TKMS and Naval Group introduce status of their LI batteries for submarines during Euronaval 2018

Euronaval 2018: TKMS pushes ahead lithium-ion submarine battery

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is nearing completion of its effort to adapt a commercially available lithium-ion battery cell for submarine use, the company told Jane’s at the Euronaval 2018 naval exhibition in Paris.

A propagation test carried out by partner SAFT verified the inherent safety of the chosen lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery chemistry, which has comparatively lower energy density than other lithium-ion technologies but benefits from a lower risk of thermal runaway.

TKMS and SAFT aim to have their battery tested and certified by TÜV Rheinland in Germany in the near future, and testing of a battery string representative of how the batteries would be arranged in the submarine application is also to be tested at TKMS’ Kiel facility in 2019.

Introducing Naval Group's new Lithium-ion batteries system for submarines

Naval Group has developed a high performance and highly secure Li-ion batteries system to provide its conventional submarines with outstanding operational capabilities, as well as an immersion period and reloading time largely optimised. The navies that will operate this new technology will boast a major technological superiority on theatres of operations.

LIBRT increases significantly the submarines' submerged endurance and improves its stealth, while guaranteeing better security conditions.

This cutting-edge technology offers twice more available energy while reducing significantly the reloading time.

In hostile environments, the submarine will therefore take advantage from an increased submerged operating range as well as from the capability to evade all kinds of naval threats. Fast loading battery limits the time spent in periscopic immersion, thus enhancing the indetectability of the submarine. These are valuable operational advantages that provide the submarines with a real technological superiority compared to current generations. As for security, nothing has been left to chance. To fit a batteries system on-board a submarine requires upstream precautions to ensure complete security. These requirements have been integrated from the earliest stage of the design of this new batteries system, being for the choice of electrochemistry or for the conception of the embedded system.

To do so, Naval Group has implemented the same methodologies and security requirements as for the conception of nuclear submarines for the French Navy.

This is a tight-knit and fully dedicated French Team that is mobilised over the development and the implementation of this new batteries system.

Thanks to the high level of competences and experiences of Saft, CEA Tech, EDF R&D and Naval Group – all leaders on their respective markets – the Li-ion batteries system LIBRT epitomizes the French innovating and creativity spirit.

Naval Group brings its experience as a system provider and integrator, Saft its expertise in the conception and production of state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries, CEA Tech provides Naval Group with its research capacities in the fields of chemistry, structure and electronics and, finally, EDF R&D volunteers its experience and its first rank testing facilities for energy production systems requiring high levels of safety, reliability and security.

This innovating batteries system has been developed in the frame of Naval Group's strategic R&D roadmap, in close technical partnership with the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) that has been monitoring that high levels of security and safety were applied.

Alain Guillou, Senior Executive Vice-President declared "the successful development of the LIBRT Li-ion batteries systems is a huge technological stride for the new generation of submarines developed by Naval Group. It provides utmost security guarantees as well as operational and technological superiority to all our clients worldwide."