New Portable Fuel Cell Being Field-Tested by US Army
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a photo of the new M-25 portable fuel cell, so this unusual photo from Afghanistan will have to do...You don't see too many photos from Afghanistan looking like it could be a hillside in Vermont. Via Soldiers Media Center.
After I originally posted this, Smart Fuel Cell's PR Agency contacted me and graciously provided the photo you'll now find in the middle of this post. The original image hasn't been removed as a number of comments reference it.
While the average soldier may not be carrying around the statistical 27 pounds of rechargeable batteries for a 72 hour mission all the time this announcement still may come as good news to those who do: Dupont and SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG have announced that their M-25 portable fuel cell has now been deployed for limited testing with the U.S. Army.
The M-25 fuel cell itself is the soldier's right hand (in the photo), the battery is in his left.
Lightweight Portable Power
According to preliminary specs the M-25 is designed to provide sustained 25 W of power (peaking up to 80 W) from 300 mL methanol cartridges and weighs in at a svelte 2 lbs. Dupont estimates that the unit is 80% lighter than the conventional power sources currently used.
The M-25 is the result of collaboration between Dupont and SFC dating back to 2005 through the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Defense Acquisition Challenge Program. Given how much military technology gets transitioned into civilian use, it’s only a matter of time before we see a civilian analog to the M-25.
Personally, I prefer my time out in nature to be as tech-free as possible (leaving GPS, radio, etc behind) but people do love their electronic toys and those toys do need power...