The system, which comprises a hydrogen fuel cell fuelled by solid-state ammonia borane cartridges, has four times the energy density of the batteries which are currently used.
'The hydrogen is stored in a solid-state chemical hydride, ammonia borane, that is then decomposed to produce hydrogen. The design allows cartridges to be replaced simply and quickly. As long as there is a supply of replacement cartridges, the fuel cell can operate indefinitely,' said Kevin Brundish, business group manager for Qinetiq's power source business.
At present, soldiers on extended missions must either have access to recharging facilities or carry extra batteries as replacements. Over a 72-hour mission, a dismounted soldier can use up to 20 batteries, adding significant weight. Just two or three ammonia borane cartridges would provide all the energy that is required.
'Efficient, mobile power solutions are especially critical in military scenarios where a mission's success may depend on long-lasting reliable power,' commented Leonard R Devanna, CEO and President of Jadoo.
The new fuel cell system will be displayed by Jadoo and General Atomics at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Florida during May 20-22.