Exploring the depths of the ocean has always been a challenging endeavor for humanity, especially when it comes to providing electronic power for the crucial underwater equipment used by the oil and gas industry. Equipment employed for subsea production and processing systems commonly involves complex systems of valves and actuators to control the flow of hydrocarbon fluids from the seabed to production facilities.
Such actuators are critical for ongoing operations, and even one actuator failure can lead to substantial productivity loss. Actuators require very little power to function but are still prone to failure in underwater conditions, especially in saltwater. As such, there is an urgent need for robust, reliable, and long-term power solutions to supply energy to underwater actuators—and City Labs is here to help.
Actuators are essential devices responsible for moving and controlling industrial valves automatically or remotely. These devices can take various forms and operate using different principles, such as hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric methods. Some forms, such as subsea linear actuators, are controlled entirely via simple “open” or “close” signals.
When employed in an underwater environment, actuators must be built to withstand the challenges posed by underwater conditions, such as pressure, corrosion, and water resistance—a task that is not easily accomplished. Depending on the application, underwater actuators can range from simple devices for basic movements to highly sophisticated systems capable of complex tasks, such as precision manipulation, propulsion, and underwater navigation.
Actuators are perhaps most notably employed by the oil and gas industry to control crucial components like gate valves and ball valves to manage the flow of hydrocarbon fluids accurately and efficiently.
Subsea operations pose numerous challenges due to extreme conditions, including high pressure, low temperatures, and corrosive seawater. Traditional power sources for subsea actuators, such as hydraulic systems, have several downsides that make them less than ideal from an operational standpoint, in addition to environmental concerns, including potential oil spillage that could harm marine life. That is why there is a growing need for innovative and reliable power solutions that can withstand the harsh underwater environment while maintaining environmental sustainability.
Our nuclear battery product line boasts a variety of customizable battery options to fit most any microelectronic need. These compact and versatile batteries boast several unique properties that make them a perfect fit for powering fragile yet critical devices, including underwater actuators.
One of the key features of our NanoTritium™ batteries is their ability to withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and corrosive conditions found in deep-sea environments. The robust construction and tritium-based power generation enable these batteries to function reliably, even in the harshest ocean conditions.
Because of tritium’s half-life, NanoTritium™ batteries have an impressive operational lifespan of 20+ years. Since this process relies on tritium’s natural decay process, there are no concerns for the unexpected power loss that is commonplace with conventional batteries that rely on volatile chemical reactions. This longevity ensures that underwater actuators can function autonomously for extended periods without requiring frequent maintenance or battery replacement.
As hydraulic systems rely on potentially hazardous oils, there is a significant need for eco-friendly alternatives. NanoTritium™ batteries present potential use cases for replacing hydraulic components, thereby reducing the risk of oil spillage and contributing to a safer and cleaner subsea ecosystem.
City Labs offers an innovative solution to address the energy needs of critical underwater devices that use actuators—all thanks to our patented NanoTritium™ batteries, a revolutionary power source for low-power microelectronics.
As offshore oil and gas companies continue their exploration of increasingly deep water depths, the demand for reliable and sustainable power solutions for underwater actuators is on the rise. City Labs’ NanoTritium™ batteries have emerged as a promising technology to meet this demand. With their exceptional environmental resistance and long-lasting power generation, NanoTritium™ batteries offer a compelling solution for powering actuators in challenging deep-sea environments.
These power sources rely on nuclear energy technology that leverages the unique properties of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Tritium has a half-life of approximately 12.3 years, which makes it a long-lasting and stable energy source.
For scientists, engineers, and natural resource companies engaged in subsea operations, partnering with City Labs and exploring the applications of our NanoTritium™ batteries could lead to groundbreaking advancements and unparalleled operational potential. The benefits of these batteries in terms of reliability, environmental sustainability, and operational efficiency make them a promising solution for powering actuators in the deep ocean.
If you are interested in scientific or commercial partnerships with City Labs, now is the time to explore the possibilities and unlock the potential of subsea operations with our groundbreaking technology. Contact us today to start the conversation.