Lockheed Martin has entered into a $3 M contract with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for developing solid oxide fuel cell generator sets that can substitute traditional battlefield power generation equipment.
The fuel cell technology of Lockheed Martin is expected to be incorporated within solar panels, through which the military can have sufficient power for conducting missions efficiently with reduced fuel.
When the 32-month development program draws to closure, Lockheed Martin will demonstrate and supply the multi-kilowatt JP-8 compatible Fuel Cell Efficient Power Node that will be validated by U.S. Marines. This $3 M contract targets over 50% minimization in the utilization of overall fuel needed for tactical electrical generation.
Over 100,000 military generators are deployed to power services globally, including radios, lighting and air conditioning, computers, command and control systems. The transformation of fuel into electricity is carried out by solid oxide fuel cells, based on 30%-50 % more efficient chemical reaction, compared to combustion engines within diesel generators.
As fuel cells need less fuel for delivering same amount of power, these cells are capable of promoting efficiency in operational costs, thereby eliminating the need for fuel delivering military casualties.
In order to mature the fuel cell technology, Lockheed Martin operates with TMI located in Cleveland. Besides Lockheed Martin-funded R&D, this collaborative team was supported with competitive grants from the Ohio Third Frontier. Lockheed Martin became the first company in 2011 to achieve one-of-the-kind consistent operation of solid oxide fuel cell generator set for more than 1,000 hours on standard DoD-supplied JP-8.