Steatite is committed to driving new battery innovation through our research and development programmes. We are currently leading a project to develop a pressure tolerant battery pack for Marine Autonomous Systems using next-generation lithium-sulfur cell technology.

Part funded by Innovate UK and the UK Ministry of Defence, through The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the MAS Project is a consortium of UK companies and academic partners, including Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) cell manufacturer OXIS Energy Ltd, underwater vehicle designers and manufacturers MSubs Ltd and scientific expertise from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

The consortium, led by Steatite aims to produce a battery pack that will be pressure tolerant to depths of 6000 meters, where temperatures hover close to zero degrees centigrade and pressure is 600 times greater than that at surface depth.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles are energy limited; this restricts their operational envelope, and so speeds are usually low (2-4 knots) and endurance is restricted.

By significantly increasing the energy available within the vehicle, the operational envelope can be expanded thereby increasing the speed and range.

A battery system using Li-S has the potential to surpass lithium Ion (Li-ion) by being able to store more capacity than many other battery storage systems without many of the safety issues.

Li-S cells are predicted to have significantly improved buoyant specific energy compared to current Lithium cells used by state-of-the-art deep-diving MAS, unlocking additional applications across the maritime industry.

Such cutting-edge research and development work provides benefits to all sectors requiring power systems. At Steatite, we are committed to playing our part in the advancement of scientific endeavor and the creation of innovative new technologies.

To find out more about the MAS programme, please sign up for our project update emails below.