China: Lithium batteries may soon power 'world's largest fleet' of submarines


The Chinese Navy could finally use lithium technology to replace the lead-acid batteries that are now used in its fleet of conventional submarines. Lithium-ion batteries could soon power China's massive fleet of conventional submarines due to advancements in the nation's globally dominant electric car industry, according to a study by China's Navy, reported on Saturday by South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Since lithium batteries had a higher risk of catching fire or exploding, the navy was hesitant to replace the submarine fleet's current batteries with them. But, "after solving these problems, the replacement of lead-acid batteries with lithium batteries in conventional submarines is just around the corner," said Wang Feng, study lead and a submarine designer.

The study claims that technical answers have been discovered through significant testing and development in China's electric car sector, and lithium batteries have been demonstrated to operate safely under difficult circumstances.

The modifications could considerably improve a submarine's capacity for survival and battle, according to research that was released on October 15 in the peer-reviewed Chinese journal Marine Electric and Electronic Engineering.

With an estimated 60 to 70 vessels, China allegedly possesses the largest fleet of conventional submarines in the world. The disputed South China Sea and Taiwan Strait are two critical waterways that are primarily protected by China's fleet of conventional submarines.

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