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    Hydrogen Fuel Cells Being Developed to Power Underwater US Navy Drones

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    The next generation of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV) for the US Navy are being developed with a power source originally created in an attempt to make environment-friendly cars that emit no carbon, the US automaker General Motors (GM) said in a press release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Naval Research Laboratory, recently concluded an evaluation of a prototype UUV equipped with a GM fuel cell at the heart of the vehicle powertrain, the release noted.

    "Under the ONR’s [Office of Naval Research] Innovative Naval Prototype program for large displacement UUVs, energy is a core technology in the Navy’s goals for vehicles with more than 60 days endurance," the release stated on Thursday.

    The project is a joint venture between General Motors, ONR and the US Naval Research Laboratory, according to the release.

    In this artist's rendering, a thick accretion disk has formed around a supermassive black hole following the tidal disruption of a star that wandered too close.
    © NASA . Swift/Aurore Simonnet, Sonoma State University

    Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen from sources like wind and biomass stored for later use. Once converted to electricity, water vapor is the only emission, while recharging takes only minutes.

    The development of cars powered by fuel cells is limited by the lack of infrastructure to produce and distribute hydrogen, especially compared with other fuel sources such as natural gas and a rapid expansion of electrical recharging stations.


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    energy, drones, Office of Naval Research (ONR), US Navy
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