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Li-on military batteries for commercial use

Saft (USA) is working with Calstart (USA) to test its e6T Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery for use in commercial applications. This development marks the first time the military e6T Li-ion battery configuration will be tested for commercial trucks and could result in the power supply’s wide scale adoption.

So far the 28-V battery system is mainly used in defense applications that require the balance of power and energy (Photo: Saft)

THE PARTNERSHIP IS PART OF A LARGER PROGRAM, funded by the US Army, in which participants will evaluate and test 12-V Li-ion military format batteries as starter batteries. Compared to lead-acid batteries, Saft’s Li-ion technology enables increased lifecycle, depth of charge and faster recharges, resulting in greater fuel and cost savings. The company is among three battery suppliers chosen for this testing and will deliver the 12-V batteries as well as integration services for assessing the technology’s use in commercial trucks. Calstart will be collecting the data generated from Saft and two additional battery suppliers during the evaluation and testing. Delivery of the batteries is underway.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery system is designed as an auxiliary power source, originally for military vehicles. It features a lightweight design within the dimensions of a traditional lead-acid battery, enabling installation into the vehicle. The system provides power for starting, lights and ignition, as well as devices critical to safety during silent watch missions. Additionally, the 12-V and 24-V power supplies feature J1939 CAN communications that relay vital information, including state-of-charge, cell voltages, temperatures and battery

The battery system includes electronic devices for performance, thermal, and safety management specific to the application. It features, for example, a built-in self-balancing-leveling approach, bus voltage tolerance enabling battery self-protection, self-shutdown in unsafe conditions, flexible system architecture for customized solutions, and drop-in replacement for lead-acid vehicle battery. The system has a nominal voltage of 28 V, a nominal capacity of 69 Ah, 1,7 kWh energy, and an operating temperature in the range of – 40 °C to + 40 °C. The system also offers cell heating for arctic conditions and battery charging.

“As a leader in the research and advancement of Li-ion technology, the Calstart partnership provides Saft with the unique opportunity to grow market demand of the e6T product line,” said Ben Helminen, Marketing & Strategic Planning Director for Saft. “We are proud to be an integral part of providing technology that keeps the country’s military personnel safe, and we look forward to contributing those advantages to the commercial industry.”

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