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Enpower Greentech next-gen stratospheric wireless comms-grade battery unveiled

An EGI battery undergoes testing in the stratosphere. (Source: EGI)
An EGI battery undergoes testing in the stratosphere. (Source: EGI)
Telecommunications networks that work in the stratosphere represent the next big thing for companies like SoftBank. However, the airborne platforms on which this "Information Revolution" are to be based depend on batteries that can withstand the extremes of temperature and pressure at those altitudes to work. Enpower Greentech Inc (EGI) claims to have developed a power-pack with the durability, stability and energy density needed to live up to that demanding use-case.

Communicating via low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites may be the next big thing for devices such as iPhones and Android smartphones - however, SoftBank is betting on "a next-generation telecommunications system" built in the stratosphere instead.

As the name suggests, it is based on a network of High Altitude Platform Stations (or HAPS) that, as SoftBank asserts, has the edge on LEO technology in terms of latency, thanks to a location only ~20km above the Earth's surface as opposed to ~1,200km in the case of the satellites.

In addition, the HAPS infrastructure might benefit from improved stability and integrity, facing relatively mild "weather" and consistent wind-speeds in their location. Nevertheless, the Stations stand to encounter extreme vibration, temperatures as low as -60°C and atmospheric pressure of 0.05 ATM in their target location.

Accordingly, they need batteries that can withstand those conditions in order to work. SoftBank's HAPSMobile subsidiary has partnered with EGI, a company also involved in R&D for EV, photovoltaic and drone power solutions, has announced that its technology is equal to this problem.

The company's "innovative battery pack" has reportedly now passed testing as part of a recent HAPS demonstration, exhibiting the ability to keep working even should a Station crash or experience an "external short circuit" in the process.

Furthermore, it is based on EGI's lithium-metal cells, rated for a specific energy of 439 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), compared to ~260Wh/kg at most for the conventional lithium-ion alternative.

Accordingly, EGI now pledges to keep developing and commercializing this stratosphere-worthy battery technology - then again, it also notes that it is working on the 'solar HAPS' as a next-gen breakthrough for the emerging telecomms solution.

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EGI's advanced, HAPS-grade battery. (Source: EGI)
EGI's advanced, HAPS-grade battery. (Source: EGI)


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 04 > Enpower Greentech next-gen stratospheric wireless comms-grade battery unveiled
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-04- 9 (Update: 2023-04- 9)