US pushes ahead with fuel cell production

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Proton Power, which produces fuel cells and fuel cell electric hybrid systems, has signed a deal for L-3 Communications Combat Propulsion Systems (L-3 CPS) to sell Proton’s Fuel Cell Power Systems for use in propulsion systems, marine and universal power supply applications to the North American civilian and military applications market.

Proton’s exchange membrane fuel cell runs on hydrogen and the company reckons it is one of the most efficient methods of converting hydrogen into electrical energy – with an efficiency rating of close to 50 per cent.

Combined with thermal energy conversion for use in UPS applications, efficiencies reach over 90 per cent.

The combination and integration of this technology in modern propulsion systems offers an emission-free and carbon-neutral alternative to conventional international combustion engines. The systems are also ultra quiet, and have a low heat signature. The only by-product of this process is pure water.

Michael Soimar, president, L-3 CPS said, “Proton’s alternative energy fuel cell propulsion systems provide an environment-friendly method to our customers’ transport and power products requirements.”

Thomas Melczer, chief executive of Proton, said: “We are delighted about the partnership with L-3 CPS. North America is a lead market for Fuel Cell Technology. Together with L-3 CPS, we plan to play a leading role in that market.”

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