Accession Number : ADA304112

Title :   Fuel Cell Air Independent Propulsion of Submarines,

Corporate Author : DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)

Personal Author(s) : Mart, Peter L. ; Margeridis, Jenny

PDF Url : ADA304112

Report Date : JUL 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 54

Abstract : Conventional diesel-electric submarines must surface periodically to recharge their batteries by using generators driven by air breathing diesel engines. During this time, submarines are most vulnerable to detection. Air independent propulsion (AIP) systems are being developed that will generate electrical power while the submarine is submerged. Such systems provide power for recharging the batteries, for propulsion and for the submarine's other electrical equipment requirements, while the submarine is submerged. Fuel cells, one of the leading AIP contenders, are electrochemical energy converters that enable the chemical energy of a stored fuel and an oxidant to be converted directly to electricity. This report reviews the main operational requirements of AIP systems in diesel-electric submarines, with the main objective of surveying the various types of fuel cell systems and ranking them in order of suitability for possible future use as AIP systems in the COLLINS Class submarine. Descriptions are given of the six fuel cell types currently in use or under development for terrestrial power generation, but particular attention is given to those systems that are in use or have the greatest potential for sub-sea applications. The particular advantages of fuel cells compared with heat engines are highlighted, as well as the limitations imposed by fuel requirements. It is emphasised that for submarine Alp applications, there is no single optimum selection of fuel cell system, or of the fuel and oxidant and their associated storage and reactant processing systems. Each submarine application must be assessed on the basis of a number of different, and sometimes competing, criteria which will be weighted differently for different applications and strategic scenarios. (AN)

Descriptors :   *FUEL CELLS, *MARINE PROPULSION, *SUBMARINE ENGINES, HIGH POWER, REQUIREMENTS, AIR BREATHING ENGINES, DIESEL ENGINES, LOW TEMPERATURE, OPTIMIZATION, INFRARED SIGNATURES, SUBMARINE EQUIPMENT, COMPARISON, VULNERABILITY, SHIP SIGNATURES, EFFICIENCY, COMPATIBILITY, ELECTROCHEMISTRY, RELIABILITY, MILITARY APPLICATIONS, STORAGE BATTERIES, ELECTRIC POWER, STRATEGIC WARFARE, ELECTROLYTES, AUSTRALIA, SUBMARINE DETECTION, SYSTEM SAFETY, ELECTRIC PROPULSION, ELECTRIC BATTERIES, ELECTRIC ENGINES.

Subject Categories : Electrochemical Energy Storage
      Submarine Engineering
      Electric and Ion Propulsion

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE