Model-Based Prognostics For Batteries

Effective Battery Health Monitoring (BHM) technologies are needed to ensure that battery operation is optimal and, if not, that it stays within design limits. BHM technologies protect the asset’s batteries from degradation due to non-optimal usage, and ensure viable levels of system availability, reliability, and sustainability in the presence of degraded batteries.

Method and Apparatus for In-Situ Monitoring of Solar Cells

This method is radiation-hard, consumes few system resources, and uses commercially available components. It operates at temperatures from -55 to 225 °C, allowing it to reside close to the array in direct sunlight. Originally developed for space, the technology can be adapted for use in terrestrial solar power generation systems.

Battery Charge Equalizer System

A battery charge equalizer provides individual cell charging in multi-cell battery strings using a minimum number of transformers. By effectively keeping all the cells in a multi-cell string at the same charge state, this technology maximizes the battery’s life and performance. It achieves equalization without wasting energy or creating excess heat and manages lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.

Battery Management System

This system monitors and balances the charge of individual battery cells that are in series, and provides fault detection of individual cells in parallel within a battery pack of hundreds of cells. It offers a safe and potentially low-cost management system for high-voltage battery systems, including lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems that are used in electric vehicles.

Direct Methanol Feed Fuel Cell and System

This fuel cell is cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient than existing fuel cells. It is able to recycle the water used during its reaction, so a vehicle powered by the fuel cell would be lighter and more efficient. In addition, it uses a more efficient catalyst that almost entirely eliminates the need for platinum. This fuel cell permits use of high-performance alternative fuels that can be stored and transported with ease.

High-Power Solid-State Power Amplifier System

This system combines 1KW modules to generate up to 16KW of radio frequency power from 2–30 MHz. The device is a first step toward increasing the power of solidstate power amp devices so that they might replace the more cumbersome vacuum tube amps for some applications. One or more stages can fail and the system will continue to operate, although at reduced power.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from this issue here.

Read more articles from the archives here.