Jp-10 Fuel Cell Power System for Undersea Vehicles

Period of Performance: 04/06/2007 - 04/06/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Innovatek, Inc.
3100 George Washington Way
Richland, WA 99354
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Underwater vehicles will serve as strategic factors in integrated operations of future surface ships and submarines, providing a range of support functions. The Navy has specified that unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) act as force multipliers and risk reduction agents in the future. UUVs require high-energy sources that can be quickly replenished so that vehicle down time and labor time are minimized. For almost all U.S. UUVs onboard energy is commonly carried in the form of batteries. However, batteries generally fall short on range and stamina, imposing a constraint on the mission endurance and the payload. A solution for UUV power problems is a fuel cell that operates from hydrogen generated by fuel reformers from high energy density liquid hydrocarbons such as JP-10. InnovaTek proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of using its proprietary JP-10 InnovaGen® reforming technology tightly integrated with a Topsoe planar solid oxide fuel cell and a Lockheed Martin UUV platform to provide propulsive energy to power unmanned undersea vehicles. InnovaTek s proprietary catalysts and novel micro-structured designs will be used to achieve the Navy s challenging goals of energy capacity and specific energy for UUV applications.