Kokam: Solar Impulse 2 Used Batteries Based On Our Ultra-High-Energy NMC Technology

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As we covered in quite some detail at the time, the Solar Impulse 2 recently completed the first round-the-world trip taken in a zero-fuel solar photovoltaic airplane. The final leg of that trip was completed on July 26th, when the Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Abu Dhabi, UAE, after a 48-hour flight from Cairo, Egypt.

While we covered that news in some detail already, what we didn’t note at the time was that the Solar Impulse 2 was making use of Kokam Company’s advanced “Ultra High Energy Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide (Ultra High Energy NMC)” battery technology — as revealed by a new press release from the company.

“We had to find and use the most advanced solar, material and battery technologies available on the market at the time of the design to build a plane capable of flying around the world using only the power of the sun,” stated André Borschberg, co-founder, CEO, and pilot of Solar Impulse. “What was critical was to get the lightest and most energy efficient solution, and we consequently selected Kokam’s Ultra High Energy NMC batteries, which has been our battery solution since the first flight of Solar Impulse 1 in December 2009 until the final leg landing of Solar Impulse 2 in Abu Dhabi in July 2016.”

The press release provides more: “The Solar Impulse uses four 38.5 kilowatt hour (kWh) Kokam Ultra High Energy NMC battery packs with 150 Ah cells, totaling 154 kWh of energy storage. Over the course of 17 flights totaling 26,744 miles (43,041 kilometers), the Solar Impulse 2’s 17,248 solar cells produced 11,000 kWh of electricity, much of which was stored in its Kokam Ultra High Energy NMC batteries and then discharged to power the plane at night.”

Continuing: “Kokam’s Ultra High Energy NMC batteries feature an energy density of approximately 260 watts hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). This high energy density enables the Solar Impulse 2 to store more energy without increasing the plane’s weight or size. In addition, Kokam’s Ultra High Energy NMC batteries have a 96% efficiency, meaning less energy is wasted when the batteries charge or discharge.”

For more information on Kokam and the Solar Impulse 2, see:

Kokam Lithium-Ion Batteries Get Shot & Don’t Have Thermal Runaway

Solar Impulse Touchdown In The Land Of Sun God Ra (VIDEOS)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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