GA, QinetiQ, and Jadoo Power Join Forces to Bring Efficient, Lightweight Power to Today’s Modern Soldier
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.
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