Prototype lithium sulfur battery aims at electric aircraft

August 05, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
OXIS Energy is to develop a lightweight lithium sulfur battery cell for electric aircraft developed by Bye Aerospace in the US. 
OXIS Energy is to develop a lightweight lithium sulfur battery cell for electric aircraft with Bye Aerospace in the US. 

OXIS, based in Oxford, UK, will produce a common lithium sulfur cell for a high voltage battery pack system to be considered for Bye's future electric aircraft made in Denver, Colorado. These cells will achieve the higher energy density required for such aircraft. The project will start in September 2019.

"Aviation is one of OXIS' target markets, and in the first instance, Regional Rapid Air Taxi Transportation," said Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO of OXIS Energy. "A key measure of OXIS' suitability is to be able to consistently produce cells in excess of 400 Wh/kg, which are already undergoing evaluation. OXIS expects to achieve 500 Wh/kg by early 2020. Our Li-S cells and battery systems are ideally suited for aviation. They are over 50% lighter than the current Li-ion cell and battery systems, with the winning formula of a high energy cell at the power required. The use of the same cell format across batteries will also help our customers to minimise cost and improve serviceability."

In ground tests in Europe, OXIS has already shown that Li-S has demonstrated a significant improvement in simulated flight duration compared with Lithium NMC; it will now undertake a further series of tests which will provide a robust indication of the OXIS Li-S performance. Over the next 18 months, the aim is to move towards the production of commercial cells and battery systems in order to meet the volume roll-out criteria set by Bye Aerospace.

"New Li-S battery cells from Oxis have the potential to greatly enhance the quality, cost and performance of eFlyer 4 and our other future aircraft projects," said George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace.


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