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2012/101/2 Lithium-ion battery, 'S -75106205', 'KCL11TFUD0036', plastic / metal / silicone fluid, designed and made by Ron Allum at Acheron Pty Ltd, Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia, 2012. Click to enlarge.

Lithium-ion battery by Ron Allum at Acheron Pty Ltd

Made
This custom made lithium-ion battery is one of a number of objects related to the design and development of the submersible vehicle, Deepsea Challenger, that was used by James Cameron in his historic descent to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in March 2012.

Lithium-ion batteries are valued for being rechargeable, portable, having an energy density with a slow loss of charge and no memory effect. They exist in several forms, but the type that Allum assembled for the Challenger is called a prismatic cell, characterised by its semi-hard plastic outer case, threaded cabling, and its use in vehicles. Prismatic cells usually require an external means of containment to reduce expansion when they're fully charged and in use. All lithium-ion batteries require a positive electrode (made of metal oxide), a negative electrode (made of carbon) and an electrolyte (made of lithium salt and an organic solvent)[5]. These characteristics aided in the design of the compensating bladder system to reduce the negative effects of extreme pressure and the Life Support Sphere and allowed the original design concept of the Deepsea Challenger to be realised.

The four businesses involved in the design and development of the Deepsea Challenger were, the Acheron Project Pty Ltd. led by Ron Allum, McConaghy Boats, Finite Elements, and Design + Technology [4]. This innovative design and its processes have been awarded Australian Design Award of the Year from Good Design Australia in the Australian International Design Awards 2012.

The Deepsea Challenger has set new world records for transporting a single pilot to underwater depths of more than 11kms and withstanding pressures of up to 16,500 psi. It was built primarily in Sydney, Australia by a small team assembled by Ron Allum in collaboration with Hollywood Director James Cameron. The 3D-footage of its record-breaking inaugural dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in March 2012 was shot with the purpose of transforming it into a feature length documentary in collaboration with National Geographic [1][2][3].

[1] "Australian designed deepsea submersible wins top gong in 2012 Australian International Design Awards." <-Awards <- News <- Good Design:
http://www.gooddesignaustralia.com/news/entry/australian-designed-deepsea-submersible-wins-top-gong. - accessed 31/07/12.

[2] "Australian International Design Awards Announced." Unpacking Design. D*hub: http://www.dhub.org/australian-international-design-awards-announced/ - accessed 3/08/12.

[3] "Deepsea Challenger." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepsea_Challenger - accessed 10/08/12.

[4] "Building a case for design." <- About <- Good Design: http://www.gooddesignaustralia.com/about/ - accessed 31/07/12

[5] "Lithium-ion battery." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery - accessed 10/08/2012

Deborah Turnbull
Assistant Curator
August, 2012

Summary

Object No.

2012/101/2

Object Statement

Lithium-ion battery, 'S -75106205', 'KCL11TFUD0036', plastic / metal / silicone fluid, designed and made by Ron Allum at Acheron Pty Ltd, Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia, 2012

Physical Description

This battery, utilised in the Deepsea Challenger, are made up of multiple power cells fitted with motherboards encased in a plastic box; joined with multiple silver hinges, and lubricated with silicon fluid. The external connection leads are present, 2 loose and 1 connected external to the case in a U-shape.

Marks

- barcode sticker on bottom, inside (S 075106205 ||| KCL11TFOD0036)
- "WATER" written in black texta on bottom; surmised this is from a testing cycle

Dimensions

Height

141 mm

Width

160 mm

Weight

10 kg

Production

Notes

Designed, sourced and assembled by Acheron Pty Ltd, NSW, 2012; these battery cells, housed in the top half of the 24ft structure, are used to power the submersible's engine thrusters, navigation tools and LED lighting systems once it had reached the ocean floor. In order to meet the design challenge of extreme exposure to pressure, Allum engineered a bladder compensating system which allowed silicon liquid to occupy any air pockets which would otherwise collapse in on themselves.

History

Notes

Lithium-ion batteries are valued for being rechargeable, portable, having an energy density with a slow loss of charge and no memory effect. They exist in several forms, but the type that Allum assembled for the Challenger is called a prismatic cell, characterised by its semi-hard plastic outer case, threaded cabling, and its use in vehicular traction packs. Prismatic cells usually require an external means of containment to reduce expansion when they're fully charged and in use. All lithium-ion batteries require a positive electrode (made of metal oxide), a negative electrode (made of carbon) and an electrolyte (made of lithium salt and an organic solvent) .

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Ron Allum and James Cameron as Acheron Pty Ltd, 2012

Acquisition Date

27 August 2012

Cite this Object

Harvard

Lithium-ion battery by Ron Allum at Acheron Pty Ltd 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 7 March 2021, <https://ma.as/456598>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/456598 |title=Lithium-ion battery by Ron Allum at Acheron Pty Ltd |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=7 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}