Fuel Cell Cooling Solutions

Our decades of experience pioneering heat pipe technology will help further the commercial viability of clean, renewable fuel cell power generation for our future.

Fuel cell technology is quickly becoming a viable alternative renewable energy option for transportation and residential power applications. Fuel cells use a chemical process to generate electricity from plentiful hydrogen — a process which generates excess heat. Aavid has a variety of advanced thermal solutions based on technologies including advanced solid conduction, heat pipes, cold plates, heat exchangers and isothermal furnace liners, developed specifically to solve heat management issues for nearly every fuel cell subsystem.

Aavid's ultra-thin (<1 mm thick) vapor chamber heat pipe can be fitted between the elements of a fuel cell to effectively maintain isothermal temperatures in the cell while extracting excess thermal energy. One of the principal users of this technology is NASA, whose spacecraft and satellite designs benefit from this space-saving, maintenance-free thermal solution.

Aavid's high-temperature heat pipe technology has also been applied to fuel cell thermal management for NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE). NASA uses titanium-water heat pipe technology to prevent Non-Condensable Gas (NCG) generation, one of the key challenges for fuel cell thermal management. Aavid performed thermal plane design, alternative materials development, design optimization and delivery of several titanium thermal planes to NASA.

Spacecraft onboard electronics cooling has proven to be an ideal application for planar titanium heat pipes, cooling today's miniaturized electronic components with heat fluxes that cannot be handled by pure conduction or direct forced convection cooling technologies. The same technology is also used in isothermal panels for heat radiation into space, and for CTE matching with titanium round heat pipes.