[Photo provided by LG Chem Ltd.]
LG Chem’s high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle using its lithium-sulfur battery successfully has passed a test flight, a move that is expected to help bring in the era of all-electric planes faster than expected.
The test flight conducted on Aug. 30 jointly with Korea Aerospace Research Institute flew the experimental solar-powered aerial vehicle EAV-3 equipped with lithium-sulfur battery in the 22-kilometer-high stratosphere for 13 hours in total, LG Chem said on Thursday.
EAV-3 designed to fly in the 12 to 22-kilometer-high stratosphere for long hours is entirely powered by solar energy and battery. The unmanned airplane with a wingspan of 20 meters and a fuselage length of 9 meters is charged with a solar panel on the wing and flies with solar power and battery during the day and on battery-charged power at night.
EAV-3 achieved the highest flight record of an unmanned aircraft in Korea and marked the first flight test with a lithium-sulfur battery, said LG Chem, adding the test flight confirmed stable performance of its lithium-sulfur battery.
A lithium-sulfur battery, which uses sulfur and carbon composite for the anode and light-weight lithium metal for the cathode, has a potential to replace currently common lithium-ion batteries. As it creates 1.5-fold more energy density per weight than a lithium-ion battery, LG Chem said.
It is also more affordable because no rare metal materials are used.
LG Group agreed with Hyundai Motor Group to cooperate to develop lithium-sulfur battery technology when the chiefs of the two companies met in June.
LG Chem plans to mass produce lithium-sulfur batteries with over two-fold more energy density after 2025 for various mobility platforms.
The flight test demonstrates LG Chem’s best-in-class technology capability in the high-energy density battery sector, said LG Chem`s chief technology officer No Ki-soo, adding the company will solidify its leadership in the global market by focusing more on developing next-generation battery technology.
By Noh Hyun and Minu Kim
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