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Fuel Cell Power System for Portable NDI Equipment

In partnership with the U.S. Air Force, pH Matter, LLC is developing an alternative power source for portable Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) equipment. Typical portable NDI equipment relies on primary or secondary (rechargeable) batteries for power. This reliance on batteries creates issues and shortcomings for many applications. pH Matter, LLC, is developing a direct alcohol fuel cell system that can provide power for NDI equipment without the need for batteries or an outlet. The fuel cell operates on an ethanol / water mixture to produce power. The relatively low-cost fuel mixture can be sourced locally, and easily disposed of. Unlike rechargeable batteries, the system can be refueled instantly with the high energy density fuel. In this paper, we review background regarding the fuel cell system design, expected operating specifications, the conceptual system design, and initial test results. We also discuss advantages/disadvantages of the fuel cell system compared to conventional battery power, including cost comparisons.

  1. Nortec 2000 Dual Eddyscope Operation Manual.
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