On-‐site gas generation firm secures $1.7M from U.S. Army TARDEC to develop larger hydrogen generation capability to support hydrogen vehicle fleets in Hawaii
Wallingford, CT – May 05, 2011 – Proton OnSite has been awarded Phase II of a contract from the U.S. Army’s Tank-‐Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) for $1.7 million to provide hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Hawaii, and to further increase the efficiency and output potential of future commercial hydrogen stations.
Proton OnSite, formerly Proton Energy Systems, was awarded a Phase I contract for $1.8 million in November 2008, which provided for the development and testing of a prototype electrolyzer system capable of producing 65kg of hydrogen a day. This system eventually became the platform for the SunHydro fueling station in Wallingford, Connecticut, the state’s first commercial hydrogen refueling station.
That project ultimately resulted in a five-‐fold increase in net hydrogen generation over Proton OnSite’s previous systems, and a significant decrease in the cost of hydrogen fuel for hydrogen vehicle deployments.
Phase II of the TARDEC contract will allow Proton OnSite to develop and build a fully commercialized configuration of the FuelGen® 65 Electrolyzer, improving on the efficiency and performance breakthroughs gained in Phase I.
The electrolyzer is planned to be installed in a hydrogen fueling station on an Army base in Hawaii in early 2012 and will be used to provide fueling infrastructure to the expanding fleet of hydrogen vehicles being deployed to the island of Oahu.
In addition, the Phase II project will enable Proton to develop a larger cell stack design, which will result in significant decreases in hydrogen production cost and enable at least another two-‐fold increase in net hydrogen capacity of future hydrogen refueling stations, including SunHydro stations, which are set to be built around the Northeastern United States.
Robert Friedland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Proton OnSite, says the capabilities developed in Phase I, and those being developed now in Phase II have resulted in “another step towards reducing the cost of hydrogen fuel for our military partners and for current and future hydrogen vehicle owners.”
This news comes as average U.S. consumer gas prices moved up to $3.96 a gallon last week according to government figures, up more than $1 from May 2010’s prices.
“Proton OnSite is proud to continue to partner with TARDEC to develop and deploy this critical hydrogen fueling capability in a high value demonstration in Hawaii,” says Friedland. “By working with TARDEC to develop fueling infrastructure that directly supports the Department of Defense’s goals for energy security and sustainability, we have been able to significantly improve the scale and efficiency of our commercial products that will ultimately benefit all Americans.”
Proton OnSite says that the installation of this new station, as well as other hydrogen infrastructure projects under development in the state will help develop Hawaii’s commercial hydrogen vehicle infrastructure. “We believe Hawaii is set to become the epicenter of hydrogen vehicle activity in the United States,” adds Friedland.
The signing of the Phase II TARDEC contract continues Proton OnSite’s partnerships with government agencies. In addition to the new $1.7 million TARDEC contract, Proton has also been awarded in excess of $1.3 million this year from other government agencies to support the development of its hydrogen production technology.
About Proton OnSite
Proton OnSite is a global leader in the design and manufacture of hydrogen energy and innovative gas solutions. Since 1996, it has been developing and applying hydrogen technology in creative and practical ways that best meet the diverse requirements of its customers. More recently, it has expanded its product offerings to include nitrogen, air and oxygen generators. It has also expanded its services to include packaged solutions incorporating tanks, compressors and other ancillary equipment. Its advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis systems coupled with its uncompromising attention to excellence and quality enables Proton OnSite to deliver, install and support gas generation units on every continent.