1989-07-01

A Fuel Cell Energy Storage System Concept for the Space Station Freedom Extravehicular Mobility Unit 891582

The paper gives an update on an advanced development effort carried out under NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA/JSC) NAS 9-17775 by Ergenics Power Systems, Inc. (EPSI). The work was initiated in April 1987 to design and build a Fuel Cell Energy Storage System (FCESS) bench-test unit for the Space Station Freedom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Fueled by oxygen and hydride stored hydrogen, the FCESS is being considered as an alternative to the EMU zinc-silver oxide battery. Superior cycle life and quick recharge are its main attributes. Design and performance of a non-venting 28V, 34 Ahr system with 7 amp rating are discussed. The FCESS is comprised of a 32-cell proton exchange membrane (PEM) stack, a metal hydride storage vessel and a control subsystem. The stack design incorporates passive product-water removal and thermal integration with the hydride vessel. The hydride vessel stores enough fuel for 5 hours. The control subsystem provides reactant pressure and flow regulation, automatic startup, shutdown and electronic protection against malfunctioning

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