FuelCell Energy to Develop Fuel Cell–Battery Hybrid Power System for US Navy

27 Jul 2012

REMUS 6000 UUV (Source: Waitt Institute)

Connecticut-based fuel cell manufacturer FuelCell Energy, most widely known for its DFC range of molten carbonate fuel cells, has been awarded a $3.8 million contract from the US Navy to develop and test a hybrid solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)–battery power system for large displacement unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) propulsion.

The project objective is to develop a refuelable power system with a high energy density suitable for undertaking long duration missions. The hybrid system will be capable of generating 1,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity over a 70 day mission with no extra-vehicular exhausts discharged at any point. The system will be self-contained and operate on liquid fuel without the need for an external air supply thanks to a unique oxygen storage technology.

FuelCell Energy (FCE) will collaborate with a consortium of partners to complete the project. Partially owned by FCE, Versa Power Systems will provide the SOFC stack; other partners include the Energy Systems Division of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Yardney Technical Products, Inc., Naval Underwater Warfare Center (NUWC), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

The funding covers the first phase of the project, which will last eighteen months and see development and laboratory testing of the propulsion system; successful performance should lead to a second phase award for the delivery, integration and real-world testing of the system in a UUV.

 

Reference: FuelCell Energy

Image: A REMUS 6000 UUV (Source: Waitt Institute)


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