Fuel cells offer military advantages that can reduce the burden on soldiers and save lives in the field. As military equipment has become increasingly electronic, the power demands of soldiers in the field has increased dramatically. Soldiers today carry roughly 30 lbs. of batteries in the field. Comparable fuel cell power systems for soldiers weigh in at just 5 lbs. This technology is here today and is already being used in demonstration programs.
Fuel cells offer strategic advantages in other military applications as well. Unmanned aerial, ground, and underwater vehicles can all use fuel cell power to extend their range significantly while reducing heat and noise signatures. Improvements to unmanned vehicles enhance reconnaissance abilities and ultimately save lives.
The advantage of silent power extends beyond unmanned vehicles. Today, soldiers on watch in a humvee must keep the engine idling to power radios and other necessary equipment. Campsites must run generators to provide power for devices. Fuel cell Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) and Gensets enable troops to keep a “silent watch” instead of running noisy engines. This is a welcome benefit to safety and security.
Other advantages afforded by fuel cells include fuel flexibility and elimination of the need to charge batteries. Many types of fuel cells are fuel flexible; they can be powered by whatever fuel source is most available. Since fuel cells are more efficient than other engines and generators, they require less fuel. Ultimately, this can take notoriously dangerous military fuel trucks off the road, further contributing to the safety of troops worldwide.
For more information on Military Fuel Cell Applications, see our Fact Sheet below: