Fuel Cells, Components and Systems for Space Technology Applications
Francisco Javier Rodriguez Varela
Affiliation: Nanosciences and Nanotechnology Program, Cinvestav Unidad Saltillo, Av. Industria Metalurgica 1062, Parque Industrial Ramos Arizpe. Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, C.P. 25900, Mexico.
Keywords: Alkaline fuel cells, craft propulsion system, electronic controller, gaseous hydrogen fuel, manned craft, liquid
oxygen, pressurizing tanks, propulsion system, polymer electrolyte fuel cells, regenerative fuel cells, telecommunication
satellites, solid oxide fuel cells, spacecraft, space station, space vehicle fuel cell, unmanned craft, water-hydrogen mixture.
Advances in different components and configurations of fuel cells which have application in space technology
are presented in this work. A review of patents related to fuel cells, from materials to systems and their interconnection
with unmanned or manned space crafts, permits to evaluate the current trends in these highly efficient technologies. In
fact, it should be mentioned that fuel cells found their first technological application in the early Apollo and Gemini space
programs, where Alkaline and Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells were used as the power source. Since then, fundamental and
applied research has led to highly reliable and efficient modern fuel cell systems.
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