Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Wants to Fit Unmanned Underwater Vehicles with Its Hydrogen Fuel Cells

September 21, 2022

Credit: Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen
Credit: Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen

Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen said Wednesday it was actively exploring new markets for its air-independent non-flow-through hydrogen fuel cells in the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) market.

"Infinity has been developing technology for this market with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research for several years. This is the next logical step to developing a commercial product," the company said.

In addition to military applications, UUVs are used for commercial applications such as oil and gas exploration, underwater infrastructure inspection (cables, pipelines, etc.) scientific research, and underwater salvage. 

Infinity also highlighted that the successful 2021 discovery of the Antarctic site of Robert Shackelton’s 1915 Endurance shipwreck was carried out with the help of an unmanned underwater vehicle.

The primary advantage of hydrogen fuel cell power in larger UUVs is the ability to extend underwater time to weeks or even months, Infinity said.

"Infinity is working on one design that will enable such vehicles to run missions up to 70 days long. This eliminates the major expense of tender boats required to frequently resurface and refuel UUVs powered by other more conventional fuels," the company said.

A dock-launched UUV powered by Infinity’s patented air-independent hydrogen fuel cell has the potential to save its commercial sponsor hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single mission, potentially paying for itself on its first use,” said Infinity CEO William F. Smith, adding that the company was "uniquely positioned to capture this market.”




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