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Regenerative Fuel Cells, Energy Storage Systems for Space Applications
Image showing the Athlete rover with various types of energy sources in the left foreground.

The von Kármán Lecture Series: 11 & 12 April 2013

A recent thrust in the development of regenerative fuel cell systems has been led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Regenerative fuel cell systems provide energy storage at a scale that is larger than what is practical with advanced batteries. In a regenerative fuel cell system, energy storage is achieved via the electrolysis of water to hydrogen and oxygen gas during the storage phase. Consumption of gases then occurs during the energy generation phase, with the subsequent generation of water. It is envisioned that the energy for the electrolysis of water be supplied via solar power. The regenerative fuel cell systems can be used to power robots, mobility systems and human habitats.

This talk provides an introduction to fuel cells and regenerative fuel cell systems. It also highlights the features of this technology for enabling future NASA missions to the moon, near-Earth asteroids and Mars.

Speaker: Thomas Valdez, Senior Member Engineering Staff, Fuel Cell Group Lead, Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Last Updated: 17 April 2013

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Last Updated: 17 Apr 2013