MVS Fast Charging System
AeroVironment’s MVS is our multiple-port, multi-vehicle fast charge system, especially designed to lower utility costs for distribution, warehousing, and general manufacturing. An MVS800 can charge up to 16 industrial vehicles (e.g. tow tugs, baggage tractors, belt loaders, etc.) at the same time. This cost saving alternative to conventional charging makes implementing and using electric GSE vehicles more cost effective. The more vehicles charged at once, the greater the cost benefit. MVS systems are installed all across the world’s largest airports, as well as Fortune and Global 100 companies.
Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Integrated Battery Pack Program
Boeing contracted AeroVironment to design a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery system and build a prototype for their portion of the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) Program. Boeing, Oceaneering and Fugro partnered to develop the UUV, which is designed to map the ocean bottom at depths up to 10,000 feet and required a high power density battery system for economical operation. AeroVironment’s battery system consists of two rechargeable battery packs with integrated battery management and fast charging systems. Severe space constraints challenged AeroVironment to deliver a highly compact and efficient solution. The entire battery system was designed to fit into a 32-inch diameter by 44-inch long space and to weigh less than 2,100 pounds. The final design weight was 1,922 pounds.
Fuel Cell DC-DC Converter
AeroVironment developed and then validated this 60kW DC-DC converter in a hybrid fuel cell vehicle. Its primary function was to condition the fuel cell output to bridge the voltage difference between the fuel cell and the battery pack. Advanced buck-boost topology with high-frequency switching and use of direct lamination cooling technology resulted in high efficiency and high power density. This converter was designed with the following specifications: Specific power of 3.8kW/kg, Power density of 2.8 kW/l, High efficiency of 95%, High Quality DC output (very low ripple).
Fuel Cell Puma
The Fuel Cell Puma is a joint effort between AV, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) engineers, Protonex Technology (PTX) Corporation, and Millennium Cell (MCEL) for the development of advanced energy storage and propulsion technologies for unmanned aircraft. The hand-launched Puma weighs 14 lbs, including its onboard fuel cell system and single onboard camera. The hybridized proton exchange membrane fuel cell employs a lithium ion battery to provide peak power during takeoff and dash maneuvers; the fuel cell recharges the battery and provides continuous steady-state power for the plane and payload during cruise flight.
Puma achieved a five-hour flight in May 2007, a seven-hour flight in July 2007, and the recent nine-hour flight.
Fuel Cell Mineloader
The objectives of this project included developing a zero-emissions fuel cell equivalent to a Caterpillar-Elphinstone R1300 loader, as well as a mine-safe refueling system based on electrolysis of water. The system would then be evaluated for safety and productivity in an underground mine in Nevada. AeroVironment served as energy system integrator for the U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Cell Mineloader project. This included providing fuel cell balance of plant, battery pack and battery management design, hybrid control system and communication between battery pack and fuel cell system, power electronics (to tie in fuel cell, battery pack and motor), fueling from fuel storage, and interface with motor controller and other system components.
Fuel Cell System for Solar-Powered Airplane
In 1998 AeroVironment began working under contract to NASA to produce a fuel cell system for Helios, the 247-foot wingspan solar-powered airplane. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system would enable Helios to fly for six months continuously. As a result of the NASA work, AeroVironment acquired expertise designing the balance-of-plant, testing a large variety of fuel cell stacks, and performing system integration.
AeroVironment developed a state-of-the-art fuel cell monitoring system that includes proprietary software and incorporates proprietary Fuel Cell SmartGuards and BSC system. Fuel Cell SmartGuard is a 20-channel module that, when coupled with BSC, monitors voltage and temperature of each cell. Multiple SmartGuard modules are used to monitor large stacks. The energy storage system for Helios uses the sun to power a PEM electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen gases are stored in AeroVironment designed, lightweight high-pressure tanks. At night, the PEM fuel cell combines the hydrogen and oxygen to provide power for the aircraft propulsion, avionics and payloads.
Exoskeleton Fuel Cell
AeroVironment, as part of a design team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), provided the power generation and management system for Objective Force Warrior performance augmentation - an exoskeleton system. AeroVironment developed a battery pack in hybrid with a fuel cell-based electric power source to meet the exoskeleton’s energy needs. The basic architecture of the system includes a proton exchange membrane, hydrogen-air fuel cell as the base power requirement; a battery transient response module to supply system to address situations when the power requirements exceed that power deliverable by the fuel cell and in cases where the fuel cell response lags the load; and a safe method to generate hydrogen to the fuel cell. ORNL awarded AeroVironment the Small Business of the Year award for its part in the program.