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Rochester, Delphi win federal funding for fuel cell APU manufacturing

In the US, Rochester Institute of Technology and Delphi Corporation have secured $2.4 million in federal funding in fiscal 2009 appropriations for joint efforts to develop a cost-effective method to manufacture fuel cell auxiliary power units. With this initiative, project researchers believe Delphi’s work may lead to the first commercially produced solid oxide fuel cell being launched as early as 2012.

Delphi has developed a prototype SOFC which, it says, is capable of producing up to 40% more power than the traditional internal combustion engine. At the same time, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) engineers have been working to identify ways of minimizing fuel cell life-cycle costs.

Both organizations came together to merge their resources in order to develop a cost-effective way to mass-produce Delphi’s fuel cell technology.

The Delphi/RIT project is of keen interest to the US Department of Defense, which would like to eventually implement this technology into its equipment. In addition, the technology has significant potential for commercial applications.

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