FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 09, 2008
Collaborative fuel cell design reduces power system weight by 75%
San Diego, CA – General Atomics (GA), QinetiQ and Jadoo Power Systems, Inc. (Jadoo) have agreed to collaborate in the development of a lightweight fuel-cell-based power system for military applications. The goal is a system that has four times the energy density of the batteries currently used.
Tom Lechtenberg, Vice President of Power Systems at General Atomics said, “Thiscollaboration brings together fuel cell expertise with groundbreaking hydrogen generation technology. With this strong and committed group of companies we aim to deliver safe and instant power at just a quarter of the weight of current batteries.”
The power source is a hydrogen fuel cell fuelled by solid ammonia borane cartridges. Kevin Brundish, Business Group Manager for QinetiQ's power source business explained, “The hydrogen is stored in a solid chemical hydride, ammonia borane, that is then decomposed to produce hydrogen. The design allows cartridges to be replaced simply and quickly, so, as long as there is a supply of replacement cartridges, the fuel cell can operate indefinitely.”
At present, soldiers on extended missions must either have access to recharging facilities or carry extra batteries as replacements. Over a 72-hour mission a dismounted soldier can use up to
20 batteries, adding significant weight. Just two or three ammonia borane cartridges can provide all the energy that is required.
“Efficient, mobile power solutions are especially critical in military scenarios where a mission's success may depend on long-lasting reliable power,” commented Leonard R. Devanna, CEO and President of Jadoo. “This is particularly apparent for the modern infantry soldier where fuel cell systems can reduce weight and enhance sustainability over extended periods.”
Completion of the new system is expected by May 20, 2008 when it will be displayed at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, FL.
General Atomics, founded in 1955, specializes in diversified research, development, and manufacturing in defense, energy, and other advanced technologies. Affiliated manufacturing and commercial service companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which produces the Predator® family of unmanned aerial systems.
QinetiQ (pronounced “kinetic”) is a leading international defence and security technology business that was formed in July 2001 from the UK Government's Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA). QinetiQ has approximately 13,500 employees who deliver technology-based services and exploit QinetiQ's strengths in technology research by selling systems solutions, products and licences to government and commercial customers in a spectrum of defence, security and related commercial markets.
Jadoo Power Systems, Inc. develops and sells next-generation energy storage and power generation products for the portable and mobile power markets. The Company’s patented interface technology combined with its modular architecture enables the integration of advanced fuel cell and fuel technologies into award winning-products.