31 agosto 2009

Apollo Command Service Module Fuel Cell (1969)

Apollo Bacon-type fuel cell A group of Apollo Command Service Module Fuel Cell Assemblies manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Corp under subcontract for North American Aviation (NAA) arrayed as they would have been installed onboard an Apollo Spacecraft; 3 of these cells were employed to generate primary power and and potable water for the Command Module. This sub-collection of Fuel Cell, is comprised of operational (production representaive units) delivered for the Apollo Command Service module and one Simulator (identified as Serial Number 1 on its label plate), which has been modified to support ground simulation testing; outside the addition of the simulator interface, it is identical to production models employed on the CSM. Each of the assemblies measures 44 inches high, 22 inches in diameter, and weighs 245 pounds; and were designed for installation in Sector (Bay) 4 of the SM. Primarily constructed of titanium, stainless steel, and nickel, the Fuel Cells are rated at 27 to 31 volts under normal loads. There are 31 separate cells in a stack, each producing 1 volt, with potassium hydroxide and water as electrolyte. Each cell consists of a hydrogen and an oxygen electrode, a hydrogen and an oxygen gas compartment and the electrolyte. Each gas reacts independently to produce a flow of electrons. The fuel cells are nonregenerative. They are normally operated at 400 degrees F with limits of 385 and 500 degrees. Water-glycol is used for temperature control. The fuel cells use hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen under regulated pressure to produce power and, as a by-product, water. Detailed discussion of functionality is addressed in the following paragraphs. The Bacon-type fuel cell powerplant, was configured in a cluster of 3 systems to comprise the CSM power plant; each cell individually coupled to a heat rejection (radiator) system, the hydrogen and oxygen cryogenic storage systems, a water storage system, and a power distribution system. The powerplants generate dc power on demand through an exothermic chemical reaction. A byproduct of this chemical reaction is water, which is fed to a potable water storage tank in the Command Module (CM) where it is used for astronaut consumption and for cooling purposes in the environmental control subsystem. The amount of water produced is proportional to the ampere-hours.


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