Fuel Cells for Underwater Vehicle Propulsion
Small Business Information
14 Spring Street, Waltham, MA, 02154
Richard J. Lawrance
AbstractThe US Navy could greatly increase the mission capabilities of the wide variety of underwater vehicles with the incorporation of the proper fuel cell power system. If the projected capabilities of fuel cells can be applied to an underwater vehicle, the range and speed of the vehicle could be increased without sacrificing other desirable benefits, such as, maintainability, user friendliness, and operating expense. In the Navy arsenal of underwater systems, there is a mixture of vehicles and mission requirements. A thorough understanding of the mission and the capabilities of the numerous fuel cell systems is required to select the right combination. Besides providing propulsion power, fuel cells are well suited for providing the electrical needs of the multitude of electronic equipment presently onboard modern underwater vehicles. There are five major fuel cell chemistries in various stages of development today, and varying degrees of fact and fiction associated with each. The problem is to sort out the fact from the fiction to design the appropriate fuel cell system for the mission. Giner, Inc., together with our subcontractor C.S. Draper Laboratories, have the hardware oriented technical experience, to determine the correct system and to construct that system in Phase-II. The technical objectives of the Phase-I program consist of the selection of a target vehicle, design the best system each fuel cell chemistry can provide, then select the best one. All available information will be assembled into a logic flow diagram and a Table of pros and cons for each fuel cell system. The design analysis will place emphasis on the complete system to develop realistic power and energy densities. The result will be preliminary system drawings for the selected fuel cell. The Phase-II effort will result in a system that can be demonstrated
* information listed above is at the time of submission.