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15 May 14. UTC Aerospace to continue work on UUV energy-dense PES propulsion system. The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has contracted UTC Aerospace Systems to continue work on the unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) energy-dense PES propulsion system programme. As part of the long-endurance undersea vehicle propulsion (LEUVP) energy programme, UTC’s ISR and Space Systems team will now start on the next follow-on development phases of a proton-exchange membrane based fuel cell energy system (PES). The LEUVP programme aims to complete a demonstration at technology readiness level (TRL) six.
“We feel that we are well-placed with our partners to deliver a proven option to ONR and the US Navy on this programme.”
UTC Aerospace Systems space systems general manager Allen Flynt said: “The fuel cell hardware design selected for the LEUVP programme is identical to that being used for our qualified fuel cell power module on the Spanish Navy’s S-80 submarine.
“With this heritage we feel that we are well-placed with our partners to deliver a proven option to ONR and the US Navy on this programme.”
The follow-on phases will focus on the design and development of a safe, reliable and affordable PES for installation onto a 21in diameter UUV. The PES would replace existing battery systems and is expected to provide a greater range and operational flexibility to the US Navy. During the previous development phase, the PES system was successfully tested for over 30 hours using an integrated cryogenic reactant system and fuel cell power plant. This provided 42kWh of energy over a power range of 100W to 3800W. The system features a qualified fuel cell stack design, simple balance of plant and dense reactant storage. It is scalable, can be incorporated into larger displacement autonomous underwater vehicles and delivers the operational capability required for future UUV missions. (Source: naval-technology.com)
12 May 14. US Navy collaborates with Purdue University on advancing alternative energy use. The US Department of the Navy and Purdue University have partnered, aiming to transfer around half of the Navy and Marine Corps’ energy usage to alternative sources such as biofuels by 2020. The collaboration will study efforts aimed at improving energy conservation, renewable-energy generation and the implementation of energy efficient technologies in all applications. US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said that the department and Purdue have a deep interest in working together to reduce reliance on carbon-based fuels and energy sources. “Not only does this help decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, it makes our Navy and Marine Corps a better warfighting force,” Mabus said. “With a consolidated Navy and Marine Corps effort, we will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, reduce our tactical and strategic vulnerabilities, increase our combat capability, and make the Department of the Navy a government leader in energy reform.” Purdue president Mitch Daniels said that the deal will promote more efficient production and refine advanced biofuels. “We also will pursue agricultural and other biobased feedstocks that will ensure the most economically viable production of advanced alternative fuels,” Daniels added. As part of the deal, Purdue will also set up the Purdue Military Research Initiative to offer free graduate education for around 10 active-duty officers across all divisions of the US military on renewable energy, alternative fuels and energy technologies. (Source: naval-technology.com)