Lockheed Martin awarded fuel cell contract
Lockheed Martin has announced that it has been awarded a contract with the Office of Naval Research for the design and development of solid oxide fuel cell generator set as an alternative to traditional battlefield power generation equipment. The company announced the contract, worth approximately $3 million, 8 August 2012.
The contract will see Lockheed Martin's fuel cell technology be integrated with solar panels, providing the US military with the power needed to perform missions while using dramatically less fuel.
According to the company, at the end of the 32-month development programme, Lockheed Martin will demonstrate and deliver a multi-kilowatt JP-8 compatible Fuel Cell Efficient Power Node for evaluation by the US Marines. The goal of the contract is to reduce overall fuel usage required for tactical electrical generation by 50 percent or more.
More than 100,000 military generators are used worldwide to power services from lighting and air conditioning to computers, radios, and command and control systems. Solid oxide fuel cells convert fuel into electricity using a chemical reaction that is 30 to 50 percent more efficient than the combustion engines used in diesel generators, which are the largest consumers of fuel on the battlefield today.
Because fuel cells require less fuel to create the same amount of power, they offer the potential to save billions of dollars in operational costs and to reduce the number of military casualties that are directly related to the delivery of fuel.
In 2011, Lockheed Martin became the ‘first company to continuously operate a solid oxide fuel cell generator set for over one thousand hours on standard DoD-supplied JP-8, and remains the only company to do so to date’, the company said in a statement.
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