Wearable hydrogen fuel cells may be on the horizonJuly 3, 2013
Hydrogen fuel cells could soon be a new wearable technology
SAFCell, a developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has been awarded a grant by the U.S. federal government to demonstrate a wearable fuel cell system that the company has developed. The $1 million grant was issued under the Army Phase II Small Business Innovation Research initiative, which provides funding for ambitious projects. The initiative has helped fund the demonstration of renewable energy systems in the past, but this will be the first time that a wearable fuel cell system has been supported by the initiative.
SAFCell to demonstrate new solid acid fuel cell system
Wearable fuel cells are somewhat new to the field of hydrogen fuel. Unlike conventional fuel cells, however, the system developed by SAFCell is a solid acid fuel cell, which does not actually make use of hydrogen fuel. Solid acid fuel cells can generate electrical power in a similar fashion to conventional hydrogen fuel cells and happen to be something of a specialty for SAFCell. Backed by funding from the Army, SAFCell will be able to showcase how its wearable fuel cell could be used to the benefit of soldiers.
Demonstration to prove commercial viability of fuel cell system
Part of the demonstration will involve showing how fuel flexibility can be a boon for the military. Providing soldiers with more options when it comes to energy production could be an efficient way to solve some of the consumption issues that the military currently works to keep in check. The demonstration is also meant to prove the commercial viability of the wearable fuel cell and the technologies developed by SAFCell.
Army continues to show interest in renewable energy and hydrogen fuel
The U.S. Army has shown some interest in hydrogen fuel in the past, but the majority of this interest is for the fuel’s uses in transportation. The Army is currently involved in various projects concerning hydrogen-powered vehicles and has been experimenting with other kinds of renewable energy that are meant to tackle other issues. Last year, the Army began experimenting with wearable solar energy backpacks that were meant to be tested in the field. This has, however, been a somewhat limited experiment and has yet to meet the Army’s standard when it comes to energy production in the field.