National Oceanography Centre Case Study

NOC Case StudySteatite Batteries to provide a durable and reliable power solution, making it possible for NOC to collect the maximum amount of data at a depth of 6000 metres.


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Historically NOC have used Alkaline and Lithium Polymer battery packs in AUV’s but with the ever increasing deployment demands on endurance NOC required a fresh approach to power. Steatite worked with NOC to develop a mission critical Lithium Primary solution that increased the AUV’s endurance whilst reducing the whole life cost. AUV deployment can be costly with limited deployment and recovery times so deploying for as long as possible can be essential.

Steatite’s Lithium Primary solution offered a number of benefits over the existing Alkaline solution such as greater endurance due to the increased energy density, weight saving, higher stable head voltage and a greater operating temperature range.

Lithium Batteries are already utilised with success in oceanographic applications including Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), Pipeline Inspection, Seismic Surveying, Acoustic Profilers, Sonar Devices, Oceanographic Buoys, Sensing Devices, GPS Systems and Memory Storage.

Steatite Batteries designed and manufactured battery packs, each containing 56 x Lithium Thionyl Chloride D cells. These battery packs were then tested to meet UN Testing Criteria Part III 38.3 Rev 5, Clauses T1 – T5. The finished solution comprises of 10 x battery packs, in order to achieve NOC required battery set specification of 25.2 Volts DC @ 152Ah. Each battery set will be constructed into a frame inside a pressure vessel by NOC with connections made to the Autosub.

Steatite’s battery solution made it possible for NOC to collect the maximum amount of data at a depth of 6000 metres. Visit to learn more.