Honeywell Partners with DOE for Fuel Cell Sensors

April 04, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Four development teams from Honeywell Sensing and Control (Freeport, NJ), a unit of Honeywell International Inc. (Morris Township, NJ), are on schedule to master fuel cell technology development in a cooperative venture with the US Department of Energy. In December 2002, the governmental department awarded Honeywell a $1.5 million grant to develop sensors that provide better control in a demanding fuel cell environment.

"This is not a good environment for sensors," said Steve Magee, senior program manager for Honeywell Sensing and Control. "Fuel cells must run at a high humidity and the sensors have to work in higher temperatures. Hydrogen is also a very different gas to work with."

Honeywell's technology is focused on the stationary and mobile areas, primarily vehicles and generators for home and commercial use. The team has a working specifications framework and has entered the Alpha level, or first level of testing. The design phase is scheduled to conclude at the end of this year, with a final prototype due by November 2004. A formal demonstration of the finished product is set for January 2005, and field testing and reports will be sent to the government in October 2005. Honeywell is hoping to bring products to market for stationary fuel cell products in 2006, while the best-case scenario for the automotive market is 2012.