Monolithic MEMS Fuel Cell Manufacturing for Long Endurance High Altitude Aircraft
Small Business Information
101 West Sixth Street, Suite 200, Austin, TX, 78701
AbstractHigh altitude airships (HAA) require regenerative fuel cell systems that can supply high current during nighttime operations with daily charging and discharging cycles for long periods of continuous operation. These fuel cells must be lighter in weight, and have higher charging and discharging efficiency while operating at high altitudes with no maintenance during operation for extended periods of a year or more. The weight of other system power components such as solar panels, pumps, and hydrogen and water storage decrease significantly with increasing fuel cell efficiency such that the optimal overall renewable energy system solution is driven by fuel cell efficiency. SPEC (Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation) has designed and is currently developing a lightweight, compact MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell for unitized regenerative energy storage applications. The MEMS fuel cell is designed for HAA station keeping and operation at greater than 70,000 feet above MSL. The fuel cell system for this program is a modular unit designed to provide up to 100kW peak output power in fuel cell mode and 160kW output power in electrolyzer mode.
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