Military Contracts for Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Energy Conversion Devices (ECD), which specializes in solar photovoltaics and hydrogen-based energy solutions, said they have been awarded the first phase of funding from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) to partner with the Army’s National Automotive Center (NAC).

Rochester Hills, Michigan – October 21, 2003 [] The US$500,000 total contract will be applied towards the development by Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems (TOHS) of a transportable solid hydrogen storage and refueling system for hydrogen fuel cell powered off-road military vehicles. ECD Ovonics will perform the work under its service agreement with TOHS. This contract comes on the heels of ECD Ovonics’ and TOHS’ recent unveiling of a low pressure, solid hydrogen fuel storage system showcased in a modified Toyota Prius. “By partnering with solid state hydrogen storage technology leaders like ECD Ovonic and Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems who have developed hydrogen storage solutions, we’re able to address challenges faced by the military, such as the safe, transportable refueling of off-road fuel cell vehicles,” said Dennis Wend, Executive Director of the National Automotive Center. Within the scope of the project, the Ovonic transportable hydrogen storage system will store at least 10 kg of hydrogen in a safe, compact, low- pressure solid form. The storage systems will be used to refill the Army’s off-road fuel cell vehicles’ onboard storage vessels at least twice per day with 1.7 kg of hydrogen in under 10 minutes. The initial installation of the system will be at the TARDEC facilities in Warren, Mich., and will be demonstrated at industry and military trade events thereafter. “We are pleased that the Army is interested in the hydrogen economy, among other key missions they are driving,” said Stanford R. Ovshinsky, ECD Ovonics’ president and CEO, and Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems’ president. “Our ongoing objective is to provide the enabling technologies for a hydrogen economy. Ovonic(TM) solid hydrogen onboard storage and refueling technology are the latest milestones in bringing alternative energy solutions like this to commercialization. By providing the Army with the refueling capability necessary for its off-road fuel cell vehicles, we expect to demonstrate the viability of our solid hydrogen technology in the real world.” Ovonic solid-state hydrogen storage systems can be used for the storage of hydrogen fuel tanks onboard vehicles and at refueling stations, allowing for safe and easy refueling of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. As a result, this compact, solid hydrogen storage technology and refueling system promises to help commercialization efforts of a new generation of alternative energy vehicles. ECD Ovonics has been a major proponent of the hydrogen economy vision since the Company’s founding in 1960. Based on Ovshinsky’s inventions, ECD Ovonics holds the basic patents on the processes and technologies needed for the development of numerous hydrogen-based technologies ranging from Ovonic nickel metal hydride batteries to solar panels, to fuel cells — all required to turn the hydrogen economy vision into reality.
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