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Lithium sulphur battery pack tested for deep water operation

Steatite, Oxis Energy, M Subs and the National Oceanography Centre have developed a pressure tolerant lithium sulphur (Li-S) battery capable of powering autonomous vehicles at ocean depths of more than 6000m.

According to the partners, the cells can withstand a pressure of 664bar at a temperature of 4°C without being compromised on integrity. Rated at 300Wh/Kg in standard conditions, the test cells were said to have achieved a density of 289Wh/kg at a pressure of 450bar.

Oxis project manager Dr Roohollah Torabi, said: “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.”

Paul Edwards, divisional director of Steatite Batteries, added: “The project has provided a number of challenges, all of which have been overcome through the hard work and determination of the consortium members. The programme has generated considerable interest within the marine community, where the benefits of a lightweight pressure tolerant battery and improved safety offered by Li-S cells are realised as a significant game changing technology.”

The tests were performed in Norway using a remotely operated underwater vehicle called Sperre Subfighter 7500.

Graham Pitcher

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