P+E Awarded DARPA Contract For Key Fuel Cell Technology


Power+Energy, Inc. Awarded DARPA Contract For Key Fuel Cell Technology

Phase II SBIR contract for advanced hydrogen separation membranes for Fuel Cells.


Power+Energy, Inc. (P+E) has been selected for a Phase II SBIR contract award by the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Entitled “A Novel Low Cost Membrane for Recovery of Hydrogen from Fuel Cell Reformates,” this Phase II SBIR program is a continuation of previous work successfully completed under a Phase I SBIR contract, which was funded by the US Army Research Office (ARO).
The company has recently developed new hybrid hydrogen separation technology specifically for fuel cell applications. P+E will manufacture high efficiency palladium (Pd) alloy thin film membranes using its patent-pending technology. This new membrane, based on thin film nano-structures, will enable fuel cell users to cost-effectively generate high purity hydrogen-on-demand from any reformed fuel source. Given its low cost, compact size and passive operation, this membrane technology is ideal for early adoption of fuel cells in remote, portable and mobile applications which are not amenable to other, more complex hydrogen separation methods.
A key challenge for the utilization of clean hydrogen fuel for fuel cells and internal combustion engines is the inefficiency of hydrogen storage especially for mobile applications. P+E’s technology will allow users to efficiently store a liquid fuel containing hydrogen and extract it on demand. The second key implication of this technology is the deferral of very expensive investments for retail hydrogen distribution infrastructure. P+E’s hydrogen separation membrane will recover hydrogen from reformed fuels including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, methanol and ethanol distributed through already existing gas stations and utilities. In addition, since these fuels are stored in traditional liquid tanks, the high costs and hazards associated with ultra-high pressure (5,000-10,000 psi) or liquid hydrogen storage are avoided.
P+E intends to produce hydrogen separation membranes for a variety of applications and size ranges. The Department of Defense envisions a variety of requirements for this technology ranging from 100 Watt back-pack fuel cells for the Army’s Objective Force Warrior program to large capacity 500 Kilowatt fuel cells for distributed electric power generation for surface ship applications. P+E is seeking collaboration partnerships with key organizations in order to develop specific product configurations for a range of applications.
About Power+Energy

Power & Energy is headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA. Established in 1993, the company’s mission is to enable the hydrogen economy and promote energy efficiency through the application of micro-channel technologies. The company provides a full range of micro-channel hydrogen purifiers to ultra-high purity users across the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Power & Energy is leading the way to the hydrogen economy with proprietary manufacturing and patented hydrogen purification, separation and generation technologies. Power & Energy’s Micro-Channel palladium-alloy hydrogen purifiers purify any grade of hydrogen to nine-nines purity, meeting the most stringent requirements for semiconductor fabrication processes, including light emitting diode manufacture, solar cell manufacture and the manufacture of other compound and silicon semiconductors. Power & Energy’s Micro-Channel hydrogen purifiers are also ideal for metallurgy, R&D, and instrumentation applications. Power & Energy’s Micro-Channel membrane systems can also be used to efficiently separate hydrogen from reformed fuels and synthesis gas mixtures.
Power & Energy is now applying its hydrogen expertise to the fuel cell vehicle refueling market. Power & Energy has recognized that highly compact, low cost, and efficient hydrogen generators that can convert existing liquid fuels to hydrogen at the refueling station will enable the rapid development of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure that fuel-cell vehicles will require. The company’s expertise in the design and manufacture of micro-channel gas processors provides the basis for this exciting new venture.

For further information, contact Noel Leeson, Power & Energy Inc., 106 Railroad Drive, Ivyland, PA 18974-1449, e-mail sales@powerandenergy.com.