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A Boost of Energy for Service Robots 350 Watt Fuel Cell System for grid-independent electricity supply

Mobile service robots are a future-oriented market product. Autonomous vacuum robots are already commercially available on the market. Service robots are finding their place, not only as household devices or lawn mowers, but also in medical and security fields.

An important prerequisite for their continued market penetration is finding innovative solutions to meet the high energy consumption. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, the Fraunhofer for Solar Energy Systems ISE developed an electrical power supply for robots, which is based on fuel cells. These and other developments from the business area "Hydrogen Technology" at Fraunhofer ISE are being presented at the Hanover Trade Fair from 16-20 April.

Powerful portable electricity supply systems in the range of several hundred watts are essential for the development of service robots. Today, rechargeable battery technologies cannot meet the energy demand of such applications in a satisfying way. Two Fraunhofer Institutes present a new solution: Fraunhofer ISE developed a hydrogen-based 350 Wel fuel cell for a robot platform which was designed by Fraunhofer IAIS. Achieving an energy efficient operation as well as an optimized thermal management were the main factors here.

Grid-independent electricity supplies with long operating times are not only required for the field of service robotics, but also for telecommunication systems, signal systems, measurement stations as well as small electric vehicles. Fraunhofer ISE develops compact and automated fuel cell systems with a nominal power range between10 Wel and ca. 500 Wel. The researchers in Freiburg focus on membrane fuel cells for operation with hydrogen, reformate gas, chemical hydrides, methanol or ethanol. The stack concept, developed at Fraunhofer ISE, ensures reliable operation even for long lifetimes. The system technology permits a flexible integration for a variety of different applications.

Hanover Trade Fair, 16-20 April 2007
Stand of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance
Hall 13, Stand E27
Contact Persons for Further Information
Project Leader
Dr. Carsten Agert, Fraunhofer ISE
Phone: +49 (0) 7 61/45 88-53 46
Fax: +49 (0) 7 61/45 88-93 42

Karin Schneider | idw
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