Unmanned Systems News

Lithium-Ion Batteries Developed for Deep-Sea Applications

Published: 27 Apr 2021 by

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in a wide variety of deep sea applications, for autonomous vehicles and offshore Oil+Gas, to supply sensors, or for energy storage systems. The highest power and energy density is essential, but also absolute reliability and safety, because failure would be expensive.

In this article, Stefan Marx, CEO of SubCtech GmbH highlights the latest solution they have developed for underwater power supply. SubCtech GmbH, located in Kiel, Germany specialises in marine technology, marine research and offshore technologies.

SubCtech has developed a new generation of battery solutions for the underwater market. “Made in Germany”, the PowerPack™ 416 provides new levels of performance, to meet the increasing demands of underwater applications while maintaining the highest safety standards and availability: increase of voltage, power and energy.

Series 416 battery with 10kW DC/DC converter
Series 416 battery with 10kW DC/DC converter, embedded charger for underwater charging (docking stations) and a power distribution unit (PDU, fuse & switch) to monitor and protect multiple outputs.

The latest battery development launches with the PowerPack™ 416, a completely new product group. A highly efficient li-ion battery with multiple controllable power output channels (PDU: Power Switch & Distribution Unit), the system can continue to be used in the event of an external failure by separating the outputs. The outputs, such as thrusters or pumps, can also be controlled individually.

Available for voltage ranges between 14 volts and 600 volts, the Series 416 battery provides an output of 7 kWh per SmartPowerBlock™ module – scalable up to approx. 100 kWh per battery canister. Depending on the version, these 150 mm wide blocks are available as a series-connected version for higher voltage ranges. Each block weighs 32 kg, with a diameter of 416 mm.

By connecting the deep-sea batteries in parallel, scalable redundant solutions can be realized at low cost, even for high current outputs. Up to 12 modules with a total energy of 1 MWh can be interconnected for storage systems. Suitable housings for all depth ranges of up to 6,000 meters are also available.

Series 416 battery
Series 416 battery

The optionally available embedded Charger 416 can already be integrated in the current product version. This enables underwater charging with docking stations or via ROV, which significantly reduces operating costs.

The battery system is manufactured in accordance with MIL-STD and API17F – UN T38.8 certifications are optional.

The SubCtech PowerPack™ 416 is ideal for ROV, AUV, Subsea Offshore Oil+Gas and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) applications. Both large AUV (underwater drones) and manned vehicles have already been successfully equipped with the first systems. Smaller product versions are also available, with a diameter of 260 mm or 310 mm and have been in direct customer use for many years.

Permits for air freight, export and import as well as special permits have been obtained from the Federal Aviation Office LBA, US D.O.T., IATA and other authorities. With certified experts for storage, transport by road, sea and air as well as our after-sales team for the implementation of larger projects, there is always a personal contact person available.

Li-Ion battery module with Master-BMS during the MIL-STD 810 shock + vibration test.
Li-Ion battery module with Master-BMS during the MIL-STD 810 shock + vibration test.

Join SubCtech at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2021 where you’ll learn more about our latest technologies. Register for XPO21 and visit our virtual booth.

About SubCtech GmbH

Our roots date back to the 1980s, and we have international connections to research institutes and industrial cooperation. Our highly innovative products and system solutions in the field of marine technology are all developed in Germany. Our long-term experience on research ships and racing yachts that undergo extreme conditions, and operations in the deep sea at up to 6,000 meters are particularly relevant for our product development.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact