Japan made the first lithium battery submarine, but is it easy to solve the problem of battery explosion?

Japan made the first lithium battery submarine, but is it easy to solve the problem of battery explosion?

According to the Science and Technology Daily on October 11, Japan's latest Canglong-class "Phoenix Dragon" conventional powered submarine launched, which is the 11th Canglong-class submarine in Japan. Of particular concern is that the submarine is the world's first use of lithium-ion batteries as a power submarine. Japan's "Nikkei Shimbun" said, "the ship is the world's first battle submarine with the same"lithium ion polymer"batteries as electric vehicles.

Sci-Tech Daily reporter learned that the Canglong class submarine was designed at the beginning of its "lithium-ion battery propulsion" as a gimmick, got great attention, but the top 10 Canglong class is still similar to many conventional AIP submarines, using the Swedish "Stirling" AIP system.

Chen Guangwen, a popular military science writer, said that "the lithium-ion batteries and diesel engines used by Japan on the Huanglong and subsequent Canglong-class submarines not only improved the tactical performance of the submarine, but also undertook the task of lithium-ion battery test for the 3000-ton submarine (29SS). People will definitely use this advanced propulsion technology.

Li ion battery will make up for the shortage of dragon.

The dragon dragon class submarine is probably the most famous AIP submarine in the world today. The Canglong class submarine, also known as the "Pingcheng 16-year submarine program" (16SS for short), is the latest active submarine type of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

"This type of submarine is said to have some of the world's first, up to 4200 tons of displacement is the world's largest conventional combat submarine; submarine depth up to 500 meters, is the largest conventional submarine submarine; also known as the world's most capable conventional submarine warfare. Therefore, the dragon dragon submarine is praised as the pride of Japan and the so-called "quasi nuclear submarine" by Japan. Chen Guangwen introduced that the Canglong class is a tidal class "diesel-electric submarine" greatly improved, the introduction of Sweden's "Stirling" engine, is the first Asian submarine using the AIP system. The new silencing tiles, which can reduce the detection range of the enemy's active sonar by 50%, and the X-rudder design, are used in this class of craft. This makes the noise level under water reach 105 decibels, superior to the famous "ocean black hole" - Russian Kilo class conventional submarine. Because of the highly automated control technology, the crew number of the class boat is controlled at 65, thus providing a relatively comfortable and abundant interior space.

"The previous 10 Canglong AIP submarines used four Stirling engines, which allowed them to submerge for up to two weeks, about five times higher than conventional submarines without an AIP system, and were highly concealed," Chen said. But after verification, we found that the early dragon class submarine had insufficient buoyancy force - only about 600 tons. According to general principles, a submarine with a displacement of 4000 tons should be more than 1000 tons. In addition, the total thrust power of the four Stirling engines is 400 kilowatts, which is still insufficient for a submarine with such a large displacement.

"Of course, more importantly, Japan has made great strides in the technology of automotive lithium-ion polymer batteries in recent years. Therefore, Japan urgently needs to apply its latest technology to improve the performance of the new AIP submarine. He said.

"Phoenix dragon" has become a new "Chai electric" submarine.

The diesel electric power system of conventional power submarine is usually composed of diesel engine, generator, battery and motor. The submarine uses diesel engine and motor as power source. The diesel engine is responsible for the submarine's navigation on the water surface and the power source to charge the battery. Under the surface, the submarine is powered by electric propulsion in the battery. This is the "Chai electric" submarine.

However, the battery power can only be maintained for a very short period of time, it must be floating on the water, or the use of ventilation tube, running diesel engine to charge the battery. Therefore, the concealed performance of the "Chai electric" submarine has been greatly reduced. Data show that the ordinary "Chai electric" submarine's underwater endurance is very limited, only 10-100 hours.

In view of this, scientists have developed an air-independent propulsion system to enhance the underwater self-support of conventional powered submarines, which is the AIP system.

Reporters learned that the Canglong class uses two diesel engines, four "Stirling" engines, lead-acid batteries and a main propulsion motor as the propulsion system, the submarine performance has greatly improved. Its 11th Phoenix Dragon replaced the entire Stirling engine's AIP power system and lead-acid batteries with lithium-ion batteries while maintaining the same specifications and speed.

"Hence, the Phoenix Dragon, which replaced lead-acid batteries with lithium, and the AIP system, became a Chai-Dian submarine again. Of course, this "Chai electric" is not the same as the traditional "Chai electric". Chen Guangwen pointed out.

Data show that lithium-ion batteries have higher energy density, higher charging efficiency and longer life than lead-acid batteries. It can be simply understood that using lithium ion batteries greatly reduces the weight and increases the power of the submarine.

Chen further pointed out that the "Huanglong" submarine used large-scale lithium-ion batteries, can save four'Stirling'engines and some of the weight of lead-acid batteries, and this weight saved, just can greatly enhance the ship's reserve buoyancy, of course, also left more space inside the ship. At the same time, it does not need to float frequently. The dramatic reduction in the ship's internal transmission machinery has given the Phoenix Dragon superior quietness and faster charging speed to the top 10 Canglong-class submarines. Moreover, large-scale lithium-ion batteries also produce more explosive power output than four slow Stirling engines, giving the Phoenix Dragon a better instantaneous maneuverability, which is particularly important for attack submarines.

Lithium powered submarines or the replacement of traditional AIP submarines

It is said that the Phoenix Dragon is charged with the task of exploring lithium-ion batteries for the next generation of Japanese submarines, namely the "3000-ton submarine" (29SS).

"Lithium-ion batteries also have some potential problems, such as lithium-ion batteries in the discharge process will produce more heat than lead-acid batteries, and even explosion. If you want to make the 29SS submarine use mature lithium-ion power, you must solve these problems completely in the process of the "Huanglong" test.

So will lithium-electric submarines replace conventional AIP submarines in the future, just as electric vehicles will replace fuel vehicles?

In this regard, Chen Guangwen said, "the use of lithium-ion batteries in automobiles to replace fuel engines need to consider much less. Because cars emit more heat and install more safety measures, this is a big problem in an underwater submarine. However, with the advances in lithium-ion battery technology and Japan's lead in this field of application in the world, it is likely that Japan has almost solved this problem, after all, it is much less difficult than installing nuclear reactors on submarines.

"Therefore, the innovative"diesel-electric"lithium-ion battery-propelled submarine is likely to become the main power mode of new conventional submarines in the future, thus allowing more countries to step into the ranks of the Navy with"quasi-nuclear submarines". This will give Japan, which is not allowed to own a nuclear submarine under the Peace Constitution, the latest means to compete with countries that own a nuclear submarine, and enable Japan to win more arms orders on the world arms market. Chen Guangwen pointed out.

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