HYDROGEN STORAGE SOLUTIONS IN SUPPORT OF DOD WARFIGHTER PORTABLE POWER APPLICATIONS

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From Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to cell phones our high-tech world, today, is demanding smaller, lighter weight and higher capacity portable power devices. Nowhere has this personal power surge been more evident than in today's U.S Warfighter. The modern Warfighter is estimated to carry from 65 to 95 pounds of supplies in the field with over 30 pounds of this dedicated to portable power devices. These devices include computer displays, infrared sights, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), night vision and a variety of other sensor technologies. Over 80% of the energy needed to power these devices comes from primary (disposable) batteries. ... continued below

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Motyka, T. January 6, 2009.

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From Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to cell phones our high-tech world, today, is demanding smaller, lighter weight and higher capacity portable power devices. Nowhere has this personal power surge been more evident than in today's U.S Warfighter. The modern Warfighter is estimated to carry from 65 to 95 pounds of supplies in the field with over 30 pounds of this dedicated to portable power devices. These devices include computer displays, infrared sights, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), night vision and a variety of other sensor technologies. Over 80% of the energy needed to power these devices comes from primary (disposable) batteries. It is estimated that a brigade will consume as much as 7 tons of batteries in a 72 hour mission at a cost of $700,000. A recent comprehensive study on the energy needs of the future warrior published by the National Academy of Science in 2004 made a variety of recommendations for average power systems from 20 to 1,000 watts. For lower power systems recommendations included pursuing science and technology initiatives focused on: (1) 300 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) secondary battery technologies; (2) smart hybrids; and (3) fuel cells (with greater than 6 wt% hydrogen storage). Improved secondary (rechargeable) batteries may be the ideal solution for military power systems due to their ease of use and public acceptance. However, a 3X improvement in their specific energy density is not likely anytime soon. Today's Lithium Ion batteries, at about 150 Wh/kg, fall well short of the energy density that is required. Future battery technology may not be the answer since many experts do not predict more than a 2X improvement in Lithium battery systems over the next 10 years. That is why most auto companies have abandoned all electric vehicles in favor of fuel cells and hybrid vehicles. Fuel cells have very high specific energy densities but achieving high energy values will depend on the energy density and the storage method of its fuel. Improved methods of safely and efficiently storing larger amounts of hydrogen will be a key development area for portable fuel cell power systems. Despite their high potential energy, fuel cells exhibit low power densities. That is why many systems today are going hybrid. Hybrid systems typically combine low energy and high power components with high energy and low power components. Typical configurations include capacitors and fuel cells or batteries and fuel cells. If done correctly, a hybrid system often can have both high energy and high power density even higher than any of the individual components.

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  • Journal Name: Weapon Systems Technology Information Analysis Center Quarterly

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  • Report No.: SRNL-MS-2009-0001
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 972208
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932017

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 6, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 3:57 p.m.

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Motyka, T. HYDROGEN STORAGE SOLUTIONS IN SUPPORT OF DOD WARFIGHTER PORTABLE POWER APPLICATIONS, article, January 6, 2009; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932017/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.