Navy to power unmanned underwater vehicles with fuel cell stack technology from Delphi

NEWPORT, R.I., 26 Jan. 2010. U.S. Navy undersea technology researchers are set to award a sole-source contract to Delphi Corp. in Troy, Mich., for a 30-cell solid oxide fuel cell stack (SOFC) system to power unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) applications.

Posted by John Keller

NEWPORT, R.I., 26 Jan. 2010. U.S. Navy undersea technology researchers are set to award a sole-source contract to Delphi Corp. in Troy, Mich., for a 30-cell solid oxide fuel cell stack (SOFC) system to power unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) applications.

To negotiate the sole-source contract are undersea researchers at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport (NUWCDIVNPT) in Newport, R.I.

A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that produces electricity from a fuel tank by producing a reaction between the fuel and an oxidant. Fuel cells can operate virtually continuously as long as the necessary flows are maintained.

The Navy is awarding the contract to Delphi sole source because researchers find that solid oxide fuel cell stack technologies from other companies have shown either unacceptable levels of gas leakage, lower power density, or too high an operating temperature, Navy officials say.

Delphi experts will supply the 30-cell solid oxide fuel cell stack, set-up and initiate fuel processor testing, and do post run autopsy and analysis of the stack.

For more information contact the Naval Undersea Warfare Center online at www.navsea.navy.mil/nuwc/newport/, or Delphi Corp. at http://delphi.com.

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