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Li-Ion battery completes 3,000km all-terrain field testing

3rd September 2019
Lanna Cooper

Epsilor’s Lithium Ion 6T battery ELI-52526 has completed an all-terrain field test of over 3,000km onboard IDF armored vehicles, the company has announced. Epsilor will present its 6T batteries alongside its other military vehicle and tactical batteries and chargers at the DSEI defence trade show, to take place in EXCEL London between 10th-13th September 2019 (Booth N9-256).

According to the company, since its release in 2017, the 6T ELI-52526 has accumulated ten customers worldwide. These customers tested their batteries onboard several different vehicles, among which are Main Battle Tanks (MBT), Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV), Light Reconnaissance Vehicles and as energy banks for mobile shelters.

The applications include 'silent watch' missions, start-up and 'start-stop' missions, and energy storage. The 6T ELI-52526 4.2kWh battery offers the highest energy density on the market, 1,000 deep discharge/charge cycles and cold crank start of 1,100A at ambient temperature of -19°C.

Generating 1,200A start current at a wide range of temperatures and a self-heating capability, the ELI-52526 also offers several unique features, such as “high current charge management” that enables the battery to operate with high power alternators without disconnecting as a result of high inrush current.

This feature also enables the battery to perform autonomously in legacy vehicles that have no mission computers and cannot control the battery. The battery can also operate with modern computerized vehicles in which the battery can either operate independently or be monitored and controlled by the vehicle mission system.

"Recent testing with several users and different vehicle types confirmed the technical and operational benefits derived from the replacement of legacy lead-acid 6T batteries with Epsilor’s Li-Ion 6T battery,'' said Ronen Badichi, President of Epsilor-Electric Fuel.

”As a drop-in replacement for existing batteries in legacy vehicle fleets, the integration of ELI-52526 battery is smooth and straightforward. There is no need to modify anything in the vehicle. A battery is installed, and the mission continues as usual", Badichi added.

The rigorous testing campaign enabled Epsilor to deliver a robust, safe and highly reliable serial product.

The tests addressed battery operation and safety at different terrain and extreme weather conditions.

"We have learned a lot from the more successful tests as well as from less successful ones,'' Badichi said. "As a result, we were able to refine our product, and can now proudly report that our 6T batteries passed the most demanding tests with high scores and with a very distinguished safety record’, Badichi said.

Life cycle cost analysis

As part of our design, Epsilor put emphasis on the product’s life cycle cost (LCC). “While armored vehicle users are very impressed with Li-Ion 6T performance and force multipliers, they are concerned with the CAPEX and OPEX of this relatively new technology”, Badichi explained.

“Through an in-depth review with our customers, we managed to improve our LCC estimations. Today we can say with high confidence that despite the higher cost of a Li-Ion 6T battery in comparison to a similar Lead-Acid battery, a comparison of life cycle costs shows that the cost of ownership over the battery life cycle of our Li-Ion 6T batteries is slightly lower than similar LeadAcid batteries. This LCC is expected to decrease even further as Li-Ion cell prices drop in tandem with wide penetration of electric cars”, Badichi concluded.

6T LFP battery for extended lifecycle

Later this year Epsilor expects to release its first pre-serial units of a new version of its 6T family, based on LiFePO4 (LFP) chemistry. This new battery will offer high energy capacity of 2.85kWh (110Ah), the highest in the class of 6T LFP batteries. The new 6T battery will provide 3,500 deep discharge cycles, aiming toward a 15-year maintenance free operational life.

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