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Proceedings Paper

Light-Weight Electrochemical Converter For Space Power Applications
Author(s): Michael Hsu
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Paper Abstract

An innovative concept for space power systems utilizes an electrochemical-loop, which comprises a high temperature electrolytic cell and a low temperature fuel cell. In the electrolytic cell, the working fluid is electrolyzed using combined thermal and electrical input. The products of the electrolysis are recombined in a lower temperature fuel cell, generating more voltage output than required to operate the electrolytic cell. The excess electricity from the loop is available for external loads. The thermal energy can be made available from a nuclear reactor. The zirconia cells of solid oxide electrolyte under development by Ztek would serve as the high temperature electrolytic cell. The low temperature fuel cells, which are under development in various space programs, can be adapted for this system. Studies suggest that this system is a desirable light-weight option in meeting future space power needs. Recent technical advances in zirconia cell development have brought the hardware loop integration close to realization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 1988
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0871, Space Structures, Power, and Power Conditioning, (6 April 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.943634
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Hsu, Ztek Corporation (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0871:
Space Structures, Power, and Power Conditioning
Raymond F. Askew, Editor(s)

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