Reducing the Soldier’s Weight Burden with Portable Fuel Cells

Program 7 Project: Portable Power Generation recently achieved a major milestone with the development of a Field Fuel Cell (FFC). Working with DSTO and VCAMM, industry partner Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies designed and built a laboratory prototype FFC capable of producing 912Wh of energy. The FFC was developed to provide an in-field capability for charging the 24V batteries typical of those carried by ADF soldiers. On a 72 hour patrol, a soldier can carry up to 18 batteries weighing 65kg in total. The FFC can provide enough charging capacity to potentially reduce the battery weight burden for a 72 hour patrol by 45kg. Instead of storing hydrogen gas, the FFC utilises a liquid chemical feedstock from which hydrogen is extracted on the go, making it ideally suited for the rugged military environment.

Taras Wankewycz, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies commented that, “We are very pleased to work with Australia’s DMTC on reducing the battery weight burden of the modern soldier. We are confident our solutions will help extend mission endurance and increase soldier safety, often limited by today’s battery capacities”.

Posted by DMTC on May 28th, 2013