A lithium-ion battery was developed using off-the-shelf pouch cells and launched with a small scientific satellite "REIMEI." The cells were potted with polyurethane or epoxy resin to protect the battery from vacuum in space. Preliminary experimental test results of pouch cells potted in a soft aluminum cap suggested that the cells tended to swell in vacuum, although they had been reinforced with the resins. Bread board models (BBMs), in which pouch cells were potted with resins in a hard aluminum case, were fabricated for cycle life performance tests in the laboratory. The test results indicated that the performance of epoxy-potted BBM was superior to that of the polyurethane-potted BBM. The measured cell resistance implied that the electrolyte solution leaked through the polyurethane resin, resulting in premature deterioration. The epoxy resin was used for the flight battery. The end-of-discharge-voltage (EoDV) trend of the flight battery on orbit was compared with the laboratory test results corrected based on a post-launch cycle test using a fresh cell. The corrected EoDV trend in the laboratory was in good agreement with the on-orbit trend for the early cycle period, indicating that the on-orbit battery was not inadvertently affected by conditions in space. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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