Fronius Charging Technology tested at Zero Gravity
Battery Global Services (BGS) and the University of South Bretagne (UBS), tested the Acctiva Fronius battery charging systems on board of the Airbus A300 Zero-G.
The company "Battery Global Services" (BGS), specialized in the regeneration of industrial batteries, carried out extensive studies to improve the different charging processes in cooperation with the Technical University of South Bretagne (LIMATB) and the active support of the " Conseil Général de Bretagne",
The observation of physical-chemical phenomena during the charge or discharge of lead-acid batteries is according to experts from the BGS and experienced doctoral students not that simple even less when it is subject to zero gravity.
To find out more on this, the possibility of a parabolic flight with the Airbus A300 Zero-G was used. The Airbus is operated by Novespace, main client here is the "Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales" (CNES, www.cnes.fr), the national space agency of France. Novespace regularly operates parabolic flights for scientists but also gives students the opportunity to gain experience of zero gravity and conduct experiments.
Some colleagues of the participating students had already experience with zero gravity and assisted in preparing the experiments with CNES and NOVEPSACE. The young scientists - Lynda Loucif, Pierre Braganza and their professor - Philippe Mandin had to explain to CNES the scientific basis of this project and worked closely together with Novespace to evaluate the test series in accordance with the commitments to the general aviation authority.
The Fronius battery charging systems fitted perfectly with the requirements of the experiment, and enabled a quick and safe operation in over 7000 meters altitude. These are minimum requirements, as the state of zero gravity lasts only about 20-25 seconds per parabel, and each flight is priced accordingly. For these reasons, the budding astronauts kept the battery charging systems of Fronius to use them for further tests.
Each year, numerous scientific projects are submitted to a commission of experts from the CNES. But the very rigorous selection leaves only a few projects each year for the flights and this year, the project with Fronius charging technology was selected.
The results of the experiment are still under investigation. They will be presented at an oral presentation by the students end of 2011.