It is difficult to fathom a more demanding power user than the military. Modern, effective soldiers have come to rely on increasingly sophisticated computational and communications gear. In fact, it’s been said that there are two limiting factors determining the length of mission: water and batteries. The amount of water and batteries a soldier can physically carry often defines the duration of a mission and the likelihood of success.
These military devices require a dependable, lightweight, compact power source to extend operational runtimes. On top of this, the electronic equipment and power sources need to be able to perform reliably under harsh operating conditions in the field.
Neah Power’s patented silicon-based fuel cell is expected to address these fundamental issues and provide a superior power source for all sorts of military applications. The Neah Power fuel cell is expected to provide two to three times the energy capacity versus the standard BA-5590 battery, while remaining in the same compact form.
Instant “Recharge” for Continuous Computing
Importantly, soldiers can benefit from the ability to continuously run their electronic equipment without the need to wait for recharging. Fuel cells can produce power as long as a fuel source is provided. When one fuel cartridge is exhausted, a soldier could simply pop it out and insert another one to continue the power supply. Instead of carrying multiple batteries, soldiers would only need to carry only one fuel cell and several lightweight fuel cartridges for continuous power capability (see below).
The BA-5590 is the U.S. Military’s most widely used portable power source, supporting hundreds of communication and computational applications in the field. Though proven, these batteries are big and bulky, and weigh soldiers down. Instead of carrying multiple batteries for extended missions, dramatic weight and volume reductions are possible by carrying one fuel cell and multiple cartridges (see below). Greater reductions are possible with longer missions.
Fully Sealed System
Neah Power’s design can be configured as an open air system (for greater runtime capacity) or as a fully-sealed system (for predictable operation under a wide variety of field conditions). Both configurations capture the reaction by-products inside the fuel cartridge. The open-air system requires exposure to air for its oxygen source, while the fully-sealed system contains a liquid oxidant right along with methanol fuel in the cartridge.