24 to 33.6 V and a maximum discharge rate of 80 A.

mass

< 8 kg

battery capacity

1100 Wh

battery pack voltage

24 to 33.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

A 30 kRad (Si) tolerant 28-volt battery system with kapton thermofoil heaters, an aluminum chassis and PEEK cell capture plates. The product has a mass of less than 6 kg and a heater power rating of 30 W at 16 V. The maximum discharge rate is 60 A (30 A recommended) and the system is ITAR-free.

mass

< 6 kg

battery capacity

825 Wh

battery pack voltage

24 to 33.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

Am ITAR-free, fault- and radiation-tolerant (30 kRad) 28V battery in aluminum and PEEK packaging. The system has an operating temperature of 0 to 45 °C during charge and -25 to 55 °C during discharge, and a battery capacity of 550 Wh.

mass

< 4 kg

battery capacity

550 Wh

battery pack voltage

24 to 33.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

A 275 Wh Lithium-ion battery system with kapton thermofoil heaters and an operating voltage range of 24 to 33.6 V. The radiation- and fault-tolerant system includes over-voltage, over-current, and under-voltage protection and has a mximum discharge rate of 20 A.

mass

< 2 kg

battery capacity

275 Wh

battery pack voltage

24 to 33.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

The EXA BA0x High Capacity Battery Array is a family of power store/delivery devices designed to provide high energy density and redundancy for CubeSat missions. The Li-poly devices have a capacity of 6000 mAh, have flight heritage since 2013, and are fully compatible with ISIS and Pumpkin structures.

mass

125 g

battery capacity

6000 mAh

battery pack voltage

3.7 V

battery type

Li-poly

The 50 Whr battery packs can be provided with a thickness as low as 7 mm and a mass of 210 g. The Lithium-polymer systems are cell-only arrays and feature no electronics on-board, giving you the flexibility to integrate with any EPS required. The systems have a battery capacity of 12000 mAh and a voltage of 3.7 V.

mass

210 g

battery capacity

12000 mAh

battery pack voltage

3.7 V

battery type

Li-poly

A 1U-sized power bank module built from 7 battery arrays, designed to provide high energy capacity and redundancy. The 1.26 kg system has a total battery pack power of 350 Wh and a capacity of 42,000 mAh or 84,000 mAh depending on configuration. The batteries are customizable in terms of in terms of output, cable, connectors, and interfaces.

mass

1260 g

battery capacity

84000 mAh
42000 mAh

battery pack voltage

3.4 V
7.4 V

battery type

Li-poly

A 6 to 8 cell Lithium-Ion battery system designed to offer a long life-time, simple integration, and safe operation. Featuring a total of 7 different configurations, and up to 75 Wh capacity, making it suitable for most nano- and small-satellite missions.

mass

604 g (configured with 8 cells)

battery capacity

92 Wh

battery pack voltage

10.8 V
14.4 V
21.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

The Redwire All Solid-State Battery (ASSB) Pack is a drop-in replacement for spacecraft power. The system features modular building blocks with an energy density of 20 Ah, and is designed to offer a safer and less reactive than traditional Li-ion liquid electrolyte technology.

mass

N/A

battery capacity

20 Ah

battery pack voltage

28V (nominal)
24.5 to 33.6 V

battery type

solid-state battery

A modular battery system for small satellites based on Lithium-Ferrite (Li-Fe) cells. The battery block is protected for over charging (non-destructive), tolerant against deep discharge (non-destructive) and offers cell balancing.

mass

5940 g

battery capacity

345 Wh

battery pack voltage

23.1 V

battery type

Li-Fe

A modular battery system for small satellites using Li-Fe cells. The system consists of 3 strings in parallel, each with a nominal capacity of 2.5 Ah, and the electrical interface is a 15 pin D-SUB female connector.

mass

3000 g

battery capacity

172 Wh

battery pack voltage

23.1 V

battery type

Li-Fe


The Saft solution for high power space applications is based on the Saft VL51ES Li-ion cell. Specifcally designed for GEO and MEO applications.

mass

69.6 kg

battery capacity

255 Ah

battery pack voltage

27 to 41.4 V

battery type

Li-ion

Based on VES16 space cells designed for LEO and small GEO applications, between 30 W to 12 KW, depending on configuration. Batteries and cells ensure long life and high DOD, and they have a capacity of 18 Ah and cell formation of 8s4p. More than 80 spacecrafts are in orbit with VES16 batteries.

mass

5 kg

battery capacity

18 Ah

battery pack voltage

25.0 to 32.8 V

battery type

Li-ion

Based on VES16 space cells designed for LEO and small GEO applications, between 30 W to 12 KW, depending on configuration. Batteries and cells ensure long life and high DOD, and they have a capacity of 288 Ah and cell formation of 11s16p. More than 80 spacecrafts are in orbit with VES16 batteries.

mass

28.8 kg

battery capacity

288 Ah

battery pack voltage

29.7 to 45.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

Based on VES16 space cells designed for LEO and small GEO applications, between 30 W to 12 KW, depending on configuration. Batteries and cells ensure long life and high DOD, and they have a capacity of 4.5 Ah and cell formation of 4s1p. More than 80 spacecrafts are in orbit with VES16 batteries.

mass

0.7 kg

battery capacity

4.5 Ah

battery pack voltage

13.2 to 16.4 V

battery type

Li-ion

With a space flight heritage, these Li-ion batteries have a reliability > 0.99. It is designed for radiation total-dose exposure of 3.11E6 rads with bulti-in safety protection, primary and redundant heaters, back-up temperature and voltage telemetry features.

mass

< 35.0 kg

battery capacity

100 Ah at 20°C

battery pack voltage

27.0 to 36.9 V (33.3 V nominal)

battery type

Lithium Cobalt Oxide

A 60 Ah case neutral Li-ion cell suitable for LEO/MEO/GEO missions. The cells endure long lifetime over 40,000 low-earth orbit cycles at 40% depth of discharge (DOD) over 10 years of operation and are qualified to operate from -20 to 40°C. They feature a true prismatic design and a safety vent.

mass

1.6 kg

battery capacity

60 Ah at C/5 at 20°C

battery pack voltage

3.0 to 4.1 V (3.6 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

A case neutral lithium-ion cell for LEO/MEO/GEO missions. With a true prismatic design and a stainless-steel case, the cell has a long life with over 40,000 low-earth orbit cycles at 40% depth of discharge (DOD) over 10 years of operation. They are also qualified for operation from -20 to 60°C.

mass

950 g

battery capacity

30 Ah at C/5 at 20°C

battery pack voltage

3.0 to 4.1 V (3.6 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

A 43 Ah Li-ion cell with prismatic design and a stainless-steel case. The case neutral cell is suitable for LEO/MEO/GEO missions and features a long lifetime, with over 40,000 low-earth orbit cycles at 40% depth of discharge (DOD) over 10 years. They are qualified for operation from -20 to 60°C.

mass

1.27 kg

battery capacity

43 Ah at C/5 at 20°C

battery pack voltage

3.0 to 4.1 V (3.6 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

Highlighting features include autonomous cell bypass capability, primary and redundant heaters, back-up temperature and voltage telemetry, built-in cell safety protection and current sense capability. The battery is operational for 15-year mission life at GEO with reliability > 0.99.

mass

< 63.5 kg

battery capacity

200 Ah at 20°C

battery pack voltage

27.0 to 35.8 V (33.3 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

A satellite battery system incorporating Li-ion cells and designed for space applications. The battery has a capacity of 22 to 39 Ah and is available in 3 sizes. Virtual cell design is available in 2 formats; 20/16 - 18650 cells in parallel, or with two serial strings of 8 - 18650 cells in parallel.

mass

9.4 to 27.0 kg

battery capacity

22 to 39 Ah

battery pack voltage

14 to 48 V

battery type

Li-ion

A 12 Ah lithium-ion cell for space applications. The system is suitable for over 40,000 low-earth orbit cycles at 40% depth of discharge (DOD) over 10 years of operation, and is qualified for operation from -20 to 60°C (-4 to 140°F).

mass

465 g

battery capacity

12Ah at C/5 charge at 20°C (68°F)

battery pack voltage

3.0 to 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

A case neutral lithium-ion cell for LEO, scientific, and exploratory missions. The 222 g hermetically-sealed system is space-qualified and features a true prismatic design and a safety vent feature.

mass

222 g

battery capacity

6Ah at C/5 charge at 20°C (68°F)

battery pack voltage

3.0 to 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

Fully-welded, hermetically-sealed, space-qualified Li-ion batteries with high energy density, highly reliablity, low cyclic capacity fade and long calendar life. Suitable for LEO/MEO/GEO, scientific and exploratory satellite missions.

mass

38.6 kg

battery capacity

148 Ah at 20°C (BOL)
140 Ah at 20°C (nameplate)

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

Lithiated Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide

Space qualified Li-ion battery for low-earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous-equatorial orbit (GEO) applications with built-in safety protection. Custom connectors are keyed and clocked per customer specification; MIL-DTL-38999 and/or NASA-S-311-P-768 connectors are available upon request.

mass

< 28.2 kg (62.0 lb)

battery capacity

112 Ah at 20°C (BOL)

battery pack voltage

24.0 to 32.8 V (29.6 V nominal)

battery type

Lithium Cobalt Oxide

Space qualified Li-ion battery with autonomous cell bypass capability, back-up temperature and voltage telemetry and current sense capability, endures long life. These cells are suitable for scientific and exploratory satellite missions, and launch vehicle applications.

mass

3.95 kg

battery capacity

15.5 Ah (BOL)

battery pack voltage

32.0 to 33.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

With a prismatic cell design, a fully-welded and hermetically-sealed construction, and a 175 ± 20 psi rupture disk vent, these cells have a long operational life and high reliability. The cells have an energy density of 52 Ah and are suitable for LEO/MEO/GEO applications.

mass

2020 g

battery capacity

62.5 Ah at 20°C (BOL)
52 Ah at 20°C (nameplate)

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

Li-ion

A 72 Ah space qualified cell with low cyclic capacity fade, stainless steel case and cover, and a primsatic design suitable for LEO/MEO/GEO applcations. These cells have compression seals and a 175 ± 20 psi rupture disk vent ensuring long calender life and high reliability.

mass

1974 g

battery capacity

72 Ah at 20°C (BOL)
70 Ah at 20°C (nameplate)

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

Li-ion

Suitable for densely packed 1U and 2U CubeSats. The system uses fast maximum power point tracking boost converters to charge the integrated double battery pack. Battery output is fed through duplicated converters that can provide 3.3 V, 5 V, or 12 V.

mass

80 g

battery capacity

3.8 Ah

battery pack voltage

3.7 V unregulated

battery type

Li-ion

A 30 Wh battery designed for LEO applications. The system is qualified to NASA standards EP-Wi-032 and has a mass of 268 g, with a discharge current of 1.95 A. The lithium polymer batteries also feature autonomous integrated heater systems to enhance operation at low temperatures.

mass

268 g

battery capacity

30 Wh

battery pack voltage

8.26 V (typical)

battery type

Li-poly

A 40 Wh battery system, with significant space hertiage, and featuring inbuilt protections such as undervoltage protection, over-voltage protection and string over-current protection. The system has a discharge current of 2.6 A and a mass of 335 g, and is qualified to NASA standards EP-Wi-032.

mass

335 g

battery capacity

40 Wh

battery pack voltage

8.26 V (typical)

battery type

Li-poly

A 670 g system with a capacity of 80 Wh, qualified to NASA standards EP-Wi-032. The lithium polymer battery has a discharge current of 5.2 A and inbuilt protections such as over-voltage protection, undervoltage protection, and string over-current protection.

mass

670 g

battery capacity

80 Wh

battery pack voltage

8.26 V (typical)

battery type

Li-poly

A battery pack designed for use as the power supply on-board small satellites. Featuring a digital control interface for simpler integration, the system is cells of batteries connected in series with a l capacity of 12 Ah and a nominal voltage of 28 V.

mass

< 4.5 kg

battery capacity

12 Ah

battery pack voltage

24 to 33 V

battery type

Li-ion

The OrbiCraft-Pro power supply system uses the power supply unit SXC-PSU-03 module for power control, alongside the SXC-BAT-03 battery unit for energy storage, and up to 14 solar panels as electrical sources. The system includes two series Li-Ion cells with approximately 10 Ah capacity, and the board is equipped with a balancing circuit.

mass

360 g

battery capacity

10.6 Ah (39.8 WtH)

battery pack voltage

5.0 to 8.5 V

battery type

Li-ion

A 12400 mAh capacity battery pack for nanosatellites that can be customized depending on mission requirements (4P / 2S 2P / 4S). The standard configuration provides 2S 2P configuration (42 Whr) and 8.4V terminal voltage at end of charge, and the system has a typical lifetime of 3 years.

mass

240 g

battery capacity

12400 mAh

battery pack voltage

6.0 to 8.4 V

battery type

Li-ion

Designed to offer a lightweight and cost-saving solution for small satellites. The system is compatible with German Orbital Systems CubeSat structures, and with small satellites using the PC-104 standard, and has a capacity of 5.2 Ah.

mass

175 g

battery capacity

5.2 Ah

battery pack voltage

3.7 V

battery type

Li-poly

A modular 20 Ah battery that forms part of the LB Series family of products, for LEO and GEO applications. The Li-ion batteries are fully-enclosed in an aluminum alloy and have an energy density of 270 Wh/L. The systems have a working voltage of 3.0 - 4.1 V and a maximum charging voltage of charging voltage of < 4.1 V.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

20 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

A modular 25 Ah battery in the LB Series family of products, for LEO and GEO applications. The system has a working voltage of 3.0 - 4.1 V and a maximum charging voltage of charging voltage of < 4.1 V. The Li-ion batteries are fully-enclosed in an aluminum alloy and have an energy density of 290 Wh/L.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

25 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

A 30 Ah Li-ion battery with hermetically-sealed cells and a specific energy of 155 Wh/kg. The system has energy density of 300 Wh/L and a mass of 640 ± 50 g. The batteries are fully-enclosed in an aluminum alloy and have a lifetime of 18 years in GEO at 80% DOD, or 48,000 LEO cycles at 20% DOD.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

30 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

The INP30 is part of the LB Series family of products, for LEO and GEO applications. Key characteristics of the 30 Ah system include; high mechanical strength, resilience to impact and vibration during launch, high specific energy (180 Wh/kg), long lifetime, and a wide range of working temperatures.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

30 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

A modular, 45 Ah Li-ion battery in the LB Series family of products, for LEO and GEO applications. The system has a working voltage of 3.0 - 4.1 V and a maximum charging voltage of charging voltage of < 4.1 V. The batteries are fully-enclosed in an aluminum alloy and have an energy density of 315 Wh/L.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

45 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

A modular, 20 Ah battery forming part of the LB Series family of products, for LEO and GEO applications. The Li-ion batteries include hermetically-sealed cells and have an energy density of 220 Wh/L. The systems have a working voltage of 3.0 - 4.1 V and a maximum charging voltage of charging voltage of < 4.1 V.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

20 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

30 Ah modular batteries with a specific energy of 140 Wh/kg and a lifetime of 30,000 LEO cycles at 20% DOD. The systems have a wide range of operating temperatures, a working voltage of 3.0 - 4.1 V and a maximum charging voltage of charging voltage of < 4.1 V.

mass

640 ± 50 g

rated capacity

30 Ah

working voltage

3.0 ~ 4.1 V

battery type

Li-ion

An all-in-one EPS solution designed for use on nanosatellites. The system integrates all features of a Power Control and Distribution Unit, a Battery Management Module with integrated battery pack, and solar array inputs with safe and accurate solar array energy conversion method, using the novel Analog MPPT feature.

mass

502 g

battery capacity

31 Wh

battery pack voltage

5 V

battery type

N/A

A fault-tolerant 63 Wh battery system with an operating temperature of -10 to 45 °C. The system features autonomous operation through several intelligent built-in functions and is fully compliant with up to two NANOamppt units, which support solar array energy conversion using the novel Analog MPPT feature.

mass

N/A

battery capacity

63 Wh

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

N/A

An integrated EPS, with a scalable battery pack, for use with nano- and microsatellites. The system has a battery capacity of 95 Wh and features active balancing and heating systems for battery cells protection. Fault tolerance is provided via radiation harness assurance and the system has an operating temperature of -10 to 45 °C.

mass

N/A

battery capacity

95 Wh

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

N/A

A 126 Wh battery system featuring built-in intelligent functionality to enable power distribution and battery management. The unit has a storage temperature of -10 to 50 °C and an operating temperature of -10 to 45 °C. Active balancing and heating systems for battery cells provide enhanced protection and fault tolerance is provided through radiation harness assurance.

mass

N/A

battery capacity

126 Wh

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

N/A

A 158 Wh capacity integrated EPS with battery pack and a mass of 2030 g. The system has a continuous charge current of up to 18 A and a continuous discharge current of up to 18 A (with a 54 A peak discharge possible). The system features in-built autonomous and fault-tolerance functionality and has an operating temperature of -10 to 45 °C.

mass

2030 g

battery capacity

158 Wh

battery pack voltage

N/A

battery type

N/A

Rugged 28 Vdc batteries to power vehicle systems under severe boost and space conditions. They have RS-422 Standard Communication or Optional MIL-STD-1553B, Ethernet, CAN Bus, and a 23.5 W Cell Heater for low temperature operation (< -20°C).

mass

1.6 lb

battery capacity

1.5 to 2.5 Ah (2.0 Ah nominal)
2.5 Ah nominal (available on request)

battery pack voltage

20.0 V to 33.6 V (28.8 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

Highlighting features include SVChargeTM Smart Battery Management System (BMS), RS-422/485 Standard Communication or Optional MIL-STD-1553B, Ethernet, CAN, bus provides voltage, current, and temperature data, digital interface. The battery is completely decoupled during flight.

mass

3.75 lb

battery capacity

2.5 Ah nominal (2.0 Ah min, 3.0 Ah max)

battery pack voltage

20.0 V to 33.6 V (28.8 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

The flight-proven PN 39381 has high Continuous Discharge Rate of 125 A (5C), Rugged Aluminum Housing, a Stackable Configuration, tested to high dynamic environments.

mass

4.4 kg

battery capacity

20 Ah

battery pack voltage

21.6 V to 33.6 V (29.2 V nominal)

battery type

Li-ion

The ISIS Modular Electrical Power Subsystem version 2 (v2) is the second-generation modular EPS designed and manufactured by ISIS. Designed as a flexible EPS targeting larger nano-satellites and microsatellites from 3U upwards, the system can include up to three Battery Packs (IPBP) per Battery Unit board (IPBU).

mass

252 g (battery pack only)

battery capacity

3200 mAh

battery pack voltage

14.4 V

battery type

Li-ion

An off-the-shelf Electrical Power System available in three standard configurations (Type A/B/C), for powering 1U – 3U Cubesats. The system leverages wide bandgap semiconductor technologies and is equipped with an integrated heater, hardware-based Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) and hardware voltage and over-current protection.

mass

< 365 g (4 cells + daughterboard)

battery capacity

< 45 Wh

battery pack voltage

3.3 V
5 V

battery type

N/A

The OrbAstro 36Wh EPS is a battery system with 96% Overall Battery Cycle Efficiency (calculated at ambient and at 1C charge/discharge). The system is flight-qualified, and can operate with a continuous power level of less than 150 W (can be up to 10C at the loss of cycle life).

mass

500 g

battery capacity

36 Wh

battery pack voltage

10.5 to 13.5 V
21.0 to 27.0 V

battery type

N/A

The OrbAstro 72Wh EPS is a small satellite battery system with a volume of 0.7U and a mass of 1100g. The system is flight-qualified and has an operating temperature of -30 to 60 °C. It also achieves 95%+ capacity retention at 1C after 25,000 cycles at 90% depth of discharge.

mass

1100 g

battery capacity

72 Wh

battery pack voltage

11 to 13.5 V
19.8 to 24.3 V

battery type

N/A

The BM 2 uses eight high-current 18650-size Li-Ion cells and is compatible with a wide range of power systems. It is available in 2S4P (5.2-8.4V), 3S2P (7.8-12.6V) and 4S2P (10.4-16.8V) configurations and can deliver 15A to a load from two identical connectors.

mass

< 700 g

battery capacity

3000 mAh (@ 0.2 C and 25°C)

battery pack voltage

3.6 V

battery type

Li-ion

Designed to offer a low-cost Electrical Power System (EPS) with 10-20 Wh of battery energy. The system can power a CubeSat stack of modules during development, and provides attached modules with +7.4Vdc (nominal), +5Vdc and +3.3Vdc rails. Recharging is via the built-in microUSB connector or from system +5V_USB.

mass

< 210 g

battery capacity

22 Wh max (4 cells)

battery pack voltage

1.5 to 10 V

battery type

N/A


Thanks for reading. If you would like further help identifying satellite batteries for your specific mission or service please click here to send us a query and we’ll use our extended global networks of suppliers to find the information you need.

Have you noticed that your company isn’t included in this article? Simply send us an email today, and we’d be happy to work with you to showcase your products to the satsearch community!


References and further reading

  1. Electrical and Thermal Properties of NiCd Battery for Low Earth Orbit Satellite’s Applications
  2. Design of Electrical Power Systems for Satellites, Aashna Kapoor, A. R. Abdul Rajak
  3. Satellite battery technology; A tutorial and overview
  4. Satellite batteries must offer function and evolution
  5. A Review of Battery Technology in CubeSats and Small Satellite Solutions
  6. Li-ion battery for space missions based on COTS cells: Mechanical analysis and design
  7. Secondary Batteries – Nickel Systems Nickel-Hydrogen
  8. Electrical and Thermal Properties of NiCd Battery for Low Earth Orbit Satellite’s Applications
  9. Battery Protection Methods
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