Engineering aspects of hydrazine-air fuel-cell power systems
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Over the last few years a number of fuel-cell power systems of various types and power outputs have been built by Shell Research Ltd. The first of these was a relatively primitive hydrazine-air system built in 1962.
The paper will trace the development of these power systems from 1962 to the present day. Emphasis will be placed mainly on the engineering design and development that have been needed to take advantage of the improved catalysts and electrodes. Thus, the methods devised to give adequate fluid flows will be outlined, the simplification of components will be considered and the design of ancillaries will be discussed.
Present-day fuel batteries have power densities of up to 130–150 W/kg (60–70 W/lb) and, even with commerically available auxiliaries, complete power systems having power/weight ratios of about 52 W/kg (24 W/lb) can be built. These figures are compared with the power densities of conventional electric generators, and future possibilities are discussed.
KeywordsPhysical Chemistry Power Output Fluid Flow Power Density Power System
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