(February 26, 2010) -- Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), a company of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, is testing innovative lithium ion battery cells on board the solar catamaran "PlanetSolar(r)". The boat is financed by the German entrepreneur and solar pioneer Immo Stroher. In close cooperation with Knierim Yachtbau GmbH, the shipyard that built the catamaran and the battery manufacturer GAIA Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH HDW will now enter the final development phase for a new generation of energy storage systems that is designed for future use on non-nuclear submarines.
The Chairman of HDW's Executive Board, Mr. Walter Freitag, states: "Lithium ion technology is an enormous step forward for submarine batteries. These cells were developed by GAIA, with the support of HDW and exclusively for us. In comparison to the lead acid batteries commonly used so far on board submarines, they feature much greater capacity and a longer life expectancy. In addition, they are virtually maintenance-free. Due to the very high demands in the submarine construction sector and in order to ensure operational safety on board, HDW has developed a comprehensive safety concept for system integration. The solar catamaran is the prototype for first operation of the lithium ion technology on board a manned vessel."
HDW has an advisory role during integration of the currently largest lithium ion battery in the world on board "PlanetSolar(r)" and is supporting Knierim with technical know-how. This particularly applies to the safety aspects of operating lithium ion technology on board.
Thanks to the successful cooperation with Knierim and GAIA in this project, HDW has been able to further extend its position as world-wide leaders in the field of submarine propulsion technology, a position that was established with the development of air-independent propulsion on the basis of the fuel cell plant.
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