Hydrogen batteries turn U.S. soldiers into Energizer bunnies

Hydrogen batteries are a combination of a hydrogen fuel cell power module and an energy module to supply and store the hydrogen. Hydrogen batteries can be fueled up with extra hydrogen at any time to increase their range and have a higher energy density than traditional batteries. Hydrogen fuel cell systems producer Protonex utilises hydrogen batteries to provide high-performance, low-cost fuel cells for portable and remote applications requiring 10 to 500 watts of power.
Modern soldiers use a variety of electric powered devices and rely on batteries to run them. Protonex's ProPack C50, is a 50-watt power system designed for soldiers to use in the field as an alternative to lithium batteries. This system has a range of military applications such as wearable soldier power for radios, laser target designators, GPS and Toughbooks, and is currently available to select U.S. military customers for evaluation. The system features a replaceable sodium borohydride fuel cartridge which generates hydrogen as it is needed by the fuel cell system and lasts for 24 hours at an average of 30 watts.

Analysis: Hydrogen's high energy density makes it a perfect power source for just about any mobile application if you can overcome the storage and cost issues associated with it. The military definitely has the money, and it looks like Protonex has the technology. Now the U.S. ground troops will be able recharge their iPods on the go.

[Source: Protonex]

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