256. Fuel Cell Power Systems Design – Weight Aspects


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C K McBaine: 256. Fuel Cell Power Systems Design – Weight Aspects. 1960.



This paper was presented at the Nineteenth National Conference of the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers at Los Angeles, California, May 16 – 19, 1960. This paper reviews the fuel cell power system in its aspects of classification, application, and state of the art. More specifically, it evaluates the high-pressure, moderate-temperature hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell system by description and weight analysis. The weight analysis of the high-pressure, moderate-temperature hydrogen-oxygen system is presented and a comparison made with other power energy systems such as solar and nuclear, using for illustration a power of 1 kilowatt. A concept is suggested to evaluate power and energy systems on a comparable basis. These comparisons have been quite confusing in the literature. The weight analysis reveals a trade-off between fuel cell weight and fluid utilization for minimum system weight because the fuel cell minimum weight occurs under conditions where fluid utilization is not at a minimum.


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