1990-07-01

Summary of Static Feed Water Electrolysis Technology Developments and Applications for the Space Station and Beyond 901293

The Static Feed Electrolyzer is one of the key technologies that are needed for meeting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission needs/goals for the near-term Space Station Freedom Program and future advanced missions such as Lunar Bases and Mars explorations. Oxygen and hydrogen are essential not only for the survival of humans in space but also for efficient and economical operation of various space systems. The Static Feed Electrolyzer technology is a very efficient tool for generating oxygen and hydrogen for various applications including propulsion, energy storage, life support and oxygen recharge for Extravehicular Activity.
Life Systems, Inc., in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has been developing an alkaline-based Static Feed Electrolyzer. During the development of the water electrolysis technology over the past 20 years, an extensive engineering and scientific data base has been assembled. Major break-throughs and improvements have been made on electrode performance, cell design, module construction, integrated ancillary mechanical components, packaging, maintainability and Control/Monitor Instrumentation hardware through years of design effort and thousands of hours of testing. As the supplier of the Oxygen Generation Assembly for the Space Station Freedom Program,
Life Systems is currently developing a four-person capacity subsystem. Life Systems has delivered a similar-sized unit for the Technology Demonstrator Program and is working on high-pressure (i.e., up to 41,370 kPa (6,000 psia)) electrolyzers applicable to Extravehicular Activity oxygen bottle recharge and propellent production. Based on the test experience with these pieces of hardware and the extensive data base, analyses have been performed to project the various Static Feed Electrolyzer hardware characteristics for potential missions beyond the Space Station Freedom.

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