SAFCell and UltraCell to Develop Portable Power Unit for Army

27 Jun 2013

US-based SAFCell, Inc. has received a $1M grant to demonstrate a 50W wearable power unit for the dismounted warrior.

Under the Army Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, SAFCell’s proprietary solid acid fuel cell (SAFC) stacks will be integrated into UltraCell Inc.'s rugged, lightweight micro fuel cell systems and delivered to the Army for initial alpha testing in late 2014.

“This project will showcase how the fuel flexibility and robustness of our SAFC stacks are advantageous for military applications," said SAFCell CEO Calum Chisholm. “Moreover, working with UltraCell to produce the first stand-alone SAFC power systems will prove the commercial viability of our technology at a system level,” continued Chisholm.

“We are really excited to work with SAFCell’s technology, which allows the use of readily available fuels like propane,” said UltraCell General Manager and CTO Ian Kaye. “There are a wide range of applications for propane powered systems, and portable military is just the beginning,” said Kaye.

SAFCell, Inc. develops scalable solid acid fuel cell stacks for applications requiring tens of watts to tens of kilowatts. Operating at mid-range temperatures around 250°C, SAFCell’s stacks can tolerate fuel impurities that can cause problems for other fuel cell technologies. This allows SAFCell stacks to run more easily on commercially available gas fuels (e.g., propane and methane) or liquid fuels (e.g., methanol, ethanol, and diesel), thereby reducing the overall fuel cell system complexity and cost.

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