Portable Power Application

To the U.S. Army, PEM portable power systems offer attractive logistic characteristics with the opportunity for extended mission capabilities. In a PEM portable power system application, IFC's PWM concept increases system efficiency, reduces the quantity of reactants that must be carried, reduces the weight of the fuel cell stack and eliminates other system components. All increase power system portability and soldier mission effectiveness and reduce system cost. Figure 5 is a photograph of a 150-Watt hydrogen/oxygen "Soldier Cooling Power Module" under development by IFC for the U.S. Army. The complete system consists only of the PEM stack and the hydrogen and oxygen tanks with their regulators. The total weight of the entire delivery package is less than 4.5 kg (10 pounds) with gas supplies for 1200 watt-hours of operation. IFC has been selected to develop a derivative hydrogen air system.

Figure 5: 150 Watt Portable Power System

Direct methanol PEM fuel cell designs are in the early development stage. AtlFC.aDARPA funded program is directed at a 150-Watt, 600 Watt-hour person portable power module. The need is for individual soldier cooling and electronic warfare devices operational on logistic fuel. In this application, the primary driver is low system weight. Successful development may open broader applications in transportation and portable power. Figure 6 is a rendering of the methanol system. The program focuses on developing an understanding of critical operating issues. These issues include methanol cross-over and anode performance.

Blower

Condenser

Figure 6: 150-Watt Direct Methanol System

Fuel

Condenser

Stacks

Figure 6: 150-Watt Direct Methanol System

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