2 December, 2002 - Hydrogenics Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems, announced Friday that the Company has delivered a regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power unit (APU) developed under contract by the U.S. Army for deployment and testing on army vehicle platforms.
This initiative with US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan, was initiated in response to the military's desire to explore alternative power sources to meet the increasing demands for electrical power to support digital equipment and extended silent watch requirements. As an alternative to the battery systems and diesel generators currently being used by the military, power generated from hydrogen fuel cells offers longer and quieter operation, zero emissions, faster recharge, improved cycle-life, reduced deterioration and better performance in cold weather.
Hydrogenics is one of very few companies that have demonstrated regenerative fuel cell technology -- hydrogen fuel cell systems that are in effect self-fuelling. The PEM electrolyzer module will recharge the hydrogen supply while the vehicle engine is operating. This will supply the hydrogen storage subsystem with sufficient fuel to operate the fuel cell auxiliary power system for up to five hours with a load of 3 kW average, and peak demand of 5 kW. For ease of transportability and deployability, the entire APU is comprised of individual modules for the fuel cell system, electrolyzer, and hydrogen storage. All three modules are unitized into a single, space-efficient package.
Going forward, Hydrogenics and TACOM will undertake a joint evaluation of the system on different vehicle platforms to assess performance, full-cycle characteristics, costs and feasibilities.