Oxygen Generator Cell Design for Future Submarines 961440
The extended deployment of strategic deterrent submarines necessitated the onboard generation of respirable oxygen through electrolysis of water. Proton exchange membrane cells capable of generating oxygen at up to 1,600 milliamperes per square centimeter of cell surface area are currently in production. Recent technical advances allow submarines to utilize higher differential pressure cell stacks to permit the direct discharge of system fluids at submerged pressure while maintaining breathing oxygen at ambient pressure. Further developments permit the direct electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide and the production of respirable oxygen in one electrochemical cell. This paper reports the improved performance of the upgraded SPE® electrolyzer configuration and preliminary performance data of the Submarine Advanced Integrated Life Support (SAILS) system for carbon dioxide reduction.