Now, BHEL will produce space-grade Li-Ion cells
New Delhi: Now, state-run power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna PSU under the administrative control of Department of Heavy Industries, will manufacture space-grade Li-Ion cells for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology is developed by ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and as per an agreement signed between the two organisation, BHEL will produce these cells by using this technology.
A Technology Transfer Agreement (TTA) agreement was signed in March 2018 at Bengaluru, in the presence of ISRO's Chairman Dr K Sivan and BHEL's former CMD Atul Sobti. As per the Agreement, ISRO has transferred its indigenous technology to produce space-grade Li-Ion batteries to BHEL, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space Dr Jitendra Singh said in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
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BHEL is in the process of establishing a Li-Ion production facility near Bangalore in Karnataka. Various equipment, both indigenous and imported, for establishing this facility are being procured and commissioned. ISRO has already provided all technical documentation for establishing the production plant as well as hands-on training in various production activities for BHEL staff at ISRO's facilities.
Does BHEL sell these batteries to other players?
As per the Technology Transfer Agreement, space-grade Li-Ion cells manufactured by BHEL are meant for meeting the national requirements only. However, BHEL can also sell the space-grade Li-Ion cells to parties outside India after obtaining prior written consent from ISRO.
ISRO uses these batteries as power sources for satellite and launches vehicle applications due to their high energy density, reliability and long life.