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NGK secures order for sodium-sulfur batteries to power space centre

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 09:59 -- Paul Crompton

Battery maker NGK Insulators (NGK) has won an order to supply its sodium-sulfur (NaS) technology to the Tanegashima Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The batteries will be used to ensure the reliable launch of vehicles from the space center, as well as improving the reliability of its electric power systems, including: emergency backup power source (backup power supply for electrical generators), frequency stabilisation and energy conservation.

NaS batteries were chosen due to their large capacity (discharge time), environmental tolerance, and lifecycle cost. 

The order was received from Kyudenko Corporation, which is headquartered in Fukuoka, Japan.

A NGK statement read: “The efficiency of electrical generators can be enhanced through the continuous operation of the electrical generators at a constant output. 

“When electricity usage is less than the amount of electricity generated by the electrical generators, the surplus electricity will be used to charge the NAS batteries. 

“When electricity usage is greater than the amount of electricity generated by the electrical generators, the NaS batteries will be discharged to level out the electric power load. These processes will maintain highly efficient operation of the electrical generators, thereby realising reductions in the use of fossil fuels and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. 

“In addition, NaS batteries have a large capacity and can be operated for a long duration, so they will also help to reduce the number of electrical generators in operation.”