U.S. Navy submarine designers needed low-pressure electrolyzers to produce breathing oxygen aboard submerged submarines. They found their solution from UTC Aerospace Systems in Windsor Locks, Conn.
Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division in Philadelphia announced a $42.8 million five-year contract to UTC Aerospace (formerly Hamilton Sundstrand) to supply low-pressure electrolyzers.
The low-pressure electrolyzer is a self-contained, electro-chemical, oxygen-generating plant for submarine life support service. UTC Aerospace produces the Integrated Low Pressure Electrolyzer (ILPE) that produces low-pressure oxygen for submarines and requires no high-pressure storage.
It has a capacity of 15 to 225 standard cubic feet per hour of oxygen, with power of 100 kilowatts, three-phase 440 volts AC of control power. The ILPE operates automatically enabling unattended operation, UTC officials say. The operator interface is via a color, touch-sensitive liquid crystal display with backup operation through a laptop computer.
The heart of the ILPE involves proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer technology, which uses electricity and distilled water as inputs to create pure breathing oxygen and hydrogen as a byproduct. Proton Energy Systems Inc. in Wallingford, Conn., provides the electrolyzer stacks for the ILPE.
On this contract UTC Aerospace will do the work in Windsor Locks, Conn., and should be finished by July 2021.
FOR MORE INFORMATION visit UTC Aerospace online at http://utcaerospacesystems.com, or the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Philadelphia at www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NSWC-Philadelphia.