DuPont & SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG Develop First Portable Power System For U.S. Army

June 30, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

DuPont and SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG (SFC) announced that the M-25 portable fuel cell, which combines DuPont’s direct methanol technology with SFC’s fuel cell systems, products, and integration expertise, has been deployed for its first limited use in the field for the U.S. Army.

"DuPont is very pleased to collaborate with SFC on achieving this milestone," said Cindy Green, Vice President and General Manager, DuPont Fluoroproducts. "Our fuel cell technology represents a major breakthrough in portability that will benefit soldiers through significant weight reduction, while providing a prolonged source of power."

When worn by soldiers in the field for extended missions, the M-25 is said to be up to 80% lighter than conventional power sources, yet is capable of powering a wide range of soldier equipment, such as digital communication and navigation equipment. In addition to its light weight, the M-25 delivers quiet and continuous energy, and offers independent stand alone function such as remote area battery charging and power.

"The M-25 has the capability to revolutionize wearable portable power sources in the field by extending soldier-mission times to 72 hours and beyond," said COL Richard Hansen, Project Manager, Soldier Warrior, U.S. Army. "We want our Soldiers in the field to have the best equipment with the least weight to carry, and their gear must be powered reliably on missions. The M-25 is progressing well toward helping us realize this goal."

The field use of the M-25 fuel cell is part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Defense Acquisition Challenge Program (DACP), which was established to provide opportunities for the increased introduction of innovative and cost-saving technologies, products, or processes into existing Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition programs. DuPont and SFC were selected for this program in November 2005, and since then, DuPont and SFC fuel cells have successfully passed several important milestones. DuPont maintains a minority investment in SFC.

"We are extremely proud that this collaboration between DuPont Fuel Cells and SFC has brought the M-25 to market within two years," said Dr. Peter Podesser, Chief Executive Officer, SFC Smart Fuel Cell. "Our combined expertise has enabled us to meet DACP’s goals of introducing new technologies to DOD acquisition programs, while adapting some of the latest alternative-energy technologies to the Army’s needs."