Advances For Marine Autonomous Systems

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Project Based On Lithium-Sulphur Battery On A Steady Pace

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October 2015 witnessed the beginning of an R&D project that focussed on the development of a battery pack that is capable of tolerating pressure up to depths of 6,000 m.  The project was kick-started by a group of research enthusiasts which included a consortium of UK companies and academic partners, led by the UK-based specialist in extreme environments technology, Steatite.  The project, which is scheduled for completion in  October 2017, is vested with the vision of exploiting the inherent benefits of lithium-sulphur battery technology.

Lithium-sulphur batteries are a source of major benefits for Marine Autonomous Systems looking to improve on neutral buoyancy, higher levels of safety and higher energy densities.

The completion of the first phase saw the successful repeated testing of lithium-sulphur cells at pressures and temperatures equivalent to undersea depths of 6,000m.  The test was conducted at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

The first phase of the project, recently completed at NOC in Southampton, involved repeatedly testing Lithium-Sulphur (Li-S) cells at pressures and temperatures equivalent to undersea depths of 6,000m.

Let us have a look at the summary of completed project milestones so far:

  • Repeated cycling of lithium-sulphur cells under conditions replicating a depth of 6000m show consistent energy delivery performance.
  • No internal damage or adverse effects on the chemistry of the cells is detected.
  • Production of hardware and software for the associated battery management system is now underway.

The project’s aim is to build and demonstrate a lithium-sulphur system in the flooded compartment of an autonomous vehicle.

The next phase of the project will complete the design work for a trial battery pack including a pressure-tolerant battery management system.

Source: Hydro International

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