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Regenerative SOFC Development for Aerospace Technology Platforms

MT

Montana State University/Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate

Stephen W. Sofie, Science PI, Montana State University - Bozeman

Dr. Serene Farmer, NASA Technical Monitor, Glenn Research Center

Here a graduate student, David Driscoll, works in the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) lab at Montana State University, where researchers are working to develop better high temperature SOFCs for use in space systems. The SOFC has many key advantages that make it stand out in the field of fuel cells. These capabilities make the SOFC highly versatile for: primary/secondary power systems, advanced life support, and in-situ resource utilization which may all be desired for a forthcoming Lunar return and Mars Exploration. This SOFC work was in collaboration with NASA’s Glenn Research Center as well as Boeing. The team has won over $550,000 in follow-on funding for continued research.

The goal of this proposed project was to develop and test novel anode materials that can mitigate the deleterious effects of electrode catalyst coarsening under the high operational temperatures of aerospace based fuel cells. The objectives of this project focused on two parallel paths to enhanced temperature catalyst stability to meet both the project goals and to enhance NASA developed SOFC technology. In addition, project objectives also included enhancing the testing capabilities of high temperature electrochemical energy conversion systems at both the single cell and small stack scale with advanced in-situ diagnostic methods. The achievements of this project are measured in not only the direct research outcomes, but also the growth of the MSU research capabilities that have enabled success in competitive grant support. These achievements include: a multitude of publications and presentations that were generated through the activities in this project, new testing capabilities that were established to test and evaluate larger scale fuel cell systems, many science and engineering outreach activities at local high and middle schools were facilitated by participating faculty to generate knowledge and interest in MSU/NASA technology development, numerous undergraduate researchers that have been integrated into NASA relevant materials and energy research, two PhD students graduated with dissertations that directly supported the project outcomes, collaborations with National Labs, Academic Institutions, and Industry that are continuing beyond the project duration, and finally $550,000 of competitive grant support was recently established through the results generated in this work.

www.nasa.gov/epscor/stimuli

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15

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EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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