Micro-Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers for UAVs 1999-01-1371
Developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with an electric propulsion system that combines photovoltaic modules with an energy storage system has been an ongoing goal of the aeronautics community. A closed-loop energy storage system using a fuel cell and electrolyzer will enable the UAV to operate at high altitudes (> 20 km) and for mission durations over a year. However, the specific energy of the energy storage system must be increased beyond present 150W-hr/kg levels. A high capacity fuel cell and electrolyzer unit under development at Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) is aiming to improve the energy storage capability to values much greater than 500 W-hr/kg.