Fuel Cell Power System with Parallel-Connected Bi-directional DC-DC
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Satellite platforms require lightweight, highly reliable energy production and storage systems to maximize payload power and performance. The regenerative fuel cell (RFC) system is a promising electrochemical technology that has a high specific energy on the order of 550Wh/kg. An RFC system in hybrid configuration with a battery requires a specialized bi-directional DC-DC converter to protect the fuel cell, control the flow of power to and from the battery, and stabilize the DC bus. The proposed Phase I effort will investigate the feasibility of developing a complex DC-DC converter for satellite RFC/battery hybrid system applications. The DC-DC converter must have a high conversion efficiency, low weight, low volume and sophisticated control scheme to minimize the RFC system specific energy. The control scheme in particular must regulate the system under a variety of conditions, yet protect system components. AeroVironment will overcome the many technical challenges with experience gained developing a high altitude RFC system for NASA's ERAST program, conducting other fuel cell integration projects and designing many DC-DC converters. By demonstrating feasibility, we will assist the Air Force to develop efficient energy production and storage systems for satellites and other space platforms for station-keeping and powering large payloads.
Small Business Information at Submission:
825 S. Myrtle Avenue Monrovia, CA 91016
Number of Employees: