Power Electronics

Micro Fuel Cell System Receives Army Funding

UltraCell has announced that it has received a contract award from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center’s (CERDEC) Army Power Division to accelerate development of the XX25, a 25-W reformed methanol fuel cell, for use as a soldier power device.

The contract will drive advanced system design for the UltraCell unit to operate in extreme operating temperature and withstand severe shock and vibration and other Mil-Spec required environments. In addition, the XX25 has up to a 75% weight advantage over currently available military rechargeable batteries, based on a 72-hr mission at 20 W.

Longer missions at higher power levels will show greater improvements. The XX25 also reduces operational costs through the reduction of throwaway primary batteries and the logistical burden of recharging batteries.

“This award reflects the continued advancement of the technology readiness level of the XX25,” noted Beth Bostic, CERDEC Fuel Cell Team Leader, “and the continued commitment of CERDEC in the development of soldier power fuel cell units for military adaptation and transition.”

In addition to the military’s field testing of the XX25, UltraCell is now accepting lead beta site customers in critical markets for testing a commercial version, the UC25.

“We are encouraged by the continued interest of CERDEC and the U.S. military in the XX25,” said James Kaschmitter, CEO of UltraCell, “It supports our current efforts to bring the unit to full production later this year, and the UC25 commercial version, early next year.”

Both the XX25 and UC25 will be able to run a ruggedized laptop computer for up to three working days on a single fuel cell cartridge. It will run other portable electronic devices for emergency responders, operating off simple and inexpensive methanol cartridges. The XX25 and UC25 can also be configured with large volumes of fuel for weeks of runtime in stationary applications such as remote video monitoring.


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