A Unitized Regenerative PEM Fuel Cell Energy Storage System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 991354
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
7610 Eastmark Drive, Suite 202, College Station, TX, 77840
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Alan Cisar
 Senior Research Scientist
 () -
Business Contact
 Oliver Murphy
Title: President
Phone: (409) 693-0017
Email: ojmurphy@tca.net
Research Institution
Unmanned High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE-UAV) aircraft, offer a unique combination of capabilities for use as observation platforms and relay links. Staying aloft indefinitely requires that the aircraft be energetically self-sufficient, and the most promising way of achieving this is the use of solar electric power. Keeping a solar powered aircraft aloft through the night, requires storing surplus electric power during the day for use at night. A lightweight proton exchange membrane (PEM) high pressure unitized regenerative fuel cell (URFC) operating as an electrolyzer during the day to convert hydrogen into electricity and as a fuel cell to generate electricity at night offers the means for achieving this. Current configurations for URFCs are either complex or inadequate to achieve the desired energy density. The URFC proposed here uses a unique oxygen electrode design. This electrode uses a mixed (Pt and IrO2-RuO2) electrocatalyst with components optimized for both oxygen evolution and oxygen reduction reactions. These electrodes are used in conjunction with a novel gas diffusion structure based on a conductive oxide matrix with both hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions arranged to optimize both gas and water transport in both electrolyzer and fuel cell modes to produce superior performance.

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

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