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H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI (HTV)

ISS batteries loaded into KOUNOTORI6

Last Updated: July 26, 2016

From June 1-2, the operations for loading the ISS battery Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) into the H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI6 and filling the water bags were unveiled to the press at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC).

Unveiling the new ISS battery ORUs to the press


A Japanese-made, new lithium-ion battery cell for the ISS


New ISS Battery ORUs


HTV Exposed Pallet (EP) loaded with six ISS battery ORUs

On the ISS, the batteries are charged with electricity generated by the solar panels and used when the ISS travels through shadow areas. Sets of nickel metal-hydride batteries made in the U.S. were used on the ISS, but given the approaching end of their service life, a new type of Japanese lithium-ion battery was adopted as the replacement.

Sets of new batteries that KOUNOTORI6 delivers are manufactured by GS Yuasa Technology Ltd, and feature a service life lasting nearly 10 years. Although 48 battery ORUs are currently used on the ISS, the new battery ORUs can provide enough power with only 24 battery ORUs.

KOUNOTORI6 will deliver six battery ORUs (each weigh 250 kg) this time, with the rest to be delivered aboard KOUNOTORI7-9. Currently, only the HTV can deliver a large number of ISS battery ORUs.

Click to enlarge

Water-filling equipment

Unveiling to the press included the introduction of water-filling equipment that transfers potable water to fill the water bags (Contingency Water Container Iodine: CWC-I) for delivery to the ISS.

This water-filling equipment was also used to fill a total of 600 liters of Tanegashima island water in 30 dedicated water bags that were loaded into the Pressurized Logistics Carrier (PLC) of KOUNOTORI6.

Through the delivery of batteries and water by the HTV missions, Japanese space development activities serve as the backbone of ISS operations.

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