Protonex Technology Corp. announced that it has been awarded a $3.5 million contract with the US Army Research Office to develop a 250W portable fuel cell power source which the company claims is significantly smaller, lighter, quieter and more efficient than alternative battery or generator systems. The system will include a methanol reformer and will initially target military applications such as field battery charging and auxiliary power. This contract is the largest Protonex has received to date, and brings the total program value of the company’s secured government development or joint development contracts to more than $11 million.
Under the terms of the contract, Protonex will rapidly evolve its current 250W fuel cell system and methanol reformer prototypes into an integrated, mission-specific and ruggedized fuel cell power source for use by the US Army, Special Operations Command and Marines. The $3.5 million award will cover a comprehensive 12-month program of continued development, low-volume production and initial product delivery for customer field testing. Protonex will also use the funds to lay the groundwork for utilizing other fuels, including propane, military diesel and biodiesel, in future fuel cell power systems.
"This contract represents major customer support for our previously announced line of reformer-based fuel cell products. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to provide US soldiers with significantly enhanced power and mission capabilities," stated Scott Pearson, CEO, Protonex. "We also expect to leverage this funding and other advanced product development work into our core products for both military and commercial customers."