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Optimizing Battery Life in Conventional Helicopters: Selection, Charging, Storage, and Maintenance

Mike Neus, Jerome Powell, Collin Zreet, Bell Textron Inc.

May 10, 2022

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0078-2022-17646

Abstract:
Conventional helicopters are equipped with a main battery to provide power for many situations including pre- and post-flight operational checks, engine starting, and emergency in-flight backup power. Historical field data indicates the average replacement interval for main batteries on commercial helicopters are on the order of 1,000 Flight Hours. This makes main batteries one of the most frequently replaced non-consumable items on fielded helicopters. Other industries, such as renewable energy and space flight, show us much longer lifetimes are possible. This paper discusses the factors that influence helicopter main battery service lives for Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery types. The most common main battery failure modes and their causes are discussed. Considerations for battery selection during system design, associated charging algorithms, storage, and periodic maintenance requirements are identified. These factors and knowledge of battery failure modes are used to provide guidance to optimize AGM and LFP main battery life.


Optimizing Battery Life in Conventional Helicopters: Selection, Charging, Storage, and Maintenance

  • Presented at Forum 78
  • 11 pages
  • SKU # : F-0078-2022-17646
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Optimizing Battery Life in Conventional Helicopters: Selection, Charging, Storage, and Maintenance

Authors / Details:
Mike Neus, Jerome Powell, Collin Zreet, Bell Textron Inc.