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AEROSTAK is a complete power device that includes a PEM fuel cell stack, aerospace-grade control electronics, shock-resistant casings with integrated air cooling fans, and LiPo-compatible hybrid electronic cards. These fuel cell systems will give 100% power autonomy to your carbon-free, hydrogen-electric flight!
Conventional PEM fuel cells (closed anode / closed cathode) always require the use of a cumbersome and heavy humidification units in order to humidify the reactants and maintain the hydration of the cation exchange membrane. Furthermore, conventional fuel cell systems use active power management circuitry, which also adds some additional weight. Existence of all of these BOP components in conventional PEM fuel cell systems prevented their use for aerospace applications such as fixed-wing or multi-rotor drones, UAVs, or other smaller aircrafts.
HES Energy Systems has been actively investigating how to use PEM fuel cell systems for robotics applications such as fixed-wing or multi-rotor drones, UAVs, or other smaller aircrafts in order to increase their endurance (also known as flight time) and energy autonomous nature in the last decade. The desired breakthrough came after the optimization of the fuel cell stack operation and selection of correct components for the fuel cell stack hardware. The advanced fuel cell control algorithm and passive power management architecture developed by HES Energy Systems enabled an automated fuel cell stack conditioning process to maintain the hydration of the cation exchange membrane without an external humidifier. Passive power management architecture enabled the use of power dense LiPo batteries in the hybrid configuration with the aid of lightweight electronics controllers. These two features greatly reduced the weight of the entire fuel cell systems and open the pathway for their use in robotics applications. Furthermore, use of advanced membrane electrode assemblies, automated fuel cell stack conditioning, advanced power management architecture via integration of a hybrid LiPo battery increased the operational lifetime of these systems to 1000 hours. All of these advancements makes the HES fuel cell products the most power dense PEM fuel cell stacks in the world and ideally suited for aerospace applications.
HES' AEROSTAK A-250 fuel cell system is the state-of-the-art PEM fuel cell power generator that is designed to produce DC electrical power for various unmanned robotics applications such as fixed-wing UAVs or drones, multi-rotor drones, vertical take-off and landing UAVs or drones, or any other aerospace platforms. The AEROSTAK Series is the flagship suite of fuel cell systems and the culmination of more than a decade of cutting edge R&D done by HES Energy Systems. Every AEROSTAK fuel cell is made of the best quality components and membrane electrode assemblies (that are specifically designed for aerospace applications) to ensure the highest power output in the smallest form factor.
A-250 system produces a nominal power of 250 W and a peak power of 300 W. Furthermore, it is designed to work with a hybrid LiPo battery module in order to supply electrical energy to the external load in an uninterrupted fashion.
✔ 37-cell ultra lightweight metallic-plate based fuel cell stack with overall stack voltage monitoring feature
✔ Electronic controller
✔ Heat management system (integrated cooling fan)
✔ Fuel supply system (solenoid valves, gas pressure sensor, gas tubing and connector)
✔ On-off push button
✔ Power and signal cable
✔ Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) report
✔ Heavy-duty storage case
• Stack Rated Nominal Power: 250 W
• Stack Peak Power: 300 W
• Stack Voltage Range: 22.2 V - 35.2 V
• Stack Current Range: 0 - 13.5 A
• Start-up Time: <30 s
• Operating Ambient Temp.: 0 - 35 °C
• Total System Weight (dry): 730 g
• Fuel Cell System Size (with casing): 110 × 120 × 124 mm
• H2 Purity Required: Dry, 99.999% purity
• H2 Input Pressure: 0.6 bar to 0.8 bar
• H2 Max Consumption: <3.8 L/min
• Supply & Purge Control: Solenoid valves with integrated pressure sensor
Hand or shoulder launched fixed-wing UAVs
Catapult launched fixed-wing UAVs
Regular fixed-wing UAVs that needs a runway
This fuel cell system requires the use of 7S LiPo battery (>100C discharge rated). The ultra-lightweight feature of AEROSTAK A-250 fuel cell system comes from the elimination of bulky and heavy external humidifiers needed for PEM fuel cell technology. An automated fuel cell stack conditioning protocol maintains the hydration of the membrane. During the stack conditioning event, fuel cell system briefly gets disconnected from the load (approximately 100 milliseconds). A small LiPo battery needs to be used to provide electrical energy to the load during the stack conditioning event.
The ultra-lightweight AEROSTAK A-250 fuel cell system works in tandem with the power dense Hybrid LiPo battery. During the startup of the fuel cell, the Hybrid LiPo battery provides the electrical energy to initialize all the electronics. For the power demand up to 250 W, the electrical energy is solely supplied by the fuel cell stack. For events such as take off and emergencies that demand more than 250 W for short durations, LiPo battery provides all the electrical energy needed. For the most efficient use of this tandem power architecture, it is suggested that fuel cell stack to be used for cruising part of the flight and Hybrid LiPo battery to be used during take-off and short duration emergencies. Additionally, during the nominal power operation, PEM fuel cell system not only provides power to the external load, but it also recharges the LiPo battery module at the same time.
Typical lead time of 6 - 8 weeks to be expected.
|Fuel Cell Properties|
|Number of Cells||37|
|Rated Power||Nominal Power: 250 W, Peak Power: 300 W, Stack Voltage Range: 22.2 V - 35.2 V, Stack Current Range: 0 - 13.5 A|
|Starting Temperature||0 - 35 °C|
|Storage Temperature||20 - 25 °C|
|Reactants||Hydrogen & Air|
|Ambient Temperature||0 - 35 °C|
|Hydrogen Pressure||0.6 - 0.8 Bar|
|Cooling||Air (integrated fan)|
|Stack Weight (with Fan & Casing)||730 g (dry)|
|Hydrogen Flow Rate at Max Output||< 3.8 L/min|
|Stack Size||110 X 120 X 124 mm|
|Hydrogen Purity Requirement||99.999% (dry H2)|
|Start up time||< 30 s (ambient temperature)|
|External Power Supply||7S|
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