Cogeneration power and cooling for an army mobile system

This paper was presented at the IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference in Glasgow (Sept. 2004). With the US army's ongoing need to make systems smaller, lighter, quieter and more efficient, new technologies to meet these needs are continuously being investigated. The use of heat actuated cooling coupled with a fuel cell represents a feasible approach to meet the US army's power and cooling needs in the future. This innovative technology, which combines absorption cooling with effective fuel cell power sources to reduce logistic fuel burdens while increasing mobility and silent operation capability, provides a key solution towards creating a feasible mobile power/cooling cogeneration system. State-of-the-art absorption cooling is available due to breakthroughs in micro scale heat exchanger technology developments, which can result in very small systems with very high efficiencies. When coupled with the recovered thermal loss of a fuel cell, a mesoscale absorption heat pump can provide cooling on a very small scale and at a very high efficiency. According to the authors, this type of cogeneration unit can achieve net fuel efficiency up to 70% and can reduce both weight and size by factors of 20%. The system must still overcome technical barriers but the concept has been proved to be feasible in a lab at the component level and will continue to be investigated. Source: 6th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Natural Working Fluids Conference, Conference papers from Day 1 Sessions 1&2, 2/B/4.50. Authors: Dr. A. S. Patil, F. Calkins, N. Sifer. You can order the proceeding CD-ROM of the Glasgow conference by clicking here.