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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Advanced Onboard Energy Storage Solution for Balloons

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Advanced Onboard Energy Storage Solution for Balloons, Phase I
Advanced Balloon Programs at NASA are looking for a potential 100 day missions at mid-altitudes. These balloons would be powered by solar panels to take advantage of the power generated by sun. But during these long duration flights there is a potential of having 12 hours or more of darkness. It becomes critical that there is an energy system on board which can take advantage of excess solar power and store it for the use during darkness. Since these are mid-altitude space crafts, the weight, reliability, and safety are all important criteria for selecting the right technical solution. In the Phase I project, we propose to use a novel Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) system combing non-flow-through fuel cell stacks based on ElectroChem's patented Integrated Flow Field (IFF) design and static-feed electrolyzers. This novel RFC system passively moves water and gas flow in a closed cycle and promises an advanced system to be compatible for gravity independent operation and significantly minimize the needs of ancillary components and parasitic power. This RFC system provides the solution on the system level to reach high system specific energy density by elimination of BOP components and reach 400 to 450wh/kg More »

Anticipated Benefits

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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