Design and Response of a Structural Multifunctional Fuel Cell

Report No. ARL-TR-4400
Authors: Joseph South; Daniel Baechle; Corydon Hilton; Daniel DeSchepper; Eric Wetzel
Date/Pages: March 2008; 34 pages
Abstract: Many U.S. Army systems, such as ground vehicles and fully equipped Soldiers, are comprised of multiple subcomponents which each typically perform unique functions. Combining these functions into a single, multifunctional component may reduce mass and improve overall system efficiency. Of particular interest are structural materials that also provide power-generating or energy-storing capacity and could provide significant weight savings over a range of platforms. In this study, structural fuel cells are proposed and evaluated. A structural multifunctional fuel cell system is designed so that material elements participating in power and energy processes are also carrying significant structural loads. This synergistic approach allows for mass savings through a multifunctional design. Fabrication and design details for this multifunctional system, as well as structural and power/energy performance results, are reported. Critical material properties and fabrication considerations are highlighted, and important technical challenges are identified.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2008