By Cameron Chai
AlumiFuel Power (API), a Pennsylvania-based hydrogen producing company, has combined with its Illinois-based key contractor, Ingenium Technologies to develop a hydrogen generating system for powering Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV) with its own AlumiFuel powders.
The U.S. Navy has given a Research and Development (R&D) contract to API-Ingenium group in June 2010, for delivering a hydrogen fuel system to run the future UUVs, which is driven by fuel cells. The technology discovered by the API-Ingenium team is eligible for two main multi-million dollar programs. The Navy plans to grant these programs as it is looking for alternative UUV power sources this year apart from batteries. The first program is for long lasting 21" UUV propulsion system and the next is for a bigger 54" UUV platform.
The international UUV market is predicted to accomplish $1.2 billion in the next decade, including naval, commercial and other countrywide safety purposes. It embraces $1.2 billion for power systems and $400-$500 million for fuel modules. Ingenium and API are investigating several opportunities in the power plant and naval sector opportunities in allied navies, deepwater services industry players, US Navy and defense contractors.
According to Sean McIntosh, API’s engineering director; API and Ingenium have made a mark in developing modules for UUV power source that enables them to aggressively track the worldwide military and commercial undersea vehicle opportunities.