Fuel Cell Technologies (FCT, Ontario) has been awarded a contract by the Government of Canada to deliver a pre-production fuel cell system for their diver heating application. The contract is for $277,000 over 12 months, with the deliverable being a compact, pre-production system for the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine.
This contract follows the completion in March 2001 of the proof-of-concept contract during which FCT successfully developed and demonstrated the diver heating prototype system, which is the latest in underwater energy systems. This fully integrated, small-scale, co-generation fuel cell system will deliver both thermal and electrical energy to divers underwater during long periods of decompression.
The FCT system will be a totally self-contained, compact unit that will be lowered to the decompression depth where divers will connect to the unit and stay warm during decompression. Because the system recovers both the electrical and the thermal output of the aluminum energy fuel cell, the overall energy density is equivalent to expensive silver-zinc batteries, and at a fraction of the cost.
"We're very excited about this program," said Mike Adams, FCT senior program manager. "Not only is the aluminum energy technology well suited for portable underwater applications but it is equally suited for other portable applications requiring high-energy densities."