New Industry Products

Protonex Develops Fuel Cell APU for Military Operations

February 08, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Protonex Technology Corp. has developed a quiet, durable, energy-dense auxiliary power unit (APU) based on hydrogen fuel cell technology for use by the U.S. military as a refuelable power source. The system will provide 150 to 250 watts of power for electronic and communications equipment for U.S. forces, which may require several days of quiet power for a single mission.

The Protonex APU combines the company's state-of- the-art fuel cell system with Hydrogen on Demand® sodium borohydride fueling technology developed by Millennium Cell Inc. The system will be capable of replacing eight auxiliary batteries that currently supply silent power during missions.

The fuel cell system will eliminate the need for these heavy batteries and allow longer mission duration. The system will also reduce the need for idling vehicle engines to supply power, dramatically reducing detectable heat and noise signatures. Protonex systems are designed to meet the stringent specifications of the military, including wide operating temperature range (-20 to +50°C) and portability.

Scott Pearson, Protonex CEO, commented, "The need for this system and the demanding specifications are pushing our development teams to reach ever-higher goals for system size, weight and performance. This work with the U.S. military has presented us with the opportunity to leverage our learning from soldier power programs into applications such as silent watch and mobile robotics."