Fuel Cell Power System (COTS) PROTONEX M300-CX Military Battery Charger / APU • High performance military power system • Output of 300+ watts of continuous power • Rigorous military qualification testing has already been performed on the COTS system • Modified for use in OOI systems • System to be housed in a water tight enclosure that can be installed in the provided buoy cavity • Will source fuel intake from a 1,000 liter reservoir housed in base of Buoy
Fuel Cells A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Protonex fuel cell uses a fuel which is a mixture of water and methanol to create electricity. The oxygen found in air is the oxidizing agent. Proposed fuel mixture is considered to be safe, compact and biodegradable.
M300 Adapted for OOI use 1,000 liter flexible bladder fuel reservoir Air intake with water baffle Fuel Cell in new sub-sea housing with external heat exchangers
Fuel Cell Mechanical Integration Installed Fuel Cell 1,000 Liter Fuel Bladder Heat Exchangers
Installation and Integration Testing Heat Exchanger Coil Fuel Cell Fuel Pump Fuel Bladder behind panel
Fuel Cell Test Status Fuel cell successfully integrated with buoy Power System Controller. Initial testing uncovered issues with condensate accumulation in the reformer heat exchanger housing. A drain was incorporated into the exhaust system to compensate. During well testing at the WHOI pier, sea water was able to back-flow into the exhaust system over an extended period of time. Failure analysis concluded a slight vacuum was being formed within the reformer during cool-down which resulted in in water being drawn into the system. Recent well tests resulted in a short within the Fuel Cell circuit card assembly. A failure analysis is currently underway to determine cause of failure.
Present Status and Plan Forward Protonex is investigating the cause of the recent electrical short within the system. The Fuel Storage System has been deployed on the Pioneer Array to test bladder for durability and integrity. A redesign of the water-tight enclosure is currently being explored by Protonex to reduce risk of water intrusion, estimated cost of $340K. A Preliminary Design Review and Cost Review is planned for week of 25 May. Budget Authority is estimated at ~$150K. Given an approved cost and schedule, the Redesign effort would include a series of Go/No Go dates limiting cost risk. Deployment of the Fuel Cell system currently is tentatively planned for Pioneer V array, October 2015.