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ISRO’s Successful Test of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell on POEM3

Why is it in the news?

  • ISRO successfully tested a 100 W Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Power System (FCPS) on the orbital platform POEM3, launched aboard PSLV-C58 on January 1, 2024.

More about the news

  • Its objective is to evaluate Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM FC) functionality in space and gather data for designing systems for future missions.
  • During a brief test on POEM, the system generated 180 W of power using hydrogen and oxygen gases stored in high-pressure vessels.
  • Offered extensive data on the performance of static and dynamic systems within the power system, providing insights into the underlying physics.
  • With India proposing a space station by 2035, the Fuel Cell Power System (FCPS) payload could find applications in this ambitious space project.


About Hydrogen Fuel Cells

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Generate electricity directly from hydrogen and oxygen gases, producing pure water and heat as byproducts.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Operate on electrochemical principles, akin to batteries, as opposed to combustion reactions in conventional generators.


聽聽 About Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM FC)

  • Also known as proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
  • Utilize a proton-conducting polymer membrane as the electrolyte, typically using hydrogen as fuel.
  • Operates at relatively low temperatures and can quickly vary output to meet changing power demands.
  • Mainly developed for transport applications and also explored for stationary and portable fuel-cell applications.

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