Protonex Developing Fuel Cells for Underwater Unmanned Systems

By Caroline Rees / 07 Aug 2012
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Protonex Technology Corporation, a leading provider of advanced lightweight military power systems, announces exclusive collaboration on the development of oxygen generators for use in undersea power systems. Protonex will highlight its fuel cell based power systems for unmanned systems at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2012, August 6-9, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Protonex has worked extensively in the development of high performance power systems based on its groundbreaking fuel cell technology for a variety of unmanned platforms including numerous demonstrations in small UAV and UGV systems. At the core of these systems are Protonex patented fuel cells that provide higher power densities and are more rugged than competitive approaches. Protonex has demonstrated the benefits of all-electric propulsion, stealth and reliability, while significantly enhancing endurance in comparison to traditional battery solutions.

Based on successes with small UAS and UGS platforms, Protonex is expanding its fuel cell technology into underwater applications primarily focused on enhancing platform endurance. Protonex is developing specific underwater power systems with average power output of 200-2000 watts based on a combination of its patented fuel cell systems and ambient temperature and pressure fuel storage technologies.

In 2010, Protonex purchased the patent portfolio of Millennium Cell, which focuses on hydrogen generation from sodium borohydride and other related compounds. Currently Protonex is announcing the exclusive collaboration with Eric Wernimont, a former principal of General Kinetics Inc. and present owner of the associated intellectual property, on the development of oxygen generation systems based on the controlled decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

“Current battery technologies are insufficient for the energy requirements of the next generation of underwater sensors and vehicles,” stated Paul Osenar, CEO of Protonex. “Protonex has demonstrated the ability to bring together state of the art technologies to provide advanced power systems that can be fielded in the short term. The combination of our fuel cell systems technology, patented sodium borohydride based hydrogen storage and hydrogen peroxide based oxygen storage, is a perfect match of technical maturity, fantastic metrics and safety. We look forward to working with the Mr. Wernimont on the adaptation of General Kinetics’ proven peroxide technology for our undersea power systems initiatives.”

Protonex will be participating at the AUVSI trade show August 6-9, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada in booth #5136.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact