Xerotech, a Galway-based manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion battery systems, announced today that it will qualify one of its core proprietary battery safety technologies for the growing commercial space market applications in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA).
The technology, known as passive propagation resistant (PPR) design, is a critical safety requirement of future space missions including manned spaceflight. Xerotech’s PPR technology is capable of preventing single and multi-cell thermal runaway within a battery pack by utilizing an ultra-lightweight fire-retardant structural foam which is 90% lighter than competing PPR technologies. The technology can be applied to all current space battery designs and has the potential to enable previously impossible mission profiles and applications.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD said, “Barry Flannery and his talented team at Xerotech have demonstrated once again the innovative capabilities of Irish companies in this expanding sector who are developing new opportunities in space-related activities. As Europe continues to progress the building of a globally competitive European space economy, it is exciting to see the number of Irish companies engaging with the European Space Agency continue to skyrocket.”
Barry Flannery, CEO and Founder of Xerotech said, “This is a very exciting project with ESA under the General Support Technology Program (GSTP), that will enable Xerotech to stay at the forefront of battery pack design. Demonstrating that our proprietary PPR solution exceeds the extremely stringent requirements for space applications will provide tremendous technical validation of a core pillar of Xerotech’s battery safety concept which has already been proven in ground-based applications.”
Xerotech already utilizes its proprietary PPR technology in Hibernium™ product line for Off-Highway Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile-Machinery, that was launched in Q4 2020.
Thomas Tomaszewski, VP of Business Development at Xerotech said, “We have experienced an excellent market reception of our recently launched Hibernium™ platform, partially thanks to the market leading safety-first design. This project with ESA further strengthens our position as leaders in module and pack technology, not only for heavy duty vehicles, but for battery packs in general.”
The space economy continues to grow, in large part to a record period of private investment and new investors opportunities in companies involved in spaceflight, satellites, and more. The global space industry is expected to generate revenue of $1.1 trillion or more in 2040, up from the current $350 billion, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley.
Welcoming the announcement, Tom Kelly, Divisional Manager, Innovation and Competitiveness, Enterprise Ireland said, “We are seeing a surge in Irish companies engaging with ESA to develop commercial space market opportunities. Xerotech is an excellent example of yet another Irish company bringing innovative technologies from the non-space sector to the space market, in line with the National Space Strategy for Enterprise.”
Xerotech, founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ireland, is a leading manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion battery systems for use in industrial and commercial applications. The company’s 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility is home to over 40 engineers and 50 MWh pilot manufacturing line. Currently raising $30M to expand its manufacturing footprint tenfold to 500 MWh and expand the team to 110 by the end of 2021.
Xerotech’s Hibernium™ platform is the market first battery system platform developed for low-volume high-diversity customers. Utilizing its patented safety and thermal management technology Xerotherm™, Xerotech enables electrification of “everything else” that uses internal combustion engine today.
The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,200 in 2018 and an annual budget of about €6.68 billion in 2020
ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle.
The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.