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LTC and Phoenix Develop Battery for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

October 24, 2006

The collaboration combines pressure-tolerant lithium-ion cells and specially designed battery packages to produce units that can withstand ocean pressures equivalent to a water depth exceeding four miles.


PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lithium Technology Corp. (LTC), a global provider of large lithium-ion rechargeable power solutions, announced that it has developed, in conjunction with Phoenix International Inc., a leading marine services contractor, a high-performance, pressure-tolerant battery for unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) applications. UUVs are increasingly used to perform underwater work faster and more efficiently while removing the need for a manned presence from an inherently dangerous environment.

LTC's pressure-tolerant lithium-ion cells are integrated into Phoenix-designed battery packages and can withstand ocean pressures greater than 10,000 per square inch (psi), which is equivalent to a water depth exceeding four miles. The U.S. Navy funded the battery project for use in military UUVs, which have also been applied to scientific as well as commercial applications, including oil exploration, water tunnel inspection, and cinematography.

"In collaboration with Phoenix, we have taken our technology to a new level," said Dr. Andrew J. Manning, president and chief operating officer of LTC. "As a result of this partnership, we have developed the safest lithium-ion battery in the world for its energy density."

In a collaborated effort, each LTC cell is equipped with integrated electronics, which are married to a battery management system developed by Phoenix International. Additionally, each cell is replaceable, making the battery serviceable and cost effective while providing a superior solution to other available products.

"We have tested and logged over 800 hours of pressure testing on LTC's final cell design without a single failure," said Andrew Resnick, engineering manager at Phoenix International Inc. "A result that shows the great promise the battery has to satisfy the stringent standards for military applications."

The first commercial operation, using the jointly developed pressure-tolerant batteries, occurred in July 2005, when Phoenix-designed xBot Remote Operated Vehicles were used on multiple dives to record previously unexplored areas within the RMS TITANIC for a live program televised on the Discovery Channel. The batteries were the sole power source for the five xBots used in this mission and operated flawlessly in water depths of 12,500 feet (5419 psi).

"LTC's cells proved impeccable performance during the expedition, enabling the xBots to maneuver farther into the deep-water wreck than ever before, despite the harsh environmental conditions of high pressure and low temperatures," commented Resnick.

As a result of the project's success, Phoenix International has contracted LTC to develop its next generation of pressure-tolerant lithium-ion cells for its UUV battery development program. The U.S. Navy will conduct qualification testing on these batteries for use in all of their pressure-tolerant vehicles.

About Lithium Technology Corp.
Lithium Technology Corp. (LTC) is a global provider of large-format rechargeable power solutions for diverse applications, and offers the largest lithium-ion cells with the highest power of any standard commercial lithium ion cell produced in the western hemisphere. With more than 30 years of experience, LTC leverages its extensive expertise in high-power and large-battery assemblies to commercialize advanced lithium batteries as a new power source in military and national security systems, transportation, and stationary power markets.

LTC manufactures the GAIA product line of large, high-power hermetically sealed rechargeable lithium-ion cells and batteries. The company's product portfolio includes large cells and batteries from 10 times the capacity of a standard laptop computer battery to 100,000 times greater. LTC manufactures a variety of standard cells that are assembled into custom large batteries complete with battery management systems and electronics to communicate with other components of the system for performance monitoring.

LTC headquarters are located in Plymouth Meeting, PA, with its major production facility for cylindrical cells in Nordhausen, Germany. LTC sales for the U.S. and European markets are managed out of each of the offices. For more information about LTC and its technology and products, please visit the company's Web site.

About Phoenix International, Inc.
Phoenix International Inc. is a marine services company providing quality manned and unmanned underwater services to an international customer base. Worldwide operations include underwater ship inspection and repair, U.S. Navy and ABS-certified underwater welding, ROV services, deep ocean search and recovery, subsea construction support, submarine rescue, and engineering design. Phoenix resources include divers and diving systems, remotely operated vehicles, underwater tools and sensors, and one-atmosphere diving suits. For more information, visit the company's Web site.


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