Hands-on Seminar on Electrolysis and Fuel Cells for Life Support System Applications for Students at the University of Stuttgart
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At the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart, a hands-on seminar on electrolysis and fuel cells for Life Support System (LSS) applications is offered to the aerospace engineering master students. After an introduction of the electrochemical fundamentals of both, the electrolysis and the fuel cell process, the students learn about different fields of application. A special focus is set on LSS applications, e.g. oxygen production by water electrolysis. Additionally, terrestrial fields of application, e.g. fuel cell cars, are highlighted. After having learned all the basics, the students start their hands-on seminar by conducting their own experiments guided by the IRS staff. In a total of four experiments they learn about characteristic curves and efficiency levels of the different components. After the practical part, they write a report in which they evaluate their findings. Building on the knowledge gained throughout the seminar, they get a design task to calculate the baseline requirements for both, an electrolyzer and a fuel cell system to support humans in space. This paper introduces and summarizes the 2019 hands-on seminar on electrolysis and fuel cells for LSS applications and the results obtained by the students.