in Aerospace

Electroflight launches SEED to power electric aviation innovation

Posted 7 June 2022

Aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight, responsible for developing the battery that powered the all-electric aviation world speed record, has today announced the launch of a COTS Energy Storage Unit – a Scalable, Expandable, Energy Device (SEED) – designed to advance prototype development in electric aviation projects.

Image courtesy Electroflight

SEED is a Scalable, Expandable, Energy Device that can be rapidly deployed without the need for the expensive and time-intensive process of creating a bespoke battery system. Designed for use in early-stage product development, it responds to a growing need from aerospace innovators for pre-certification development electric and hybrid aircraft for test operations, which require a battery system with the highest levels of quality and safety.

It can be used in a variety of applications in the aerospace segment including hybrid, full electric and eVTOL projects, ultimately allowing companies to drive innovation and testing before investing in a full-scale bespoke battery system. The compactness of the system also means that SEED can be used in challenging packaging envelopes – particularly in smaller aircraft where space and weight is at a premium.

Douglas Campbell, Technical Director of Electroflight, said: “The launch of SEED is extremely exciting for us as it represents the next step in our journey as a company and a key milestone on the journey to making electrified aviation a reality. The technology in the SEED system has been built on the foundations of the groundbreaking innovation we developed for the world record-breaking ACCEL project and further strengthened from battery supply partnerships with eVTOL and CS23 aircraft customers. We are now productising this technology so that it can inspire others to further innovation in this space.

“We are already seeing high levels of demand for the system,” Campbell added. “One leading operator in the electric aviation space has already placed a major order, requesting A samples by Q1 2023 and B samples and first flight in Q2 2023. Another two are very close to finalising orders. We think this could be a game-changer for the sector and will be further adding to the SEED module family in the coming months. We are looking forward to partnering with more companies thanks to this innovative new technology.”

Developed in Gloucester at Electroflight’s state-of-the-art centre, the new battery will carry 4.3kWh and offering 196 Wh/kg. It has an operating temperature of -20 to +60 °C at discharge and 0 to +60 °C at charge. In addition, the battery is able to contain and manage thermal runway, has a fast-charging capability, a self-contained Battery Management System and a full individual cell temperature coverage capability.

Like Electroflight’s previous battery innovations, SEED is designed to address key industry standards for energy storage systems. It will be compliant to TSO C179b, which refers to industry battery standards such as DO-311A and DO-160. The battery is also compatible with liquid cooled applications for higher performance applications and to support fast charge and turn around when on the ground. Front face for thermal management and electrical interface and a rear face for venting and breathing makes for simpler airframe integration.

Stjohn Youngman, Managing Director UK at Electroflight, concluded: “We will need a significant and sustained influx of investment in battery technology if electric aviation is going to become a reality and innovators in this space need to be empowered to prototype and test as effectively as possible without sacrificing safety or accuracy. SEED is designed to facilitate this and ultimately help the aviation sector to accelerate on its journey to decarbonisation as quickly as possible.”



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