Novel Hydrogen Storage Solutions for Space and Aerospace Applications
Novel hydrogen storage solutions are increasingly important for a number of future aerospace and space applications. The Aerospace Engineering Group of the fotec Forschungs- und Technologietransfer GmbH is presently developing an innovative hydrogen storage system based on high pressure hydrogen storage in microspheres. The hollow glass microspheres are loaded with up to 700 bar of hydrogen gas with a thermal process. The gas was released with a special heating wire. Such a system could be used as safety gas generator on satellites and airplanes. An additional space application for hydrogen filled microspheres seemed to be the use as additive in cryogenic liquid storage systems to enlarge the longtime durability. Further projects deals with new energy storage solutions to replace secondary batteries on satellites. We decided to approach this topic by directly coupling a fuel cell with a metal hydride based on Ti-doped sodium alanate. The power dissipation of the fuel cell can be used for desorption of hydrogen where heat is required, instead of being rejected by a heavy thermal control system. This advantage would be very interesting in order to obtain higher weight efficiencies which are especially important for space and submarine applications.