The US Navy has selected AlumiFuel Power (API) to carry out research and development of its hydrogen-generation technology to power future unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV).
The first phase of the research will focus on the development of a refuellable hydrogen-generating system by using solid fuel cartridges. It will include the demonstration of the continuous delivery of fuel-cell grade hydrogen for eight hours.
As per the navy requirement, underwater vehicles with higher power sources provide a wide range of support functions including autonomous surveillance, mine countermeasures and special forces transport.
The navy has chosen fuel cells for mission energy requirements, which can reduce the host vessel logistics burden if the fuel and oxidizer can be stored in a high energy density format.
Ingenium Technologies, the prime contractor for the project, will develop the overall design of the UUV hydrogen generator in cooperation with Drexel University.