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Protonex award to further develop military solid oxide fuel cell systems

Massachusetts-based Protonex Technology has received confirmation of a contract award from the US Army, worth more than $1.4 million, to adapt its solid oxide fuel cell power systems so that they will run on alternative fuels.

Protonex says that this program will focus on SOFC units with a power rating of 500–1000 W, enabling them to operate on high-performance liquid fuels, including alternative, bio-derived butanol and biodiesel.

Under the terms of this two-year contract, Protonex is to further develop and advance its existing SOFC systems that run on liquid fuel options such as butanol, biodiesel, gasoline and kerosene.

This work is to focus on fuel processing, demonstrating mechanically robust stacks with high power density, and the optimization of a complete power generating unit – culminating in the demonstration of generator performance and service lifetime. At the end of the program, Protonex is to deliver two fuel cell systems to the Army for further testing and evaluation.

Development of these small SOFC units will provide the military with lightweight, extremely quiet and fuel-efficient systems that could be used as an auxiliary power unit (APU), portable generator or field battery-charger, to run equipment during field operations.

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