DVIDS – News – Mechanical engineer NAVFAC EXWC obtains two patents; Provides new bases for refueling Navy cellular platforms
Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) is proud to announce that Benjamin Wilcox, NAVFAC EXWC Mechanical Engineer for the Shore Technical Department, has developed and obtained two closely related patents – a current and previous grant – under a request for continued prosecution (CPA).
The previous patent, entitled “Water supply system for unmanned underwater vehicles powered by fuel cell”, relates to a system of electrolysis with hydrogen and oxygen (process of using electricity to decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen gas) inside a pressure vessel. The uniqueness of Wilcox’s invention is twofold. First, the electrolysis system can produce and handle both hydrogen and oxygen gas at high pressures; Second, the previous patent provides a vital need for the refueling of Navy underwater fuel cell platforms, a technology that can be further developed as a complete refueling system for fuel cell platforms. .
In a version of the technology of the previous patent, the refueling system can be integrated with a non-flowing hydrogen and oxygen fuel cell (a closed system with no flowing fluid) in an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The result is a UUV with regenerative fuel cell propulsion capabilities – in simple terms, the refueling system is directly part of the UUV refueling operation through an electrical connection outside the UUV.
By adopting this technology, the process of refueling UUVs would be greatly simplified, and ultimately prompt the Department of Defense to invest in fuel cell UUVs for extended range and duration.
To date, mechanical engineers like Wilcox are looking to develop a long-range Navy-owned fuel cell refueling system. Ideally, this system would be interoperable for refueling fuel cell platforms and could establish standard technology that fuel cell platform developers would include as a contractual requirement in their platform delivery process. Not only would the refueling process be more streamlined, but the procurement and maintenance costs would be lower, saving taxpayer money while freeing up development funds for the fuel cell platform and the powered system itself.
This patent, entitled “Brine electrolysis system for the production of chlorine and hydrogen under pressure”, relates to a system for the electrolysis of chlorine and oxygen (the process of using electricity to decompose brine or salt water in chlorine and hydrogen gas) inside a pressure vessel.
Wilcox’s second invention can be further developed to provide a raw material for three-dimensional polyvinyl chloride printing technology. There is great interest in three-dimensional printing of spare parts and custom structures by expeditionary forces. If this technology could be realized, it would have the potential to greatly simplify the logistics of supplying spare parts in the field.
Each of Wilcox’s inventions produces gases at high pressures by placing the electrolysis system inside a pressure vessel, and in this arrangement the pressure of the gas is regulated by a water pump which replaces the need. gas compression.
“My interest in electrolysis systems dates back to when I was a graduate student at the University of California Davis in 2004. While visiting the engineering library, I read in the preface of ‘a hardcover volume of the Journal of Hydrogen that scientists had long imagined producing and storing hydrogen on the seabed at depth pressure,’ Wilcox said. “10 years later, this led to a meeting with colleagues from the NAVFAC EXWC Deep Ocean Simulation Facility (DOSF). Studying the use of the 72 inch DOSF pressure vessel to design hydrogen experiments on the seabed reminded me of when I was a student and reminded me of how these inventions originated in the origin and why I have always been interested in engineering. “
About the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC):
NAVFAC EXWC is a command of more than 1,300 dedicated federal employees, contractors and military personnel who provide scientific, research, development, test, evaluation, specialized engineering and mobile logistics capabilities to provide sustainable facilities and pragmatic expeditionary solutions to the combatant.
For more information on NAVFAC EXWC, please visit https://www.navfac.navy.mil/ or visit us on Facebook @NAVFACEXWC
|Date posted:||08.11.2021 18:09|
|Place:||PORT HUENEME, California, United States|
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