A consortium comprising Steatite with OXIS Energy, MSubs and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has developed a pressure tolerant Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) battery that’s capable of powering autonomous vehicles to ocean depths of over 6,000 metres.
Reportedly, the cells can withstand the extreme pressure of 664 bars – that’s equivalent to a water depth of 6,640 metres – at a temperature of 4°C without being compromised on integrity.
MSubs has integrated the battery to power an ROV test vehicle supplied by Deepbots AS named “Sperre Subfighter 7500”. These tests were performed on site at Sperre AS, Nottoden, Norway.
The project manager of MAS at OXIS, Dr RooholIah Torabi, said, “It has been a great pleasure for OXIS to work with Steatite, NOC and MSUBS. The consortium members had special and complementary skills that contributed to the success of the project. We hit all of our ambitious targets to fabricate and test a customised battery using Li-S cells and its demonstration in a real environment. It’s an impressive achievement for the consortium to develop a pressure tolerant battery which can generate new market opportunities for marine applications. We are also very grateful to Innovate UK and DSTL for funding the project.”
Paul Edwards, divisional director of Steatite Batteries added, “The project has provided a number of challenges which have all been overcome though the hard work and determination of the consortium members. With valuable domain expertise and test resource provided by our academic partners at the NOC, through to successful sea trials and product integration by MSubs, the group can be proud of the world class achievements and capabilities it has delivered.”