May PR

Steatite has announced it has been awarded £1.1m worth of funding towards the research and development of the next generation of lithium batteries for marine autonomous systems (MAS).

A consortium of UK companies and academic partners, led by Steatite and co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, will produce a battery pack that will be pressure tolerant up to depths of 6,000m.

The collaboration includes cell manufacturer OXIS Energy, underwater vehicle designers and manufacturers MSubs and scientific expertise from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

Steatite is a specialist in the design and manufacture of lithium battery pack solutions specifically for harsh operating environments, including military, oil and gas, subsea, marine monitoring and unmanned vehicles.

Having previously worked with the NOC to develop a mission-critical battery solution that increased the AUV’s endurance whilst reducing whole life cost, Paul Edwards, battery business manager said: "This success strengthens our position as a manufacturer of battery and power solutions, the Innovate UK funding will bring together a class-leading partnership from industry and academia which will provide a platform for future success, with each partner bringing a significant level of domain expertise to the consortium."

Collectively this team will benefit from expertise at academic level, cell research level, pack assembly and as operational end users of MAS in the most challenging environments. This is a unique opportunity to establish a high-pedigree consortium with an extensive knowledge of MAS, their operational requirements, product opportunities, with already established routes to market.

OXIS Energy has been at the forefront of innovative R&D, building next-generation lithium sulfur battery technology since 2005, while MSubs have a wealth of experience in all aspects of innovative underwater vehicle design and manufacture. The NOC has consistently been at the forefront of pioneering marine autonomous developments.

Kevin Forshaw, associate director of innovation and enterprise at the NOC, said: "We are delighted to have secured this Innovate UK funding, and look forward to working alongside our industry partners to produce these exciting new developments in Marine Autonomous Systems."

Products range from custom battery packs, electronic components, a full range of rugged mobile computers, fixed industrial computer hardware and custom embedded software solutions, as well as RF antennas and microwave products. With the ability to design and manufacture bespoke units to exact customer requirements, Steatite solutions are built for reliability in extreme conditions.

For more information, please contact Steatite.