Space Station Life Support Oxygen Generation by SPE® Water Electrolyzer Systems 860949
Life support oxygen generation by water electrolysis is being considered for the Space Station program. On board oxygen generation from reclaimed water would be a major step toward closing the life support loop. An SPE electrolyzer, within which solid polymer membranes are the sole electrolyte, is a candidate for Space Station life support oxygen generation. The SPE electrolyzer, of the type currently qualified and in use for life support in nuclear submarines, has been modified for use in the zero gravity space environment. The proposed SPE electrolyzer configurations have addressed the difficulties of two phase separation and minimization of maintenance. Two variations of SPE electrolyzers are described. One for supplying oxygen and hydrogen at a few hundred psi for use within the space habitat, and one for supplying 3000 psi oxygen for the extravehicular mobility unit.