Hydrogen based technology aids critical “Silent Camp™” operations
Wallingford, CT – (October 15, 2008) – The U.S. Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) announced today that it has awarded Proton Energy Systems a $2.62 million contract to develop a Regenerative Fuel Cell System for “Silent Camp™” Operation. This fuel efficient, hybrid power system - based on the most advanced hydrogen technology – has the potential to provide the military with critical tactical and fuel efficiency benefits.
“Proton Energy Systems is pleased to team up with ERDC’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) on this cutting-edge technology,” said Rob Friedland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Proton Energy Systems. “Our mission has always been to apply these hydrogen fuel cell systems in creative, progressive ways that fulfill practical and environmentally sustainable needs. This energy storage system may enable our military to operate at higher fuel efficiencies, ultimately saving lives and money.”
Currently, noisy and inefficient diesel generators, requiring frequent maintenance, power most military base camp operations. ERDC-CERL is investigating the concept of a “Silent Camp™,” where traditional power production is integrated with quiet, environmentally sound fuel cell technology. Proton Energy Systems’ regenerative fuel cell technology may enable the military to operate its generators at higher efficiency points, and provide critical energy storage to capture the excess capacity. On the tactical side, the system could reduce logistics and the potential loss of life associated with high risk fuel transport operations. It could also provide backup power for extended operations if generators fail.
“Regenerative fuel cells represent an energy storage capability that has the potential to enhance our military’s capabilities, both in terms of tactical and fuel economy standards,” said Frank Holcomb, of CERL. “Government and industry partnerships like the one with Proton Energy Systems continue to be critical in moving fuel cell technology to be a viable alternative for both military and civilian benefit.”
Funding for this project was secured with the assistance of U.S. Senators Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman. Their commitment to the growth of hydrogen fuel cell technology – and its role in regional, national and global economies – is important to Connecticut and the entire U.S. Proton Energy Systems’ contract with the U.S. military has its basis in a January 2007 executive order issued by President George W. Bush, entitled Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management, which mandated that federal agencies conduct operations and activities in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound manner, while integrating efficient, sustainable practices.
As a result, Proton Energy Systems submitted a proposal in response to the ERDC’s Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) under the Innovative Efficiency and Energy Security Initiatives and Fuel Cell Technology Advancements topics. The focus of these research areas is to provide a platform for developing efficient, secure, and sustainable energy systems for Department of Defense installations at home and abroad.
About Proton Energy Systems
Proton Energy Systems designs and manufactures proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrochemical systems to make hydrogen from water in a zero pollution process producing safe, pure, reliable onsite hydrogen to meet today’s global hydrogen requirements. Proton Energy Systems has been developing and manufacturing world-class electrolysis systems since 1996, with more than 1200 units deployed world-wide, on every continent. With a reputation for building robust, reliable, and safe systems, federal, state, and commercial partners repeatedly seek the creative solutions that Proton Energy Systems has proven it is capable of delivering.
About U.S. Army ERDC-CERL
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the integrated Army Corps of Engineers' research and development organization. Seven labs located at four sites comprise ERDC: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, N.H.; Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), Champaign, Ill.; Coastal and Hydraulics, Environmental, Geotechnical and Structures, Information Technology Laboratories, Vicksburg, Miss.; and Topographic Engineering Center, Alexandria, Va. CERL conducts research and development in infrastructure and environmental sustainment. This research results in new technologies that help military installations provide and maintain quality training lands and facilities for Soldiers and their families. Many of these products also find use in the private sector. CERL represents a unique asset to the nation for research in civil engineering and environmental quality.