October 5, 2018

Japan has Launched the World's First Large Lithium-ion Battery (LIB) Submarine - Table

Thanks to Anonymous for providing much of the following information on October 4, 2018.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Kobe, Japan on October 4th, 2018 launched the world's first large (full sized) submarine that utilises Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs). LIBs are an advance on the traditional lead-acid batteries (that have powered conventional submarines world wide for over 100 years). 

This new Japanese submarine has been given the name Auspicious Dragon (translatable as Oryū) [1]. 

More Detai

In this conventional "diesel-electric" submarine its diesel engines charge the batteries. Once the submarine is fully submerged these new Lithium-ion batteries can turn the electrical motor (then propeller) [for 8 days?] before recharging by diesels is required again.

This new Japanese submarine is of the Soryu class and carries submarine number 27SS (see TABLE below). Its pennant number which will be on its fin/sail when in port is SS-511. It began being built ("Laid Down") in 2015 and may be commissioned into the Japanese Navy in 2020. It weighs 2,900 tonnes (surfaced) and about 4,200 tonnes (submerged) and is 84m long. 

Unlike previous Soryu submarines it carriers no Stirling Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) equipment. Hence it does not suffer the weight/volume disadvantages of carrying two large AIP [40 tonne?] liquid oxygen (LOx) tanks and does not use dangerously explosive hydrogen gas in its AIP process. Instead it carries a greater tonnage of more efficient Lithium-ion Batteries for improved range (in nautical miles) and "endurance" measured in days fully submerged.

While AIP may be the best solution for short range missions (eg. Baltic nations in the Baltic Sea) AIP is not the most efficient solution for Japan with the mid-range (4,000 nautical mile round trip) missions that Japanese submarines often travel.


Other nations, like South Korea, China, France and Germany are experimenting with LIBs for full sized submarines and may launch such submarines within 3 to 15 years. These and other countries are very interested (China using covert methods) in how this new Japanese LIB submarine performs. 

Some very small mini-submarines (called Diver [or SEAL] Delivery Vehicles of around 5 - 10 tonnes) in some navies are already using LIBs. These mini-submarines are housed in dry deck shelters on much larger nuclear or conventional submarines.

On a related matter - Japan's Ministry of Defense is planning to appoint woman submariners [2] in 2023 to travel in this new submarine [and perhaps older submarines?]. New equipment on the new submarine (such as a womens' sleeping room and a toilet) is needed by law [3]. This overall increase in accommodation weight/space will partly impact the improvement in range/endurance achieved by LIBs in 27SS.

[1] http://www.sankei.com/west/news/181004/wst1810040017-n1.html
      [right click mouse to Translate from Japanese]

      [right click mouse to Translate from Japanese]

[3] Japanese Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health Part III Chapter IIV Cleanliness (Article 628)
      The employer shall install lavatories as provided by the following. “To be constructed separately
      for men and women."...“To provide one or more toilets for every 20 women or less working at the
      same time.”

TABLE for SORYU & Oyashio Program as at October 5, 2018 

SS
No.
Diesel Type
Motor
Build No
Name
Pennant
No.
MoF approved amount ¥
Billions FY
LABs, LIBs, AIP
Laid Down
Laun
-ched
Commi
ssioned
Built
By
8105 Oyashio
SS-590/ TS3608
¥52.2B FY1993
LABs only
 Jan 1994
Oct 1996
Mar 1998
 KHI
6SS-15SS
Oyashios 
10 subs
2 Toshiba motors
SMC-7?
8106
-8115
various
SS-591-600
¥52.2B per sub
FY1994-FY2003
LABs only
 15SS Feb
2004
15SS
Nov
2006
15SS
Mar 2008
 MHI
&
KHI
16SS
Soryu Mk 1
12V25/25SB
SMC-8
8116
Sōryū
SS-501
¥60B FY2004
LABs + AIP
Mar 2005
Dec 2007
Mar
2009
MHI
17SS
8117
Unryū
SS-502
¥58.7B FY2005
LABs + AIP
Mar 2006
Oct 2008
Mar
2010
KHI
18SS
8118
Hakuryū
SS-503
¥56.2 FY2006
LABs + AIP
Feb 2007
Oct 2009
Mar
2011
MHI
19SS
8119
Kenryū
SS-504
¥53B FY2007
LABs + AIP
Mar 2008
Nov 2010
Mar
2012
KHI
20SS
8120
Zuiryū
SS-505
¥51B FY2008
LABs + AIP
Mar 2009
Oct 2011
Mar
2013
MHI
No 21SS
No 21SS built
22SS
8121
Kokuryū
SS-506
¥52.8B FY2010
LABs + AIP
Jan 2011
Oct 2013
Mar
2015
KHI
23SS
8122
Jinryu
SS-507
¥54.6B FY2011
LABs + AIP
Feb 2012
Oct 2014
7 Mar 2016
MHI
24SS
8123
Sekiryū
SS-508
¥54.7B FY2012
LABs + AIP
KHI
25SS
8124
SS-509
¥53.1B FY2013
LABs + AIP
22 Oct 2013
12 Oct   2016
MHI
26SS
end of SMC-8s
8125
Shoryū
SS-510
LABs + AIP
2014
6 Nov 2017
Mar 2019?
KHI
27SS First
Soryu Mk 2
12V25/25SB 
diesel
first SMC-8B
motor
8126
Oryū
SS-511
LIBs only
2015
4 Oct
2018
Mar
2020?
MHI
28SS  Second
Soryu Mark 2
12V25/25SB
SMC-8B
8127
SS-512
¥63.6B FY2016
LIBs only
2016?
Oct 2019?
Mar 2021?
KHI
29SS First Soryu Mk 3
SMC-9?
8128
?
¥76B FY2017
LIBs only
?
?
2023?
MHI?
30SS Second Soryu Mk 3
12V25/31S
8029?
?
¥71.5B FY2018
LIBs only
?
?
2024?
KHI?
Table from information exclusively provided to Submarine MattersLABs = lead-acid batteries, AIP = air independent propulsion, LIBs = Lithium-ion Batteries. ¥***B = Billion Yen. MHI = Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, KHI Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. 
---

Technical Details

Drawing from advice from Anonymous on February 13, 2018  

The Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) provide various benefits such as:

-  a low indiscretion ratio (IR) [the lower the ratio of time spent at periscope depth snorting to time
   completely submerged]

-  due to faster charging of LIBs by the diesel engines

-  providing greater operational flexibility for the submarine 

-  silent [4 knots?] speed performance over a longer medium distance [?? nautical miles for 8
   days?] fully submerged 

-  slightly longer period [probably less than 3 hours?] at the maximum speed (around 20 knots).

LIBs have a greater average charge and discharge efficiency within 80% - 90% (see LIB sidebar) compared to lead-acid batteries which have a lower average of around 70% (see lead-acid battery sidebar). 

Anonymous and Pete

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

As length of LIB-Soryu (27SS) is same as that of LAB-Soryu, structure of LIB-Soryu (27SS, 28SS) except LOx tanks and Stirling AIP might be same as LAB-Soryu. In this case, additional 192 LIB modules (12columns x 16rows) can be loaded (total 672 LIB modules) as being expected in the Submarine Matters.

Also, the estimation of weight balance considering weight loss by exchange of LABs (880kg/module) into LIBs (770kg/module) suggests that in LIB-Soryu, weight gain by addition of 192 LIB modules ballances with weight loss by removal of LOx, LOx tanks and Stirlig AIP which are loaded in LAB-Soryu.

As prices of 672 LIB modules in LIB-Soryu and 480 LAB-modules in LAB-Soryu are 97 and 13 million USD, LIB is more than 5 time expensive (ca.144,000 USD/module) than LAB (27,000USD/module).

Regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete,

A very interesting article. I wonder what the range increase is?

I also wonder if self charging is possible? eg carry solar panels and a wind turbine. You bring them out when the submarine is on the surface. Obviously not a quick means of recharging?

Regards,

Adrian

Pete said...

Hi Adrian [at 8/10/18 1:26 PM]

As submarines strive for ever higher intensity propulsion production and storage (nuclear?) technologies your "solar panels and a wind turbine" may humourously plummet in the face of actual sail boat sails or the return of coal fired steamers.

See "coal-fired 250 hp Lamm steam engine" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_submarines#Mechanical_power

Cheers

Pete

para said...

Hi Pete,

Whats your take re increasing submerged speed potential on LIB? Ie both for better submerged cruise and burst speed? Would that make sense with higher battery capacity or is increase in this regard negligible?

Cheers,

para.

Pete said...

Hi para

Most possible answers are within https://gentleseas.blogspot.com/2018/10/japan-has-launched-worlds-first-large.html and previous estimates by Anonymous in previous SubMatts articles.

Also data would await the actual operational performance 27SS.

Even then the Japanese Gov and companies, of course, won't release precise results to we public.

Regards

Pete