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Sion Power to provide enhanced Li-S batteries to Airbus Defence and Space for new Zephyr HAPS; 350 Wh/kg

Airbus Defence and Space and Sion Power Corporation signed a three-year Collaborative Agreement under which Sion Power will enhance and supply proprietary lithium sulfur (Li-S) batteries for use in Airbus Defence and Space’s Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) aircraft. This agreement extends the previously successful Zephyr 7 program in which Sion Power batteries were employed during the night, along with solar power during the day, to achieve record-breaking flights of more than 14 days without refueling or landing. (Earlier post.) The Zephyr 7 aircraft had a wing span of 70 ft (22.5 m).

The Zephyr 8 aircraft is larger, with increased payload capacity, and will employ custom Li-S battery packs designed and assembled in Tucson Arizona. The Zephyr aircraft is at the forefront of the HAPS arena, holding 3 world records. Zephyr aircraft have already flown in a number of different airspaces under challenging winter conditions. Airbus Defence and Space has obtained permissions to fly these aircraft in both commercial and military situations alike. No other HAPS system has as many flight hours, reliability and flexibility of operation.

The battery packs utilize Sion’s unique, high specific energy Li-S technology and provide 350 Wh/kg, the highest available for a rechargeable battery. The Li-S battery packs are engineered to minimize total pack weight. Advanced electronic controls maintain battery conditions throughout the flights.

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.



Like most other technologies, this excellent 350 Wh/Kg battery will be improved by up to 2X by 2020 or so and by 4X by 2030 or so.

At 750 Wh/Kg, extended range BEVs become an economic reality and at 1000+ Wh/Kg it will become quick ICEVs killer.

Will FCs and FCEVs become competitive with extended range BEVs and ICEVs in the same time frame.

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