School of Engineering


High Performance Lithium-Ion Battery Power System for Long Endurance Deep Water Operation

Underwater systems such as electric-propelled underwater robotic vehicles (URVs): manned, remotely-operated and autonomous for various deep water applications have become more relevant now to inspect and report any damages to these offshore oil rig platforms. URVs enable continuous real-time monitoring in a timely and more effective manner in deep water where human divers are unable to reach. In the past two decades, these robotic systems have become more prevalent, more reliable and are increasingly used in harsh and remote environments. The requirements placed on the battery and power systems for robotic applications have increasingly become more stringent and demanding. More power and endurance are required, and the batteries must be robust enough to cope with a wider range of environmental conditions. This is especially true of batteries for URVs. However, the endurance for the power system is mainly limited by the power source capacity.

The project, to develop a new high performance lithium-ion battery power system designed for use in long endurance deep sea operations. The team plan to design and develop an intelligent, self-learning battery management system to increase battery life by 25% whilst delivering higher power capacity. The batteries will be able to function up to 3,000m below the surface, permitting subsea operations for longer and with more efficiency. The applications the technology could be used for include; underwater robotic vehicles, offshore oil rig platform monitoring, deep ocean surveys in preparation for oil fields,  subsea  systems inspection, maritime energy storage systems and environmental surveying. SMD will aid the research by providing a real life application for the system and conducting trials on their deep water subsea vehicle systems.