Smart gigantic buoys fitted with compact and autonomous lithium batteries

Samir BENOUDA’s interview – Sales Manager of MOBILIS

Bouée batterie MOBILIS

MOBILIS was created in 1990 and is the global leader of marine and waterway navigational aid. The company manufactures in France marine signalling buoys, mooring buoys and data buoys that are regularly used by the defence sector among others.


These buoys are genuine floating laboratories allowing to add many sensors according to the customers’ requirements: meteorology, oceanography, oceanology, hydroacoustic or even radioactivity sensors. Furthermore, they notably allow the marine navigational optimization and the possibility to supervise the human impact on both coastline and environment. Thus, there are various standard buoys formats which adjust to their final application making each of them unique.

MOBILIS has developed a unique expertise thanks to its strong responsiveness and outstanding adaptation capacity. This is how the company was particularly able to be part of confidential projects in collaboration with the French General Directorate of Army. This collaboration brings to the fore MOBILIS’ capacity to confidently integrate solutions dedicated to the defence sector.

Vidéo bouées MOBILIS
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Moreover, it is also capable to collect all kind of parameters that can be measured offshore such as the sensing of residual electrical and magnetic fields. Self-powered sustainable and reliable offshore isolated platforms represent a significant asset useful for defence services, in particular marine defence supervising and analysing the sea environment. Thus, MOBILIS gives its customers the opportunity to access meteorological data in real time. These figures will then be exploited to find precious information which will be analyzed and used by the final user.

MOBILIS construction bouées

Context of our collaboration

When it was created in 2013, TYVA Energie reached MOBILIS in order to test the integration of lithium batteries inside its gigantic buoys. Lithium batteries were not adapted yet to the marine environment back then, representing an innovative challenge that was a bit too ambitious.

Since then, TYVA Energie has developed a lot whether in terms of innovation or services. That is how the collaboration paused many years ago was finally able to emerge a decade later thanks to the launching of our new batteries ranges suitable for the marine area.

The challenge

From MOBILIS perspective, it was the perfect timing. Indeed, buoys are getting more and more complicated and require a great amount of energy. There were also new projects coming starting with the design of the DB24000 buoy dedicated to major research studies, representing itself a genuine technological and mechanical challenge. It is the biggest world buoy with a 5 meters diameter and a total weight of 13 tons including 2 tons dedicated to lead batteries only. It can be fitted with a smart winch capable to take measurements down to more than 100 m depth, as well as 30 solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells and many aerial and undersea sensors. Scientific issues of this buoy are important since it finds its origins from EOL buoy developed with Villefranche’s CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) to measure the human impact on the coastline. This collaboration follows several works carried out alongside with the research center.

Through our partnership with the CNRS since 2004, MOBILIS has known how to combine advantages of navigational buoys with data collection’s requirements in order to ensure a long-term solution.

Sales Manager of MOBILIS

Thus, there are plenty of challenges to be faced:

  • Gain autonomy to power offshore buoys and optimize their maintenance,
  • Limit the massive buoys’ weight to which is added the lead batteries’ significant weight,
  • Reduce the global congestion owed to lead batteries,
  • Improve the whole system’s energy capacity.

Solutions brought by TYVA Energie

MOBILIS called on TYVA Energie to be accompanied through these challenges. They chose us as their batteries’ provider for the following criteria:

Spécifications techniques

Certifications TYVA Energie has regarding marine applications,

Production Qualité

Our products’ quality which are conditioned as robust and waterproof casings envisioned to obtain a flawless appearance,

Made in France

The Made in France aspect we share with MOBILIS which is located in Aix-en-Provence,

TYVA Refill reconditionnement picto

Environmental values we agree on as well as the eco-responsible nature of our reconditioning solution TYVA Refill. Indeed, the company operates in various sectors whose key players aren’t always sensitized concerning these subjects, unlike others whose vision is eco-friendlier and who are interested in this solution.

TYVA Energie has worked on various buoys by equipping them with our lithium batteries and thus replacing old lead batteries, starting with the DB24000 one. TYVA Energie has chosen to feature this heavy gigantic buoy with two of our Kube 12 batteries part of our Flat & Kube range, connected to each other in parallel thanks to our Gateway CAN. These batteries with outstanding energy density represent an important update to MOBILIS and aim to an unprecedented improvement of the DB24000 buoy launched in 2022, whether from a mechanical or energy perspective.

Concerning the buoy’s lightness, TYVA Energie’s two batteries weigh 65 kg each totalling 130 kg versus the 2 previous tons from lead batteries, which represents a significant improvement. This cut of the total weight also enables to reduce the congestion since our compact batteries have a fastening system allowing to easily integrate them inside any kind of support.

Kube 12 TYVA Energie

The DB8000 buoy is also affected by lithium batteries’ retrofit. It weighs 3 tons and also fits solar panel in addition to its 2 brand new Kube 7 batteries as well as its Gateway CAN allowing batteries’ paralleling. This buoy also benefits from space and lightness gain but also autonomy thanks to the amount of power brought by this batteries’ range allowing to extend recharges and to bring a significant energy quantity. DB8000 and DB24000 were both equipped with TYVA Energie’s batteries at the same time and were tested on land before their immersion in water, which testified their effectiveness. The DB24000 buoy is fitted with a complete system including solar panels and a wind turbine for an efficient refill of batteries.

Finally, MOBILIS’ BFI elastic beacon is also powered by TYVA Energie’s batteries. It is several meters high and features a Kube 7 battery. It was moored during summer 2022.

Benefits of our lithium batteries

Bouée géante MOBILIS
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MOBILIS has benefited from a personalized support made by one of TYVA Energie’s Project Management Engineers who visited them to provide the necessary documentation and help with the batteries’ launching and setting inside the buoys. Moreover, he shared his expertise regarding the software, hardware and mechanical parts as well as our batteries’ technologies in addition to his introduction of TYVA Smart Dashboard monitoring app functioning.

The transition to lithium batteries also allowed MOBILIS to change their non adapted lead batteries controller for a much robust one dedicated to lithium batteries. In addition to being a simple material update, it is a genuine technological improvement which matches more with the sea environment and enables a better global monitoring of batteries.

Moreover, thanks to the gain of space ensured by lithium batteries, MOBILIS’ buoys have the possibility to board more measuring tools since they have more capacity. Because of the 2 tons lead batteries’ congestion stored inside the buoy, their maintenance was difficult as well as their handling and dismounting on land which were nearly impossible. Lithium batteries are much smaller and lighter which makes their maintenance easier since there is no necessity to dismount the whole buoy. TYVA Smart Dashboard batteries monitoring app is also important for the buoys’ preventive maintenance and intervention towards batteries since it implies time human effort savings.

The transition to lithium batteries thus allowed to provide significant lightness and autonomy to buoys while taking up the least space possible and representing a considerable technological and technical improvement.

What about now?

TYVA Energie’s next step is to develop a communication bus to connect the Gateway without using the CAN bus in order to adjust to the marine environment, allowing a totally remote maintenance.

MOBILIS is also working on future global projects which were too complicated to develop so far because of the buoys’ scale. TYVA Energie will be able to make the transport easier thanks to our IATA (air transport) and ADR (road transport) certifications regarding lithium batteries.

Since buoys’ retrofit has provided a significant space gain, it will allow MOBILIS to improve existing products by reducing their weight and congestion in order to develop new buoys fitted with more features and instruments.


Discover Tom Perronnet’s video interview, Embedded Systems Engineer at MOBILIS, filmed during Euronaval 2022 exhibition


Video interview

Discover the video interview of Tom Perronnet, Embedded Systems Engineer at MOBILIS who told us more about buoys powered by TYVA Energie’s lithium batteries during Euronaval exhibition 2022.

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