July 5, 2017

Latest Table of Developers of LIBs and LABs for Submarine - Version 4


It is not diesel reformer or methanol reformer fuel cell (FC)/air independent propulsion (AIP) that will be the next revolutionary advance in conventional submarine propulsion. Lithium-ion batteries will be the next big advance.

The major test will be the first country to fully adopt LIBs for submarine. That country will be Japan, which may launch the first LIBs submarine (27SS First Soryu Mk. 2) this year or next year and then commission it in 2020 or 2021.

If there are no problems with Japanese LIBs for 5 years of operation South Korea and China (secretly) may then launch LIBs submarines in the mid 2020s. Naval Group (formerly DCNS), TKMS and Russia might later (in the late 2020s) launch LIBs submarines.


It is important to keep track of current lead-acid batteries (LABs) and LIBs suppliers. To do this Anonymous has revised the following Table (last published on May 18, 2017) with all the new entries, including new endnotes, marked in this highlight.

Table of Submarine LAB/LIB Suppliers Version 4

LAB for subamrine
LIB etc

Non submarine
Atlas Elektronik

Lithium Iron Phosphate(LFP) [16]
(for TKMS subs [17])
Backup for Nuclear subs. Main underwater propulsion for diesel subs [12]

Space applications [11]
No data
Exide Technology
U205, Kobben, U206, U209, U212; Dolphin, Scorpene, Walrus, Näcken, Västergötland, Gotland, UIa, TR 1700, Agosta, Daphne, Redoutable, Rubis, Triomphant [2]
Onyx™ M70 Series LIBs use lithium cobaltaite (LCO)

No data
West European submarines: U209/U214/Scorpene/Agosta/Daphne.
Russian subs: Romeo/ Foxtrot/ Kilo
Design development has been done also for classes U206, U212, Vastergotland (A17) (A19).
Nickel cobalt manganese oxide
(NCM), lithium iron Phosphate (LFP)[4]
No data
HBL Power Systems Ltd.
12.391 kWh to 40.300 kWh [5]
Kilo, Sorpene [6]
No data
Underdevelopment [7]
Sunlight Systems
West European submarines: U206, U209, U212, U214, U209P, U210, Scorpène, Agosta, 6YOH, Sauro, Walrus, Kobben
Eastern type submarines: Romeo, Foxtrot, Kilo [8]
LiSO2 batteries [10]
Radio sets, Mines, Locator beacons, Anti tank weapons, Night vision equipmen
GS Yuasa
Oyashio, Soryu Mark 1
Lithium manganese oxide (LMO)
Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA)
Lithium-titanate (ITO)
Lithium-titanate (ITO)
West European submarines
U206, U209, U212, U214, U209P, U210, Scorpène, Agosta, 6YOH, Sauro, Walrus, Kobben
•Russian designed submarines
Romeo, Foxtrot, Kilo
Lithium lithium cobaltaite (LCO) [3],

Energy density, 68, 84Wh/kg etc [9]
South Korea
No data
Lithium polymer batteries for military use  (114-168Wh/kg) [13]
Lithium polymer batteries ?
No data
No data
Kilo uses Saft (France).
No data
Kalina submarines [14]  in collaboration with China
How about Saft?[15]

[1] http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160915005029/en/Top-5-Vendors-Global-Submarine-Battery-MarketEnerSys, EverExceed , Exide Technology, HBL Power Systems Ltd., and Sunlight Systems are the major lead-acid battery (LABs) vendors in the market. Companies, such as GS Yuasa, Saft, Kokam, Arotech, and Toshiba, are aggressively developing Li-ion batteries for submarines and investing in R&D to reduce the cost and match the LAB specifications for the submarines. The report also states countries, such as Japan, China, and Russia, are focusing on the Li-ion battery technology for the submarines. Russia is also planning to develop Li-ion battery technology for Kalina submarines in collaboration with China.

[3] Data in 2005

HBL is the largest defence battery manufacturer in India. All the products have been designed, developed and manufactured based on in-house technology. The Company supplies batteries for a wide range of applications - fighter aircrafts, helicopters, transport aircraft, submarine propulsion, light weight and heavy weight torpedoes, battle tanks, missiles and artillery fuzes among others.The Company has recently secured approval for Kilo class submarine battery and approval process for Scorpene class submarine is at an advanced stage of completion.

For many years, we had been asked why HBL did not make Lithium Ion batteries. We have now initiated a plan to manufacture prismatic Lithium Ion cells and batteries for specialized applications - not for consumer products. The project is likely to be implemented in the near term.

The design and development of more than 25 different cell types and the delivery of 60 battery shipsets to navies worldwide are the strongest evidences for our expertise and cumulative experience in the submarine battery sector. Indicatively, we have manufactured submarine batteries for: Greece, Italy, Egypt, Germany, Fance, Ukraine, Pakistan, Peru, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, Portugal, Korea, Netherlands, Equador

Energy density is 84Wh/kg for Ion’ Drive 630 (26kWh), 68Wh/kg for Ion’Drive® Motive 24 V 410 Ah

The most commonly lithium batteries used are manufactured based on Lithium Sulfur Dioxide (LiSO2) and Lithium-Ion technology. More specifically, LiSO2 batteries are constructed of a Lithium (Li) anode, a Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) cathode and their electrolyte is made of Acetonitrile in combination with Lithium Bromide.
(Radio sets, Mines, Locator beacons, Anti tank weapons, Night vision equipmen)t

EnerSys is the leading global supplier of lithium-ion batteries for space applications where space heritage, innovation, and a proven delivery track record come together to produce market-leading batteries.

Nominal capcity (160Ah), votage (20-29.4V) and weight (28kg) mean energy density (114-168Wh/kg)

"In December 2014, TsKB Rubin completed the research work" Kalina-Navy "as a result of which the advanced design of a promising multipurpose non-nuclear submarine with air-independent power plant (VNEU) and a lithium-ion battery (LIAB) was executed in accordance with the tactical and technical task of the Russian Defense Ministry," said Shlemov.

In April [2017], a seminar-presentation of developments and products of SAFT (France) under the name "Lithium-ion power systems for large underwater vehicles" was held at the St. Petersburg State Maritime Technical University. From the Russian side, specialists from a number of interested organizations took part in the seminar. From the French side SAFT representatives: Bertrand Dotfey, Sales Director, Cosmos and Defensive Systems Division; and Alain Coadou, Manager, New Defensive Systems, made a presentation.

Safety is paramount in the demanding technological environment of the submarine. ATLAS ELEKTRONIK and ALSE have succeeded in passing all tests based on the demanding safety standards of the German Navy needed to achieve certification and clearance for use on submarines of its new Lithium Iron Phosphate rechargeable battery. This was achieved by a deliberate choice for the safest Lithium Ion type battery chemistry available, Lithium Iron Phosphate, and a unique dedicated battery cell design by ALSE that achieves primary safety. This ALSE battery cell is then integrated by ATLAS into the exercise battery. A battery whose cells conform to primary safety standard does not contain any risks that necessitate extensive secondary safety measures. This ensures a maximum of safety beyond that of the legacy battery system and other offerings on the market.

[17] https://www.atlas-elektronik.com/contact/press/news-detail/news/thyssenkrupp-marine-systems-from-platform-to-systems-provider/ (Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: from platform to systems provider 04/03/2017)
TKMS has taken a major step in its development. With the acquisition of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK by TKMS this combines their strengths and offers their customers the full range of solutions from a single source.

TKMS adopting the systems of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK suggests TKMS will adopts LIBs too.

By Anonymous (with a few comments from Pete)


Chuck McGutsup said...

YOu seem to have missed the LAB maker of most interest to Australia - PMB

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Shortfin is likely to adopt LIBs by SAFT [1]. Possible power systems for future German, French/Australia and Japanese convensional submarines are as follows.

Germany (post TYPE-212A): Methanol reforming + LIBs (Lithium Iron Phosphate =LFP by Atlas Electronik)

France/Australia (Shortfin): MESMA FC + LIBs (Lithium Cobalt Oxide = LCO by SAFT)

Japan (Soryu MKII, post Soryu): LIBs (Lithium Nickel Cobalt Alminium Oxide = NCA by GS Yuasa)

In my opinion, submerging period of the submarines are as follows.

At low speed: post TYPE-212A >= Shortfin> Soryu MKII/post Soryu

At maximum silent speed: Soryu MKII/post Soryu > Shortfin > post TYPE-212A

[1] http://www.capital.fr/entreprises-marches/saft-gagne-plus-de-4-porte-par-le-contrat-australien-de-dcns-thales-1122054
“SAFT wins more than 4% under the DCNS (Thales) contract in Australia.” Published on 26/04/2016 at 17h17

(AOF)- Saft jumped 4.09% to 26.46 euros, driven by the announcement of DCNS that has just been selected by the Australian Ministry of Defense to renew its fleet of submarines (SEA program 1000). The contract amount is € 34 billion. Thales, which is the largest shareholder (35%) of DCNS, is present in Australia with its subsidiary Thales Australia. Saft, which has already partnered with the Thales Group and DCNS, is likely to be part of the crew loop.


MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

I'm not convinced. New batteries alone will not make it.
On page 17 you can see methanol reformer and Lithium-Iron-batteries side by side.

The next generation Type 212 (or what ever it will be called) will likely have to lithium batteries and methanol reformer together. Just from the look of the reformer installation I would say this thing is ready for use.

We will see how much German content the French submarine for Australia will have.


Anonymous said...

Besides methanol fuel cell, 212A shows unique suface modification of hull as shown in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV5VDyBfIbA (6:17/7:12). I appreciate German technology.

The surface of submarine is sometimes covered by numerous thick rubber tiles for sound refection or absorption to eliminate acoustic finger print. Further surface modification may be conducetd to reduce drag of submarine. In this case, rubber tiles are covered by low friction sheet with large suface area. Laminated sheet consisted of upper low fiction layer (such as fluorine resin) and lower adhesive layer may be adopted. If the surface is coverd by sheet, we can find large area pattern on the suface instead of small area pattern by rubber tiles.


Peter Coates said...

Hi Chuck McGutsup

PMB probably buys LABs produced overseas. Then PMB would assemble the batteries specifically of the right size and output for Collins subs.



Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 7/7/17 12:14 AM]

I think it unlikely that France's Naval Group (formerly DCNS) would or could use a combination of MESMA and fuel cell (FC). Information in Submarine Matters' February 28, 2017 article http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/german-french-spanish-reformer-fuel.html indicates:

"Public domain information shows DCNS [now called Naval Group] have abandoned their MESMA AIP solution on the Pakistani Agosta 90s [and all other submarine classes] and will use a diesel reformer/FC solution on the Shortfin Barracuda. [No supporting detail seen to date.]

Further on the French FC, it appears as though two options are on the table; a PEM or Solid Oxide FC (‘SOFC’) type. If a SOFC is chosen, noting they offer good energy conversion efficiency, long life and operating cost advantages, other drawbacks need to be addressed. Most of these drawbacks relate to the high 600 to 1000°C operating temperature which brings hot exhaust issues and brittleness related shock resistance problems.

Novelty, complexity and uncertainty put this solution’s inclusion in the French package as high risk. Even if the technical challenges of the diesel reformer and FC are solved, the enemy of the DCNS development will be schedule. DCNS are believed to have started their reformer/FC work back around 2006/7 and announced it as a future solution in 2008 as part of their SMX 24 concept design. [1] It is instructive that the Germans have developed and perfected their reformer/FC solution over four decades. It is also worthy of note that the Spanish have had issues with their S-80 submarine ethanol reformer/FC solution and have announced that the first S-80 will now be fitted-for-but-not-with AIP.[2]"

Saft may indeed build the LABs which may be supplied through Australia's PMB for the Shortfins.



Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Yes I agree its possible "next generation Type 212 (or what ever it will be called) will likely have to lithium batteries and methanol reformer together". This may coincide with my estimate in the article that TKMS may start using LIBs in the late 2020s.

Amount of content is a difficult area given Rolls Royce, MTU and Man Diesel ([1] "7,700 staff, primarily in Germany, Denmark, France, the Czech Republic, India and China") all overlap in some ways.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAN_Diesel



Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 8/7/17 3:34 AM]

Covering rubber/plastic anechoic tiles with a "low friction [fluorine resin (plastic?) sheet" seems a good idea.

The tiles might cause enough friction to slow the sub down or lead to more diesel or battery power being used a cruising speed.

Also the "low friction [fluorine resin (plastic?) sheet" might help stop the tiles from falling off.