An Exremely Lightweight Fuel Cell System Operating on Hydrogen and Air

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 28800
Amount: $69,522.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1995
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
14 Spring Street, Waltham, MA, 02154
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Childs
 (617) 899-7270
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
Currently, a 300 watt fuel cell stack of bipolar design projects a power density of about 40 watts per kilogram of system, excluding fuel and fuel tankage. In contrast, a battery of identically performing fuel cells which uses the concept of a single sheet of electrolyte shared by all cells, can achieve about 250 watts per kilogram, a factor of six improved. The single sheet design is so much lighter because it does not require end-plates, cell frames and cell supports for proper sealing, electrical contact, and fluid porting. Using the single sheet fuel cell concept, a 300 watt fuel cell system with chemical hydride is projected to weigh 4.3 kg, well within the 5 kg goal set by the customer. This is a significant weight savings over a traditional bipolar stack at about 10.6 kg. The issue of Power to Weight Ratio has been rightfully prioritized as the vital driver for successful man-portable power supplies. Our past experience with smaller systems based on the proposed concept, teaches that success is based on the satisfactory resolution of design issues inter-relating more intricately than in bipolar stacks. We propose in Phase I to perform the necessary design studies of cell, stack, and system in which the issues of configuration, operating envelope, and robustness are addressed and solved to a confidence level warranting hardware development in Phase II.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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